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Five for Friday: 5 Things the Scale Can't Tell You

Today, mama, I'm going to fill you in on why using the scale as your number one source of accountability might actually make it your # 1 source of frustration.

If you read last Friday’s blog, you know there are other measurement methods that are better at relaying body fat losses.

But, I didn’t tell you why you need other metrics or why exactly the scale might not be your best friend if you are just looking at the number it dictates. Let's look at why that little number might be misleading.

Sodium, dehydration and glycogen

Ever have a night mamas where your kid didn’t want to eat his dinner or dessert so you, while cleaning finished up his mac and cheese and then his dessert? The next day, you stepped on the scale and lo and behold you had gained a few?

It’s not fat, mama! Salt and carbohydrate both cause the body to retain water. Glycogen, the bodies storage form of glucose (aka carbohydrate), when consumed excessively, will attract and cause the body to hold on to water. In fact, for every gram of glycogen, we carry about 2.7 grams of water. This doesn’t mean if you eat a gram of carbs you’ll retain 3 grams of water, but if you over indulge you may see the scale tip upward for a day or two.

And, for every 100mg of sodium, the body holds onto about a cup of water, weighing roughly ½ a pound.

Conversely, if you’ve been hitting the sauce or, mama’s special juice, after a particularly long day, or you’ve just been too busy to drink anything, you might find yourself a pound or two lighter which, will likely show up again tomorrow after you’ve been able to quench your thirst!


Are you anywhere near the start of your menstrual cycle? Well, hormones are a bitch and those nasty little things can make you retain a ton of water which can lead up to 10 lbs. of weight gain around that time of month. If you notice yourself especially bloated near the thighs, waist and bust and you’re cranky as hell, you might want to reassess those thoughts of breaking the scale in half.

Muscle gain

Been hitting the weights for the first time mama? Beginners and those who have taken a break (like pregnancy) are often able to experience something called body recomposition- the simultaneous act of muscle gain and fat loss while under a caloric deficit. Therefore you might be seeing changes that aren’t completely reflected on the scale- it’s not entirely uncommon for your clothes to fit better while scale weight is going up or not changing at all.


Have you ever noticed that when your kiddo poops his/her stomach flattens out considerably?

Well think about it, have you not been able to poop because every time you try to close the door little eyes are peering at you and you get gun shy? A nice solid doody could be

Stress and Sleep

Been up a lot with the baby or, have a toddler that is endlessly testing you. Hormones elevated by stress and lack of sleep can also cause the body to retain or, hold onto water.

So the next time you step on the scale don't forget to ask yourself if the above situations apply. It quite possibly could be that the scale isn't telling the entire truth.

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Be well,


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