The scale is a real bitch. I remember once upon a time the first thing I did in the morning was hop on the scale and look at the number, if it showed me what I liked then I had a great day. Oh man, but if it didn’t show me what I wanted to see I would over exercise, under eat, have a shitty day. Seriously, so horrible that’s not way to live. It took me a long time to realize that though. When going through out fitness journey we all sorta do this. After all, the lower the number the better, right? WRONG!
When I first started training clients I would make them weigh themselves weekly as the only way of progress to their fat loss. Don’t get me wrong it was really effective but I regret instilling in them that scale weight is the ONLY form of progress because it’s not. Fast forward, now a days I RARELY have my clients weigh themselves. We measure progress by how consistent they are with their diet, how much more weight they are lifting in the weight room, and how their clothes are fitting. If all the above I in place trust me the weight will come off you just need to give it time.
I wanted to show you an example of one of my clients. This was over the course of 12 weeks. In the beginning of her journey she actually drastically lost a lot of scale weight somewhere between 5-10 lbs but then over the course of the weeks her weight started creeping up and her weight rarely if ever budged. For her this was very discouraging I know this because she expressed it to me. BUT LOOK AT HOW MUCH PROGRESS SHE MADE- I’M SO PROUD OF HER XOXO. I knew why this was happening with her weight. Prior to hiring me she came from not being on any weight training program and low-calorie intake. When we started working together I immediately brought her calories up to what I was guesstimate-ing at maintenance o fuel her training and she was weight training 3-4x per week. Let me explain what happened.
(above photo same weight from start to finish- crazy right!)
Water retention. When you start weight training regularly sore muscles hold a lot of water especially when you are new to weigh training because it is a stress on the body and over time your body will be able to handle the stress much better but overall any soar muscle retain water. Even I as an advanced trainer hold water after my legs days I am up to 5 lbs sometimes.
Food in the gut. If you come from a low-calorie diet there is not much food in the stomach on a daily basis. When low dieters start to eat more it takes time for the gut to learn how to digest all that food properly, by going to the restroom (number 2 to be exact) daily. I find my clients who were low calorie dieters need time to consistently eat a lot of food and then train their stomachs to digest it well. I start them off with more meals per day for easier digestion (~5-6 meals) then when they get used to all the calories they are welcome to move to 4-5 meals per day.
Muscle gain. First let me clarify than muscle does NOT weigh more than fat. Just like rocks don’t weigh more than feathers. A pound is a pound is a pound. What is really going on her is muscle is much more dense than fat, so that, by volume, it seems to weigh more. But in reality it is just taking up less space. New weight lifters (we call them newbie gains) gain more muscle faster within the first year than advanced lifters. When this happens you may not weigh less but instead you are losing fat and gaining muscle hence just trading fat for something that takes up less space and looks better on all of us; muscle 🙂