I’ve seen it all, and I’m not judging you. I, too, have done a little dance of joy when the number on the scale goes down. I’ve also been ready to destroy it à la Office Space when it’s uncooperative.
Although weight loss is, at its core, simple math (calories consumed vs. calories burned), there is nothing logical or scientific about the scale’s fluctuations. Even if you were absolutely perfect – nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep, vitamins, EVERYTHING – your daily weight loss graph would still be a jagged line as the scale inexplicably jumped around, plateaued, and just generally didn’t behave.
To comfort you on those days when your scale’s readout might not be the gratifying proof of your efforts that you deserve, I’ve compiled this handy list of potential reasons why that might be, other than “you’re getting fatter.” I also recommend only recording your weight once or twice a week (though I can’t help looking every day, I am definitely more motivated by the small but consistent losses I see on a weekly basis, so I only record on Mondays and at the beginning of each month).
Without further ado, I present: “Why is my scale torturing me?”
- You’re on (or about to get) your period.
- You ate something salty and now you’re retaining water.
- You lost inches but not pounds.
- You gained muscle, which weighs more than fat.
- You’re not getting enough sleep.
- You are stressed out.
- You’re taking medication.
- You’re eating too much.
- You’re not eating enough.
- You’re drinking alcohol (sneaky calories!)
- Your scale is broken or needs new batteries.
…OR it’s none of the above, it’s just some crazy bump in the road for no real reason at all and you should definitely not sweat it, because it’ll swing back the other way in the next few days. Seriously.