You are a couple of weeks into your 'eating better and working out' resolution and you feel like you are winning in life! You dropped a whooping 2 kilos in the first week and have continued to drop about half a kilo (and sometimes even more) every week.

Scenario 1: You step on the scale and this week you’ve only lost a tenth of a kilo!

Scenario 2: You step on the scale and there’s been zero change!!

Scenario 3: You step on the scale and you’ve gained a kilo!!!

Either way your spirit is crushed! You've been making better food choices, watching those macros, staying hydrated and even working out so why would the scale say different? This is perfectly normal and here's why...

  1. Water weight- You gain fluid everyday from the food you eat and when your body metabolizes nutrients. You also lose fluid everyday from breathing, sweating, evaporation from skin and waste. The result? Your body weight can fluctuate by up to 2.5 kilos a day.

  2. Type of food- Carbs encourage your body to hold on to water. The more carbs you eat, the more water you retain and the higher the number on the scale even though you might NOT have gained any fat. This is the reason you shed weight rapidly during the first few weeks of being on a 'low carb' diet because a reduction in carbs and an increase in protein and fats causes your body to lose excess water weight naturally.

  3. Muscle- Whereas a kilo of fat weighs the same as a kilo of muscle, the volume of muscle is denser than the volume of fat, and therefore heavier. If you've started to put on some muscle your scale weight may increase.

While weighing yourself can be one way to track your progress, it shouldn't be the only way and it certainly isn't worth obsessing over with daily weigh-ins. The long term trend is what matters even when you don’t lose the same or even weigh more on some weeks. Only after your progress flatlines for a couple of weeks should you consider tweaking your routine. Once this happens, try dropping the calories or increasing your workout intensity to create a calorie deficit to break through the plateau.

Eat better. Live better.