Weight Gain is NOT Fat Gain – Understanding Scale Fluctuations!

weight gain is not fat gain

STRONG friend, don’t let scale hold the power!

You didn’t gain body fat overnight.

And, No, you didn’t gain 5 lbs of fat overnight!

Yes, the scale is up, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually body fat.

Let’s get rational for a sec… let’s get out the emotion of it all and take an objective look at the scale.

Let’s look at the scale as a WHOLE & what it means.

What Does the Scale Measure?

A bodyweight scale measures our total body weight – TOTAL BODYWEIGHT.

To put it another way… The scale doesn’t separate out muscle and fat; it’s not weighing one or the other. It’s weighing our TOTAL BODY MASS!

That means the scale weight accounts for your muscles, fat, bones, tendons, and water – the body is made up of approximately 60%-is of water, your brain, hair, organs, skin, and connective tissues.

Scale fluctuations don’t mean you are necessarily gaining fat. The scale fluctuations, by and large, are due to water, sodium, and carbohydrates intake or lack thereof.

Fun fact – carbs are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Each gram of glycogen holds approximately 3-4 grams of water. 

Furthermore, so that you are even more informed… when you cut carbohydrates from your diet, you’ll see a big swoosh in your weight dropping. No carbs = no glycogen storage.  No glycogen = no water in your muscles.  It’s not fat loss. You lost water, not necessarily fat.  And when you look in the mirror – your muscles will look flat, and you won’t have any pump and you usually look very stringy.

Factors Affecting Scale Fluctuations

  • You’ll weigh more after you lift- your muscles were torn down, so they will have muscle damage that causes inflammation and water retention in the muscles. Weigh yourself before you lift and after you lift. You’ll weigh differently!
  • You’ll weigh more after you drink water and eat throughout the day.
  • You’ll weigh more during your menstrual cycle – upwards of 10 lb – not 10 lbs of fat.
  • You’ll weigh more if you ain’t pooping right! 💩
  • You’ll weigh more if you are dehydrated – water retention.
  • You’ll weigh more after putting your clothes on for the day.

The scale will fluctuate daily for many reasons, here are 5 more

  • You ate more than usual.
  • You ate later than normal.
  • Your digestion is off.
  • You ate more carbohydrates! Yum!
  • Stress – cortisol can influence water/fluid retention when it’s high all the time from all forms of Stress…. life, work, workouts, dieting, etc.  Stress is Stress – the body doesn’t compartmentalize it; it affects the body the same way. The scale will be up if you aren’t managing it. Again though, not fat gain!
  • You haven’t been sleeping well.
  • You’ve gained muscle! More on muscling weighing some here!

Say it with me, “It’s NORMAL for the scale to fluctuate!”

The scale fluctuates during the day – your weight will be different in the morning, afternoon, and evening. It also fluctuates day-to-day, so on and so forth!  It’s totally NORMAL!! We are not robots, our weight will not be STATIC!

Understanding Fat Gain

How do you gain body fat overnight?

While we are here, you also won’t lose body fat overnight. << FYI

You would literally have to eat 3500 calories over your perceived maintenance. It takes about 3500 calories to gain ONE POUND of fat.

So, if you gained 5lbs of fat overnight, you ate an additional 17,500 calories the day before over your maintenance.

Let’s lay it out another way… say your maintenance calories are 2200, and you believe that you gained 5 lbs of fat. That means you ate approx. 19, 700 calories the day before.

That’s cray cray! There is no way you ate that much in one day. No need to go into what you would need to eat to hit that amount of calories in a day. You probably wouldn’t be able to breathe, be sick to your stomach, literally might be in a food coma. Let’s get rational!!

The Scale Obsession:

Weight GAIN is NOT Fat Gain – the scale will fluctuate, as it SHOULD; we are human. It doesn’t mean you gained a ton of fat unless you are seriously eating way over your maintenance for an extended time!

We also can’t control the scale.  Sure, we influence it through our behaviors and lifestyle choices, but we can not dictate how much we lose week to week.

Like literally, the scale obsession is really unwarranted and not healthy.

Especially when you break it down and look at it objectively like I have done here in this blog.

The thoughts/the feelings of how we women allow the scale to still our joy is really SAD!

Your worth shouldn’t be based on your scale weight! Don’t let it dictate how you feel. Don’t let the negative emotions you feel from the scale dictate your action. We have been programmed to believe that a lighter weight on the scale is better. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Ditch those emotions, acknowledge them, examine where they have come from, and then tell them to shut TF up!

Don’t let the scale hold the power! STRONG friend, I want you to gain a better understanding of the scale. Also, remember that the scale is one data point and never tells the whole story!

You got this!

If you are ready to get STRONG and build muscle, and feel your best… book a STRONGER Way Connection call to learn more about my One-On-One Coaching services!


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