Why the Scale is Lying to You


Most people rely on the scale to determine progression in their physique and fitness goals. Unfortunately, this tool may not be as accurate as one may assume. If you have been adhering to a strict training regimen and nutrition plan while your scale has not budged, or worse, slightly added a few pounds, do not fret. As a matter of fact, you may be comforted to know that despite the scale’s final result you still could be progressing. Packing on hard earned muscle and melting fat may not invariably reflect a lower number on your scale.

Muscle Versus Fat

It is a common misconception that muscle weighs a greater amount than fat. Unfortunately, 5 pounds equals 5 pounds, no matter what subject matter is set on a scale. The actualization of this theory is muscle tissue has a higher density rate than fat. In fact, muscle will acquire less volume on the body compared to fat while maximizing the body’s metabolism rate. One pound of fat will take on four pounds the volume of lean muscle tissue. It is possible to transform your physique through body recomposition without the scale reflecting a decline in total body weight. Rest assured your hard work in the gym and in the kitchen has not gone to waste. One’s body weight may fluctuate due to the food and water consumed during the course of the day, hormonal balance, stress and more. Thankfully, there are several other methods to elect when recording progress.

Tracking Progress Without the Scale


In a 16-week study at the University of Kentucky, research findings demonstrate weight loss participants who tracked progress through motivational strategies other than the scale, where more inclined to lose weight compared to the controlled group who did not take part in such strategies. Here are a few simple ways to oversee advancements in a nutrition transformation program without the use of a scale.


  • Record your body fat percentage using calipers. This is a simple procedure that can be performed at a local gym by a skilled professional or even a local physician.
  • Use progress photos of yourself to monitor your transformation. Aim for full-length photos of your front and backside. Remain consistent and take snap shots every 3-4 weeks during your program. Research illustrates this is one of the best motivational tools in judging physical improvement. Presumably, day-by-day small subtle changes in the mirror may be overlooked. Taking photos will set progress into perspective and may be a pleasant reminder of just how far you have come.
  • Take measurements. Body measurements are a useful way to document body recomposition. Common body measurements include the chest, arm, leg, waist, neck, calve and hips.
  • Pay attention to the fit of your clothes. Choose a specific garment of clothing such as a pair of jeans of swimsuit. Try it on every few weeks to compare progression over time.

What The Scale Can’t Measure

Conclusively, if the number on the scale has affected your mood and leaves you feeling stressed, it might be an excellent time to ditch the scale and look for alternative approaches to track your goals. Additionally, uncover motivation in beating personal records in the weight room and physical activities. When it is all said and done, weight is simply a number on a scale. The scale does not conclude how many pounds of muscle you have gained or interpret your heightened endurance capabilities. It does not posses the capabilities to measure your devotion to your healthy lifestyle and it can’t measure happiness! Find motivation from within yourself when reaching your goals.

There are many simple ways to record progress as you sore to new heights throughout the course of your fitness journey. Learn to embrace how far you have come. You might be surprised on how a change of perspective can alter the course of one’s journey.


Boutcher, S. H. (2010, November 24). High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/

Nathe, C., & Pratt, K. (2010, June 10). University of Kentucky News. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://uknow.uky.edu/content/self-motivation-aids-weight-loss-success

Stopper, M., MD. (2013, August 26). Weight Scales Don’t Tell The Whole Story – MedicineNet. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.medicinenet.com/weight_scales_dont_tell_the_whole_story/views.htm


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