This is probably one of the most frequent questions I get asked when I’m working with clients.
It’s something that everyone will go through on their journey.
It usually goes something like this...
“Why did it go up?
I’m doing everything I was supposed to do?
I wake up in the morning and I’m 0.5kg heavier, I’m 0.9kg heavier…
What am I doing wrong?”
It’s understandable that they're disheartened and logically, if you’re eating less, moving more and staying on plan, logically the numbers should fall down, right?
The first thing that I mention in response to this will be…
“Your journey is not linear, I’ve worked with people who are essentially ‘robots’ (always do everything they’re told to a T) and I’ve been one myself in the past and I’ve never seen bodyweight drop in a linear downwards fashion daily.”
I’ve seen the weekly trend go down for sure, this won’t always be the case, but for most if you are reaching your targets on a weekly and daily basis, you may be able to see weekly trend drops throughout your journey.
So now you understand that it generally doesn’t drop linearly, but now the real question is, why does it not come down consistently?
This really comes down to a number of reasons…
One of the most common reasons is water retention, there’s a number of contributing factors to why we retain water, one of the first things we need to remember is that with each 1g of carbohydrates we consume, it brings 3g of water with it.
So if you’ve had a higher carb meal in the evening or a higher carb day in general, you’re gong to be heavier.
Another factor is food volume, quite simply if you have 100g of chicken breast and 100g of broccoli, the total weight of that meal is 200g.
However if you have 400g stir fry, 150g chicken breast, 100g broccoli and 200g of greek yoghurt for dessert, you’re almost looking at a total kilo for that meal!
So understandably, you will temporarily weigh more as your body processes the food.
Water, how much water did you drink on that day? How much did you have in the evening?
If you’re a female, you’re in for even more of a treat…
Your monthly cycle will almost always cause fluctuations on the scale. 9/10 times it comes with water retention, bloat etc.
Whether you trained or not can have an impact, what time you trainer, what you trained can all have an impact.
Sleep, the quality, the quantity, all make a difference.
There will be days where you wake up after a phenomenal night of sleep and there can be a night and day difference in your physique.
The opposite is unfortunately true too.
I’m sure you can see how many different factors now influence that number on the scale, right?
In all honesty, you’re going to have a hard time keeping all of these under control too.
So how do we keep sane and not get thrown off by the scales.
First things first, focus on the weekly average and the trend, vs the day to day weigh-ins.
If you weigh just once a week and for any of the reasons above, your weight is higher than usual, this can lead you into feeling like you’re not making a lot of progress.
However, if you have 7 weigh-ins and then note down the weekly average, this will give you an accurate reflection of where you stand.
Next up, we need to focus on what we can control.
Once the number appears on that scale, it’s not going to change.
You can take the battery out, stamp on the scales or stand on one leg, but unfortunately it’s not going to make a difference.
We must become curious and ask ourselves ‘why’ the weight went up…
We can refer back to yesterday and all the factors that contribute, determine whether we had a late meal, what we trained etc, or it could even be a sign that we need to stick closer to our calories more or work harder in our training.
Once you see what could’ve led the weight to being higher, we can proceed with the necessary action.
If you look back and believe you did everything perfectly, then take it for what it is, remain consistent and the results will come.
I personally find this approach to be super empowering.
We can find out whether we might be slipping before it becomes an issue.
We can find out whether we are getting our 7-8 hours of quality sleep and setting ourselves up for a quality training session.
Whether we’re still weighing our food accurately or we just decided to start ‘eye-balling’ things.
Rather than be frustrated, we genuinely have an opportunity to review and audit ourselves to lead to a better outcome and gain a better understanding of our bodies too.
The overriding message is that you probably won’t be able to keep full control over all of these and what you’ll find is 1-2 areas to work on that will begin moving you forward.
Become inquisitive and your relationship with the scales will improve and you’ll enjoy your journey more.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard to not get frustrated when we don’t see the number on the screen that we want or think we deserve.
However, we must do our absolute best to look at the scales objectively.
The number doesn’t reflect your self worth, your value, it’s just a number.
Do your best to keep this perspective in mind at all times.
Here are the keys that I want you to take away and remember…
Your weight will fluctuate no matter what.
Focus on what you can control.
Remain consistent and patient.
Do the work and the results will come.