Weight-loss isn’t straightforward, as those that have lost weight or are trying to will tell you
It is certainly not consistent and regular, which can be frustrating and de-motivating
Good weeks then bad weeks, unexplainable blips…until now
Here are a few reasons you may be losing FAT but the scales tell you differently
Glycogen is the energy (carbohydrate) stored directly INSIDE your muscles and liver…instead of being stored as fat.
You do lots of resistance based exercise and you use it up (deplete it), until it’s replaced by sugar in the blood from the food you consume….when the muscles & liver are full up this is when we see fat storage taking place
So there can be a difference between weighing when depleted and when muscles are FULL…..as much as 500g difference (in an average adult human) between totally depleted and full…not a huge amount I know BUUUUUT ….
When we store glycogen it requires roughly 3 grams of water per gram of glycogen to do so….so deplete glycogen through a low carb diet or heavy exercise period and we lose a load of stored water as well.
So adding up the glycogen and the water stored with it CAN BE AS MUCH AS 2.5kg!!!!
….so that nice big cheat meal you have allowed yourself at the end of the week = glycogen restored plus the water necessary to do it…SCALES GO UP! but not necessarily with FAT gain
This leads us on directly to the next point
Depending on many things you may be dehydrated = less weight or you may be hydrated = more weight.
This can be affected by sodium (salt) intake, how much water you are drinking (remember water retention can be caused by not drinking enough water and therefore hanging onto the stuff you do get….drink more water and the body happily lets you flush it out), the temperature and exercise…both obviously causing you to sweat and therefore lose a little water.
A litre of water weighs 1kg so a fluctuation in the amount of water we have = fluctuation in WEIGHT.
Water retention is also linked to the next topic:
Yes ladies, unfortunately just you women here but your menstrual cycle plays a HUGE part in your weight across the month.
I have seen scales move up 3-5kg during this period for some female clients.
Through both water retention and also erratic eating habits due to the hormonal fluctuations.
Not much you can do here apart from keep track and know your weight will be affected…also know when you may have cravings, and try to have a plan for alternative snacks that are a little healthier, but remember this is just a fluctuation and will return to normal.
Stomach and bladder contents
This is easy, if you have just eaten a meal of a 500g organic steak burger, plus fries and a large coke you are going to be heavier than the point just after before you tucked in to it, and again later when you have emptied your bowels (sorry for the crudeness)
Mornings are usually your lightest time, so be consistent on weighing yourself at this time on an empty stomach
Muscle growth v fat loss
This is an oldie for anyone that has read any of my articles before
If you gain muscle and lose fat the scales won’t change, a fluctuation of sorts though as..
Muscle is more compact than fat, its more dense so if you take 1kg of each, the muscle takes up slightly less room…..but only about 20%..Roughly a fifth less. Not as much as you might have seen floating around the net but a difference still.
Realistic difference Unrealistic difference
This change isn’t going to be a large amount if you are weighing yourself frequently but over time it will certainly have an effect as you will have lost SIZE but maybe not seen as much WEIGHT loss on those pesky scales as expected.
So to get by this we use scales that measure your body fat % and skeletal muscle % and also measure certain parts of your body
However this also links back to point 1…more muscle means more glycogen storage = heavier…but NOT HEAVIER FROM FAT and not BIGGER
It also means increased metabolism through higher muscle mass, so you burn more fat = happy bunny …but you know that from reading here before right!
So remember these are WEIGHT LOSS issues not FAT LOSS issues
If you are patient, ride out the above fluctuations, keep in a calorific deficit by eating a clean diet and monitoring how much of it you are consuming you will lose FAT….
the rest is inconsequential, it won’t affect how you look and will come down just as it went up
myfitnesspro – personal training in Epping, Theydon Bois, Loughton, Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill, Highams Park, Chingford, Woodford, South Woodford, Grange Hill, Woodford Bridge, Wanstead, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Stratford, Bow, Mile End, Victoria Park, Canary Wharf, Canning Town, Docklands, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E8, E9, E10, E11, E14, E15, E17, E18, IG7, IG8, IG9, IG10 and all areas in between.
For fat loss, toning, strength, muscle growth, rehabilitation, nutritional advice and general well-being.