Throughout the years, the leading marker of health and fitness has always been the scale. Although your weight is a huge indicator of how fit you are, relying solely on the scale can be misleading and demotivating at times. A lot of factors play a role in how much you weigh and gaining or losing weight on the scale doesn’t necessarily mean it was due to a change in fat percentage. Below are 5 simple causes of deceiving weight gain.
Retained water causes weight gain. The problem here can be as straightforward as a diet rich in sodium or salt; sodium pulls the water into your cells and keeps it there, causing water retention. Hormones, unbalanced hydration, plane flights, some medication, sitting or standing for too long, and heart disease can also cause water retention.
Muscle is denser than fat. Even though both kilograms weigh the same, muscles take up a lot less space. You can lose fat and look more toned but still gain weight on the scale. Gaining weight, in this case, means you gained muscle, which means that your work is paying off.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
DOMS is basically very small, microscopic tears in the muscle fibers due to high-intensity exercise, the symptoms of which appear 24-48 hours after a workout. This tissue damage is accompanied by inflammation and swelling, causing water retention and thus weight gain. You don’t really need to do anything about DOMS though; time will sort it all out.
The waste in your body adds weight to the scale. If you’ve had irregular bowl movement then it’s probably contributing to your weight gain. You might want to increase your water and fiber intake, be more active, or consult a physician if you suffer from constipation.
The time you choose to step on the scale plays a huge part in the number you’ll get. If you get weighed right after a meal or after you’ve drunk some water, the number is probably going to be high. Also, being weighed in the morning will get you much smaller numbers than being weighed at night. Make sure the weight of your clothes isn’t contributing significantly to your scale weight.
Sure using the scale is important, but there are other ways to track your progress. Taking your measurements, tracking your body in the mirror, performing body composition analysis, and monitoring your overall health and satisfaction will give you more accurate results. You should always be able to tell if you’re doing better health-wise without needing to refer to the scale.