The battle with the scale can be one of the most frustrating things about weight loss. Your motivation can quickly turn into disappointment, frustration, and despair if we feel like the scale isn’t reflecting our hard work. Sometimes it seems like the scale is just against us, no matter what new healthy habits we put in place. The problem with the scales is that they measure everything; fat, muscle, bones, organs and even that sip of water you just had. Scales don’t know that you're PMS-ing or that you had a killer leg work out the previous day.
Your hydration levels can change the number on a scale because the body is roughly 60% water. If you're dehydrated or have eaten too much salt, your body can retain water, which can cause the scales to go up. Weighing yourself after a meal isn't the best idea either simply because food adds weight. When you eat it, your body will add that weight as well. It doesn't mean you've gained weight, it simply means that you've added something to your body.
Remember, muscle is denser than fat and it takes up less space. By adding muscle you could increase your scale weight, even though you're slimming down. The good news is there are better ways to track your weight loss progress, and none of them have to do with stepping on a scale.
Use Before and After Pictures
They are great for measuring weight loss and for motivational purposes. Take a photo every 1 to 2 weeks. It’s hard to notice a difference in your body when you’re looking at it every day. Pictures help you compare different weeks side by side. To get a good indication wear as little as possible and take pictures from many angles. Make sure you take it in the same spot each time with the same lighting.
Check How Your Clothes Fit
Are your clothes fitting looser now? The way your clothes fit is a good way to track your progress. Are you going down notches in your belt? Is your weight staying the same, but your clothes feel looser? That’s a true sign of the changes your body is making. You are losing fat while putting on muscle and that will be noticeable.
Listen to Your Body
If you listen, your body will tell you much more than the scale ever will. Your energy can go up, your skin will become clear, you might start going to the bathroom consistently, and your cravings might be way down. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re doing everyday tasks. Whether it’s going up and down the stairs or cleaning up after the kids, everyday chores should become easier as you become stronger.