Why did the number on the scale go up this week? Here's why.

At some point early when you start trying to lose weight, it’s highly likely that you’ll step on the scale one day and see that your weight is up. When this happens, people panic, get angry, get frustrated, or sometimes, give up. (It's heading toward late January, so a lot of people are hitting this point now or will be soon). The thing is, it’s absolutely normal to see your weight go down one day and up the next.

Nobody has a definite weight; we all have a weight range. We don’t always know this until we start trying to lose weight, but your weight will always fluctuate up and down across some range. Your starting weight was really only your starting weight at the moment when you weighed in; an hour later, you would’ve probably seen a different number on the scale.

Some of the most common factors that influence your weight range include:

1. Hydration
2. Sodium
3. Sleep
4. TOM
5. The weight of food processing through your system
6. Exercise (new/increased exercise can cause water retention, which can show up as a gain or stall on the scale)
7. Time of day of your weigh-in

If you’re seeing a bump up on the scale, the first thing to do is to be patient. If you’ve been trying to lose weight for less than 4 weeks or so, just ride it out and give your body time to adjust. (It might also be a good time to double-check your logging accuracy and see if something needs to be tightened up, but that’s not always necessary if what you’re seeing really is just a blip on the graph). If anything on the above list is different from your last weigh-in, just ride it out and give your body time to adjust.

If you’re doing daily weigh-ins, realize that you will almost never see the same number on the scale, so you need to be okay seeing that variability on a daily basis. If you’re doing weekly weigh-ins, you may just have caught yourself on a high day, so don’t freak out there either. As long as the overall trend line is going down, you’re losing weight. Just trust yourself and keep going.


  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
    Good thread.
  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
    Needs more bumps.
  • orangegato
    orangegato Posts: 6,525 Member
    AliceDark wrote: »
    And if it goes up tomorrow it's totally worth it because I crumbled a serving of Do-Si-Dos on 1.625 servings of Blue Bell No Sugar Added Homemade Vanilla and STILL have a calorie deficit.
    I’m up 1.2 pounds since yesterday morning because yesterday I ran a 5k and then took the dog for a long walk (running always and forever causes a little bump on the scale for me), then had Thai food for dinner (a higher-sodium meal). I still hit my calorie goal for the day, and I knew that 1.2 pound bump was coming. Actually, I thought it would be more than that. It’ll be gone by Tuesday morning.

    I’m wondering why running causes a bump up on the scale?
  • ZRunner5Lulaica
    ZRunner5Lulaica Posts: 168 Member
    I know exactly why my loss slowed. I work a pretty active job and having two days that I was out due to weather really impacts my goals. One of those days was not good for doing more than my indoor workouts (sleet, icy running routes, and I'm really not prepared for running in temperatures well below freezing). And when I'm not chasing babies, I get bored and that leads to snacking.

    But I'm noticing that my clothes are fitting better and I was still down half a pound. And having the short push through prepared me a little for the oncoming cold morning runs I'm starting.
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    Great post. bump.
  • AliceDark
    AliceDark Posts: 3,888 Member
    angelb1983 wrote: »
    exactly!! It has taken me 4 weeks of consistent exercise and my weight is FINALLY starting to slowly go down. You can't use the scale for motivation because its not always a good indicator of success.
    Aww, heck yeah! I'm excited for you :smiley:

  • stepladder49
    stepladder49 Posts: 37 Member
    ah - really needed this! BUMP BUMP BUMP :)