How the Scale is Lying to You










Don’t trust the scale. You’ve heard it before. But, really, do yourself a favor and don’t listen to its insidious lies. Your scale tells you one thing and one thing only: how much you weigh (at this exact moment, on this planet). It doesn’t recognize and can’t report on things water retention, muscle gain, bloating, or how many carbohydrates you housed the night before.

It also doesn’t know if you’ve started a new workout routine. If you have, it’s very likely your weight will go up for the first few weeks. That means even if you have a fancy schmancy scale that can tell you about bloating and muscle mass, it still won’t tell you not to freak out if your weight goes up when you start working out. (Psst – that’s what I’m here for.)

Look, I get it. For some of us (myself included), the scale can be a mental measure of fitness success. I weigh myself every morning. And it used to be that whenever that number was higher than the number I saw the day before, I would get bummed out. But, then I started to realize that scale weight isn’t real and now I just use it as a measure that things are generally heading in the right direction.

One of the corporate BeachBody team members, Rebecca Swanner noticed that even though she weighed herself every morning,  her weight loss wassn’t linear. Some days she was up a pound. Other days, down two pounds. Here is a look at how Rebecca’s weight fluctuated during her study in September so you can see what I mean. (She didn’t weigh between the 15th and the 19th because she was traveling. That’s why that part is flat.)


Rebecca wanted to lose 10 pounds. She didn’t like how her pants were fitting, so she and a few of her BeachBody co-workers started doing FOCUS T25 and tracking what they ate. She was good about keeping up with the workouts, but not so good about dialing her food down. The numbers on the scale went up and the numbers on the scale went down.

After 30 days, she felt more fit, her pants fit better and she started to see more definition in her stronger arms and legs. Guess how much weight she lost? 0.4 pounds. Not four pounds. Point four pounds. She had spent 30 days working out and watching what she ate (kinda) and I only lost a measly .4 pounds.

Luckily, she did notice real results somewhere else. In her photos and measurements. If you haven’t taken photos and measurements, start. If you’re on Day 5 and forgot, don’t wait to take them until Day 30. Just take them tomorrow morning. And then take them again on Day 30. I take measurements of my waist, the widest part of my waist, my hips, my chest, my biceps, my thigh, my forearm at the widest point, my wrist, and my neck. I use the forearm, wrist, and neck measurements to determine my approximate body fat percentage.

In 30 days, Rebecca lost .75″ on my waist, 1.5″ on her lower waist, and .5″ on my hips. She also lost 1.5 pounds of fat and her body fat percentage dropped from 29% to 27.8%. She realizes that if she had had eaten better, she would have seen even more impressive results.

Check out her pics! She says she hasn’t reached her fitness goal yet, but she definitely looks like she’s dropped more than .4 pounds!