The most common cause of discouragement on any weight loss programme is lack of weight loss on the scales. And most people will have a week where this is the case and they don’t lose weight.
A person who is successfully losing fat every day will begin to shrink in size. As fat is burned, the body must get rid of the waste products (mostly water) through the kidneys. This waste fluid can sometimes be retained for a time artificially raising the number on the scales. Unless you are aware of what is happening, you can lose your motivation and quit your weight loss plan.
Inside your bodies you have stored fat, protein, water, salt, bone, brain tissue and waste products. And every day you put in a certain amount of water and get rid of a certain amount of fluid. When you burn fat, this fat is changed to water and waste products, and these by-products are then eliminated. If you exercise, healthy muscle tissue is built up so the weight on the scales is a good weight.
All of these items in your body affect what you weigh, depending on how much of each is present at the moment you step on a scale. Water retention from medications, excess salt intake, hormones, or menstrual cycle changes can force the net weight upward, even though you are losing fat during this time. Bowel irregularity can produce a temporary increase in net weight of up to 3 lbs or close on 1.5kg. A full bladder can add an extra pound or so. The weight from muscle tissue growth can add pounds too.
So when you step on a scale, you are basically given a number and if the number is less than before, you have lost “weight” on the scale. You can usually believe this indicator of progress, but you can’t believe it if you have followed your programme to the letter and the scale doesn’t show it.
Please don’t fall into the “scale-watcher” trap. If you only look at the weight on the scale, you will likely base your motivation on that. Think more about body composition changes than about scale weight. Look at the way your clothes fit – are they looser? Are you able to get into things that had gotten too small for you before you started your weight loss program? If so, you have lost fat, and this is the name of the game: fat loss instead of weight loss. The scales typically will lag from one to four weeks behind the changes in size, so don’t lose your motivation for the wrong reasons.
You have to work at losing weight but success comes to those who commit.
Don’t give up.
You can do it!