Why Your Body is Changing but the Scale Isn’t


Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you: You’ve been exercising, eating right, doing all the things for your health and you just know you’ve lost weight because your clothes are fitting better and if you can be so bold, YOU look better in the mirror. So you happily hop on the scale and instead of seeing the number dramatically drop, it’s stayed the same.

“Ugh, all my hard work didn’t pay off. Why did I even bother?” you think as you step off the scale in pure defeat.

Is your hand up? I thought so. 

But did you catch something I said above? Your clothes were fitting better and you look better too. Change has happened. So why didn’t the scale budge?

Too often our progress is wrapped up in the number that’s on the scale. I know it’s super encouraging to see the number go down, but it’s not always a good indicator of what’s going on within your body. 

Let me tackle this frustrating dilemma of why your body is changing yet the scale isn’t. 

First of all, it’s because your body’s composition is changing. Your body is turning fat into muscle. This is especially true if you’re regularly exercising. 

Your body’s fat is transforming into muscle, which is good news!

Muscle tissue vs. fat tissue

You may have heard a pound of muscle is heavier than a pound of fat, but it’s not true, in fact, it doesn’t make sense. A pound is a measurement of weight not volume. So they weigh the same amount. 

However, if you were to take equal volumes of muscle and fat, the muscle would weigh more. Muscular tissue takes up less physical space in your body but weighs more.

The reason for this is muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue. So, you could be getting skinnier and more toned but not lose any pounds. Instead, in this situation, your body’s fat tissue is transforming into muscle.

Don’t use the scale as your only measurement

You need to use more than the scale to measure the success of your health and fitness goals. 

Here are four other measurements of success:

1. What you see in the mirror

There’s no shame in looking at yourself in the mirror. And yes, it may be a subjective measurement, but it’s a wonderful feeling to love what you see in the mirror.

2. How your clothes fit

Is there a little more room in your jeans? Or maybe you’re able to get into a pair you haven’t been able to for a while. That’s a huge success!

3.How you feel

When you start to eat right and exercise you’re simply going to feel better. You’ll have more energy, be able to sleep better, and you’ll also experience increased confidence.

4.Your physical strength

I always get excited when I can start using heavier weights while working out. Or when I can add to my push-ups. When your body composition begins to change you’ll notice an increase in strength.

Don’t be discouraged if the number on the scale isn’t changing as fast as you’d like. If your clothes are fitting better, you have more energy, and you’re more confident you are making real progress and should be proud of all the hard work you are putting in. 

Use different measurements to gauge your progress too. Remember, the scale is only a fraction of the whole picture when it comes to your health!


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