Why the weighing scale is showing a higher number despite your workouts

You are doing great! You are eating healthy and you have cut down on a lot of calories, you never skip a workout and you really feel like you’re losing a lot of fat! Until, you step on the scales and it suddenly shows that you have made no progress. Or even worse, it gives a higher number than last time. What?! How is that possible? There are various reasons why your scale indicates a higher number, despite all the effort you put into your Fit journey. Read about these reasons below!

You are weighing yourself after a workout

If you have just exercised at the gym, it’s possible that you’d immediately like to see the result on the scale of all the calories you burned. But, there is a big chance that you come home and see a number other than what you anticipated. No panic! This does not mean that you didn’t burn any fat at the gym. It may be because of two reasons why your scale is showing a higher number after a workout. First, it may be your water weight. Water accounts for about 65-90% of your weight. After a workout you can really ‘lose weight’ because you are losing plenty of water by sweating. However, it is also possible that you ‘gain weight’ because your body retains water during a workout in order to remain well hydrated. On the weighing scale you of course don’t see this water weight, you just see a higher number. Also, it may be that you are weighing more due to muscle damage. As you probably know, (strength) training can cause the creation of small tears in your muscles. To repair these tears, your body brings a lot of moisture to the areas that are damaged. White blood cells are also working hard to restore your muscles so that they can become stronger (and larger). All this moisture contributes to the number that you see on the scale. So, no need to panic, your body is working hard to get fit!

You quickly build muscle mass

Another reason that you see no progress or are weighing more compared to the last time you weighed yourself is because you have gained more muscle. If you are gaining muscle faster than you are losing fat, then you will see this directly on the scale. This is not because muscles are heavier than fat. It’s all about the volume; one kilogram of fat is bigger than a kilogram of muscle, yet, they weigh the same. (It’s like comparing a kilogram of feathers with one kilogram of lead.) However, this is something that you are more likely to see in a couple of weeks or months, rather than from one day to the next. For instance, don’t get too frustrated when you start strength training and your thighs are unexpectedly getting bigger. You wanted to get rid of inches didn’t you, not necessarily weight! It may be that the muscles of your thighs are growing, but you’re loosing little or no fat. The range of weight loss (and growing in muscle mass) is something you have to have patience with.

You’re eating too much after a workout

Sure, you need fuel to do a workout. But, if you’re trying to lose weight, it is also important to consider the size of your portions and your calorie intake. During a workout ghrelin is created, which is a hormone that induces your appetite. It is likely that you are unconsciously eating much more after a workout than you usually would, you’re hungry and want to reward yourself for all the work you’ve just done. This however can mean that you are (unknowingly) consuming more calories than you need for you to lose weight. And this you will eventually see when stepping on the scale. 

You are too stressed

Do you work long days at the office or at school, do you get little to no sleep, are you worried about that fight you had with your sister or do you smoke and drink every day? It may be that the lack of weight loss is directly related to your stress levels. Stress is very bad for your body and can greatly sabotage your efforts at losing weight. In times of stress your body develops cortisol, a hormone that causes your body to store fat faster. Especially when you are an emotional eater, you eat less healthy and varied foods as well as being weak for those greasy snacks, you are more likely to gain weight than lose it.

So you see, the number on the scale does not always indicate whether or not you are making progress! There are a lot of factors that affect that number. A weighing scale can be a good guide to track your weight, but, make sure not to let it effect you too much and consider all the factors mentioned above. It is all about how comfortable you are in your own skin and that you feel fitter and healthier! Whether it’s with or without that one kilo.

Are you too focused and becoming obsessed with the number being shown on the scale? Then get rid of the damn thing! There are a lot of other ways you can track your progress without getting obsessed with weighing yourself >

Get in balance with your partner

Don’t we all know that one person that can eat E V E R Y T H I N G  without gaining weight? While you just look at some chocolate and already feel like you’ve gained weight? Yup. I have that one person in my life and like that isn’t enough already… it’s my boyfriend and we live together. He wants to gain weight and I want to lose some. Quite the challenge! In the past months we’ve finally found a healthy balance and we went from being each others irritation to motivation!


When we just met, I was insecure and felt like I needed to lose a lot of weight. But I wasn’t overweight; I had a normal figure with curves, but insecurity took over my common sense. My boyfriend was too thin, and this was so problematic it held him back in his education and pursuing his dreams. Both unhappy and out of balance, things had to change for the both of us. And so we decided to take on our problems individually. 


I soon found a way in my fit lifestyle, but every time we were together and he ate a lot, I did the same. And when he was with me and I was eating healthy, he would get out of balance. We both had such a different diet that eating together was barely doable. There had to be another way instead of making two different dinners?


After a lot of irritation and failed attempts, I all of sudden realized it wasn’t that difficult at all. For example, if I baked banana pancakes, I ate mine with low fat quark and he would eat his with Nutella and chocolate sprinkles. Minor detail, but it helped to eat together again. Soon we would apply it to everything: he would eat pasta and I would make zucchini noodles. I’d have a bowl of Greek yogurt and he has a bowl of full quark. Suddenly we had found the balance! 


I always make sure that he eats more than be but also of the right stuff and he lets me know when I’m making unhealthy decisions. Like digging in the freezer for some ice cream. We motivate each other to go to the gym and we regularly go together. We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way. Of course, there are days I’m not being healthy at all and finish a whole bag of chips, but when I do so, I do it with him. And at that moment, there is nothing else I’d like to do. 

Do you recognize this, Fit Girls? And how are you dealing with these kind of moments? Let me know about your tips! Would love to read them below.