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You should despise your bathroom scale.

Your bathroom scale holds so much power over you.

Its not called the “lonely step” for nothing.

Every time you weigh yourself, you wait for those digital numbers to show you your current progress.

You tap your toe on the middle of the scale and wait for the scale to “wake up” and show you those “double zeroes”.

You climb atop the scale with both feet, cautiously attempting to stand perfectly still without shifting your weight left or right.

You close your eyes, cross your fingers, and wince, pleading for a number which will satisfy you.

You’ve been good, after all. You haven’t missed a workout, you’ve been rather hungry, and you’ve tried to emphasize protein and veggies.

You should be rewarded. Right?

You’ve been good to your body. If the scale returns the favor and shows you a respectable number, your day will be a success. You’ll be happy, you’ll be energized, you’ll be in a good mood, and you’ll gladly eat your whole foods lunch and hit up the gym after work.

But if it doesn’t?

Then what?

How many diets have been derailed when a sub-par scale reading puts someone in a bad mood?

What are we training and eating right for, if we are not going to be rewarded?

What if there was a better way to gauge progress?

What if I told you that when the numbers DON’T read like you want them to, there’s an EXCELLENT chance you are still losing fat quickly and effectively.

What if your scale was the biggest problem standing in between you and your goals?

The scale does one thing, exactly: It measures your gravitational pull on the earth for one instant in time.

The scale doesn’t measure fat loss effectively at all.

6 items the scale doesn’t pick up:

Muscular gain
This is especially important when a beginner is lifting weights. Lean body mass (muscle) is more dense than fat, meaning a small amount of it will weigh more than fat does.

Water retention.
Water retention can be due to many factors. Food selections, hydration levels, menstrual cycles, carbohydrate consumption, sedentary situations such as travel, etc

Each gram of carbohydrates eaten adds 4 grams of water to your bodyweight. It takes time for this water to pass through you. If you eat your daily maintenance in just carbs for one day, you will not gain fat. You will gain scale weight which will take a few days to settle back down.

Bowel contents.
Getting adequate fiber – or supplementing your intake – can help reduce this number, but we all have fecal matter inside of us. The difference pre-bowel movement and post-bowel movement can be substantial.

Stomach content.
The digestive process takes time. If you normally eat dinner at 5 pm, and instead you decide to have a late dinner at 8 pm, this will affect your weight in the morning.
When dieting, you naturally have less stomach content than you do during maintenance/bulking situations.

Cellular glycogen.

Your body holds onto sugar at the cellular level. When you deplete your body of its fuel, it will tap into this stored glycogen to give you energy. When you are in a calorie deficit, you will weigh less as a result of having less glycogen in your cells.

Hormonal fluctuations.
Natural cycles, most often seen in women during their menstrual cycles, can wreak havoc on the scale.

This can also be seen in males during times of duress and/or stress. Changes in job responsibility, tense situations at home, lack of sleep due to young children, etc. can elevate cortisol levels, which in turn, can effect your scale weight.


All these reasons above highlight the exact reasons why in my Gym, all my team are trained up on tape measurements and body fat calliper testing.

To me its the best way to examine the progress every 4 weeks of my clients so I can move them forward in terms of nutrition and training.

So, next time you feel the need to hop on your scales, trust in the fact that their are massive reasons why it may be wrong and you are heading in the right direction to drop a few clothes sizes and look strong and lean.


Brian Roache.



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