Don’t Let The Scale Be The Reason Your Weight Loss Efforts Fail

Does this sound familiar? You start working out and eating right and see the numbers on the scale drop, but then notice that you appear to be actually gaining weight as the numbers go up once again. This is a common problem experienced by many people.

When you see the numbers on the scale rising, you could be easily tricked into thinking you’re not losing weight and all of your efforts has been for nothing. In reality, what is occurring is that your body is retaining water weight, sodium, and other waste? This doesn’t necessarily mean you are gaining weight.

The scale can actually be your worst enemy when you are trying to lose weight. In fact, many fitness experts and doctors will advise that you ditch the scale and not even step on it when you are trying to lose weight because it can be so unreliable.weight loss scale not moving

A far better method to ascertain whether you are losing weight is the way your clothes fit. If you notice that your clothing seems to be fitting a bit looser, you’re likely losing weight regardless of what the scale might indicate.

Sodium and Water Weight Gain

Did you know that sodium can actually cause you to gain weight? If you have noticed an increase in the numbers on the scale, it could be due to consuming too much sodium. While sodium does not actually cause you to gain body fat, it can lead to water retention and bloating, which in turn, can cause the numbers on the scale to rise. How much weight could you gain due to sodium intake?

It’s hard to say, but overindulging in salty foods can definitely make an impact on your weight. When you first begin a diet and begun cutting back on sodium, there’s a good chance you will see rapid results in terms of your weight. Keep in mind that this is likely an indication you are losing water weight rather than fat.

sodium weight loss

Likewise, if you have binged on salty foods recently and noticed an increase in the scale, you have probably simply put on some water weight. In fact, binging or even eating out could result in a water weight gain of between three and five pounds.

If you do feel as though you are bloated because you have binged on too much sodium, there are some steps you can take. Exercise is one of the best remedies for flushing extra weight from your body. Consuming high-fiber foods, including fresh vegetables and whole grains, along with consuming ample amounts of water can also help to remove waste from your system.

Bloating can also be reduced through the use of potassium and vitamin B6, both of which act as natural diuretics. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, yogurt, broccoli, spinach, and oranges. Vitamin B6 can be found in such foods as chicken breasts, tuna, and avocado.

Other factors can also cause you to hold onto water weight, including a difficult strength training workout, hormones, and dehydration. If you have been cutting back on water because you are concerned it could cause you to hold onto water weight, you could be doing more harm than good because your body has gone into dehydration mode.

Keep in mind that water weight usually does not stick around for more than about a week. If you notice chronic water retention along with constant swelling in your ankles, toes, fingers, and face, it’s time to see your doctor, as this could be an indication of a more serious condition.

weight loss scale not moving

An excessively restrictive diet can also cause you to hold onto weight. Consider your caloric intake. Are you consuming less than 1,200 calories per day?

If so, your body could be retaining water as a survival mechanism. When you restrict calories, particularly carbohydrates, the body works to protect itself by breaking down its own protein and carbohydrates that naturally store water.

When you begin eating normally once again, the body begins storing carbohydrates and protein rather than breaking them down, which leads to an increase in water weight. To achieve actual weight loss, it’s important to reduce your calorie intake gradually to a healthy level while including a good balance of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

For women, it’s no secret that certain times of the month can lead to weight gain. A woman’s menstrual cycle can result in a weight gain of up to five additional pounds. This is generally due to bloating. While many women use their menstrual cycle as an excuse to slack off from exercising, the best thing you can do to combat bloating during this time is to continue exercising. Consuming more fruits and vegetables can also help.

Consuming More Water to Lose Weight

While it might sound as though the reverse would be true, in order to achieve actual weight loss and combat water weight gain, you need to drink more water. Hydration is essential to weight loss. Make an effort to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, particularly when dieting.

Water weight loss

If you are working out heavily, you may need to drink even more water. Not sure whether you are drinking enough water for your activity level? The best way to monitor your hydration level is based on how you feel and the color of your urine.

If you notice you feel thirsty, there is a good chance you are already dehydrated. Clear urine is an indication you are getting enough water. Darker urine means you need to drink more water. Listen to the cues your body gives you to stay healthy and lose weight.

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

You may have heard that muscle weighs more than fat. This is technically not true, but muscle is denser than fat. This explains perfectly why you can train hard, lose body fat and actually see the numbers on the scale increase. If you have been training and have built muscle, you could actually weigh more than before you started training.

The Elusive Ideal Weight

Many times, people fall into the trap of trying to reach an ideal weight. Unfortunately, such a weight is quite illusive. This could be a weight from high school before you had children or some random number that a fitness chart tells you that you should weigh. You could be tricked into thinking that if you could just weigh that amount, you would be happy.

woman in a red dress looks in the mirror and choose clothes

Sadly, there’s a good chance that even once you reach that number, you still won’t be satisfied. Instead of trying to reach an ideal weight, focus on other goals, such as how you look and feel, how your clothing fits, and your endurance and energy levels.

Progress pictures can also be an excellent way to monitor whether you are achieving your weight loss and fitness goals without relying on deceptive numbers on the scale.

Remember, you cannot always trust the numbers on the scale and an ideal weight is just that; an ideal. Pay attention to how you feel, the way you look in the mirror, and how your clothing fits to determine whether you are achieving your fat loss and fitness goals.