My weight today was 176.2 LB. That’s a bit of an increase from yesterday.
When you’re doing everything right and the scale goes up, there are a few things you can do:
a. Throw a tantrum in your bathroom then spend the rest of the day overeating and wallowing in self-pity.
b. Nothing. Stay the course.
c. Reduce your caloric intake or increase your exercise frequency, duration and/or intensity.
d. b and c
*All of these options are correct except a.
Some thoughts …
A .2 LB increase on the scale could simply mean I need to make a poopy, something I didn’t do beforehand. Think about the frequency of your bowel movements. Has it been a while since you had one? Make sure you’re consuming 30-35g of fiber per day so you stay regular.
I’m sore from my leg workout yesterday, and that causes fluid retention the following day. Because of that, the scale goes up slightly. Muscle cells hold water and blood to aid in recovery of the damaged tissue. This inflammatory response is an important part of the healing process and it’s what ultimately allows the building of muscles to happen. Stay well hydrated, hit your protein target every day to ensure a positive nitrogen balance, and get adequate sleep to facilitate recovery.
I didn’t struggle much with hunger or fatigue yesterday, and that confirms my body is adjusting well. It’s a good sign, and if I want progress to continue, I’ll need to make minor changes to my plan. Your brain is smart and will eventually get used to your plan, in which case you must pivot strategically.
I have options. I can reduce my calories today, which I’m going to do because they have been the same for several weeks and I don’t want to train more frequently right now. I would rather my nutrition drive fat loss so I don’t have to be in the gym more than I already am.
I will reduce my calories to 1,750 this week in an effort to reach 174.0 LB by next Saturday.
The biggest mistakes I see people making, next to lack of consistency, is they live in the gym (usually on the cardio equipment), they over consume calories, drink too much alcohol and don’t get enough sleep each night. It’s a viscous cycle that leads to a lot of frustration and minimal results. Why do this?
Here’s what you can do instead:
- Strength train 2-4x per week, working your whole body in every workout. Follow a program, don’t just show up to the gym and do random shit. Work smart.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This is your only opportunity for real recovery. Sitting on the couch for hours is not real recovery.
- Reduce or completely eliminate alcohol intake. More on this in a future rant.
- Set your macros (protein, carbs and fat) to where you are in a caloric deficit every day. Continue adjusting down as you lose body fat.
- Go for a brisk 45-60 min. walk every day where you keep your heart rate at or below 125 BPM. Low intensity steady state cardio is easy for everyone.
- If you must do cardio at the gym, follow a plan that allows weekly progress. Random cardio, produces random (or no) results. Monitor time and heart rate.
There are other things to consider when the scale goes up, too.
For a woman, it could be due to her menstrual cycle. In this case, I recommend ramping up self-care, hydration and sleep the week before and during your period.
Consider everything, do what needs to be done, and stay patient.