Ever step on the scale and have a hard time believing its accuracy? Now, I’m not talking about delusion or denial, but more about the fact that you honestly can’t pinpoint why the scale is reading a three pound increase in your weight. It happens—it happens to all of us, and it can be very confusing, let alone frustrating. Believe it or not, there are reasons that the scale may be telling a “white lie” to you … not intentionally of course, but many things factor into your weight, besides your caloric intake. Here is a look at a few magical, or for that matter, deceptive reasons that the number on your scale can be misleading:
1. Salt Overload and Water Retention
Eating salty foods causes your body to 1) crave liquids and 2) retain water. This water retention can add up to numerous pounds over the course of a couple of days.
2. You Haven’t Pooped
In all seriousness, if you are constipated or haven’t pooped in a day or more, the weight adds up. Although this may vary by person, you should aim to go at least one time a day, although it is ideal to go once per meal (three times a day). Eat lots of fiber to keep things moving.
3. PMS/Menstrual Cycle
For all of those women out there, PMS can cause your body to retain sodium and water (Kathy Egan, R.D.). To avoid this, eat potassium-rich vegetables and fruit(E.g., asparagus, bananas, strawberries and melon). Potassium can help balance sodium levels in your bloodstream and allows your system to flush out excess fluid, reducing bloat.
4. Delayed Reaction
Weight gain is not attributed to the weight of your food, it is attributed to the calories you consume. So, if a couple of days ago you had a bit extra, you might see a slight delay on the scale. The calories have to be digested and absorbed to actually gain the weight. Depending on the type of food you ate, it could take more or less time to finally show up on the scale.
5. Different Time of Day
If you normally weigh yourself in the morning and then randomly you weigh yourself at night, you’ll probably see a different weight on the scale. This is often attributed to the liquids and food you consumed throughout the course of the day that hasn’t been expelled by the digestive tract (urine and/or bowel movement).
6. Unbalanced Scale
Every once in awhile, a scale can become “unbalanced.” Make sure it is on a level surface and registers zero prior to weighing yourself.
Have you had any other reasons you think your scale was fibbing? Do tell!