Tuesday, August 19, 2008
S.O.S: Why the Scale Lies
Has the Scale ever lied to you? Ever felt like you were doing everything right but the scale didn't reflect your hard work?
I have had several experiences when I knew my scale must have been lying to me! I have been working out really consistently since March. In the beginning the scale did not move one bit but I stayed motivated and tried to ignore the scale. I decided to do some research and see why my scale did not reflect all the hours I spent in the gym. I found this great article by certified Personal Trainer, Renee Chole that really breaks down all the factors of the scale. I have highlighted some of the really important parts here.
To all my S.O.S. Fitness Challenge participants stay motivated and don't let that scale distract you! If you are eating right and exercising the weight will eventually come off. Don't forget to share this information with your sisters, friends, co-workers. We have to support and motivate each other.
1. Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body’s water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don’t understand what’s happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it’s water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.
2. Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content.
3. Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level.
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Ever had any bad experiences with the scale? Share your story