if you’re chasing weight loss, you’re likely relying heavily on the scale to measure your progress. did you know, though, there are tons of factors outside of fat loss that influence the number on the scale?
it’s super important to understand these and recognize the scale doesn't always reflect your true health and fitness achievements. here, we'll explore 5 factors that can influence the number on the scale and help you understand the bigger picture.
- water intake - water retention can cause temporary weight fluctuations. factors such as sodium intake, hormonal changes, and even weather conditions can affect how much water your body retains. remember, the number on the scale might not represent actual body fat changes but rather water fluctuations that can resolve over time.
- digestion - your digestive system plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. factors like food choices, fiber intake, gut health, and bowel movements can impact the number on the scale. a healthy digestive system ensures regular elimination, reducing the chances of temporary weight fluctuations due to food volume or waste retention.
- sodium intake - having more or less sodium than usual totally impacts fluctuations in your scale weight. having too much sodium, especially right before bed, or not having enough (losing electrolytes) will cause your body to hold onto water, thus increasing the scale weight.
stress - stress affects your body's hormonal balance, metabolism, and overall weight. chronic stress increases cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain or hinder weight loss progress. there are several ways your body can feel stress:
- chronic undreating
- nutrient deficiencies
- gut issues
- hard training sessions
- sickness / sun burns
- lack of sleep
- unmanaged personal stress
- muscle gain - many times, people who are starting on their weight loss journey might see physical / visual improvements, but no movement to the scale. the scale weight might even increase! this is a good sign because it’s showing that the body is building muscle and losing fat simultaneously - what many people refer to as a “body recomp.” many people want to look toned, but it’s important to understand that being toned requires muscle, and muscle weighs something!
the scale can be one tool of measuring progress, but there are tons of other markers you’ll want to look at to see how you’re doing with your goals! things like energy, sleep, digestion, how clothes fit, visual changes are all factors to keep in mind.
stop letting the number on the scale ruin your day 🙂it only tells a tiny part of the big picture!