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Why You Can’t Always Believe the Number on the Scale

August 05, 2015 1 min read

The number that shows up on your weight scale might not always be an accurate representation of how much you weigh. How does that make any sense?

Let’s explain…


Scale Weight = True Weight + Weight Variance

True Weight:The weight that you would be in a hypothetical, perfect universe.

Weight Variance:A value that adds or subtracts from your weight due to certain factors.


  • Glycogen stores

Your body stores 3 grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate you take in.

  • Water retention/depletion from sodium

You retain more water when you consume more sodium and vice-versa.

  • Cycle bloat.

Women retain more water during their menstrual cycle.


To more accurately interpret your weight, use the number on the scale as a starting point and pair it with other data to create a more appropriate figure.

  • Waist measurements

Waist measurements help determine the direction of fat loss. Measure at the navel, two inches above, and two inches below. Compare measurements weekly and record any decreases, increases or if it stays the same.

 waist measurements

  • Strength Gains

Increasing your strength will likely increase your weight. An increase on the scale could mean you’re just building muscle.

  • Bloat

Bloat determines how much variance will be in your measurement. Pay attention to this when determining if the difference in weight from one week to the next is actually lack of progress or just excess water.

Remember to take all of these into consideration the next time you find yourself freaking out because the scale says that you’ve gained 2 pounds!

Souce: Greatest

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