You have worked hard all week, stuck to your diet and got plenty of exercise, yet when you went to weigh yourself you not only didn’t lose weight but gained weight.
What are the possible reasons for the scales showing weight gain? And should you worry?
#1: You gained muscle mass
Have you been working out hard recently? If you have then chances are you have gained a little muscle mass.
As muscle is denser than fat, it would be possible for you to appear slimmer due to fat loss but actually weigh more.
Gaining muscle is a good thing as it will help to increase your overall metabolic rate, meaning you are able to burn off calories quicker.
#2: You are menstruating
When you are menstruating it is normal for your hormones to be affected.
This can lead to weight fluctuations, as often your body will hold onto water weight. Once your period is over your weight should remain at a more constant level.
#3: You have just eaten
This may seem obvious but if you have just eaten or drunk then you are going to weigh more than before you consumed these things.
For this reason many experts would recommend weighing after you have been to the toilet for a more accurate measurement.
#4: You are wearing heavy clothes
Again, this is obvious so it is best to weigh naked so that your clothing don’t skew your weight.
#5: You are eating a diet high in sodium
If you eat a diet high in sodium (salt) then you may appear to weigh more on the scales.
This is because sodium can cause fluid retention.
#6: You have just worked out
Weighing post-workout is also not recommended, as although it will likely show that you have lost weight, chances are this lost weight is only due to sweating.
Once you re-hydrate this lost weight will quickly return.
Is weighing important?
Yes, it certainly is a good idea to weigh regularly, but this does not mean daily or even hourly in some cases.
If you weigh too often then you will become obsessed with the numbers, which is never a good sign.
Instead I would recommend weighing once per week. You should weigh around the same time on a certain day, so you know that the above factors have less impact.
Once a week is adequate as it will let you know how things are progressing without becoming obsessed.