Tales of the Scale


If you have been regularly working out and eating well, and step onto a scale only to read:

weight gain:1-2 lbs        OR       weight loss:0

You may feel frustrated and defeated.

Is this a means to throw out your old scale or resort to an old fashion scale with moving weight?

None of the above will make a difference. What is the cause for this?

The Scale Leaves Out Details

Your weight on the scale does not tell you about your body composition while you are on your fitness journey to rid of fat and gain muscle. In fact, the scale can set one up for failure if it is used as your only measure for weight loss.

Using the scale along with other helpful methods of measuring fat loss progress can lead to positive behavior changes in support of long-term weight loss.

Reasons Why the Scale Leaves Out Body Composition Information

The scale can only measure your weight, that is it. There are many other factors to consider when you want to measure your body composition.

What is your weight really made of?

The scale does not measure:

Body Fat Percentage: This is the total fat mass divided by the total body mass. The scale does not know the differecne between the two. The scale measure over all weight.

Water Retention: Water retention can be caused by consuming too many high sodium foods. For women, the monthly menstrual cycle can have a similar effect on water retention. The scale does not differentiate this. Water retention is why your weight can fluctuate a few pounds from night to day.

Muscle Mass: To clarify, a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat; muscle does not weigh more than fat. However, muscle tissue is denser than fat. One pound of fat takes up almost twice the space as one pound of muscle.  If you lose fat while gaining muscle, your weight on the scale will not change if but a little. The scale does not know the difference.

Bone Density: Bones account for 15% of body weight. Strength training will increase your bone density, which may aid in an increase in weight.

To track weight loss progress focus on these helpful methods:

  • Progress pictures
  • Body Fat test
  • Body measurements
  • Gym performance
  • Energy levels
  • How you feel
  • How clothes fit

Fat loss does not always equal weight loss.


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