Scales Lie!

OK, we all know scales tell you what you weigh, but sometimes the number isn’t reflective of the work you are putting in to maintain your health: eating right, exercising, etc.

Simply Determined and I were talking this week about the unpredictability of weight loss, and I mentioned my weird week and a half of weight loss.

Well, April 15 through the 26th were truly bizarre weeks for me.  I burned up almost 3 pounds (by NutritionData numbers), yet the scale said I lost only .9 pounds.  It gets even weirder.  My weight fluctuated for that first week as follows: +.4, +.5, +1.8, +.8, -2.2, +.2, -2.4.  The weirdness continued into the end of last week: +1.8, -.7, +.2, -2.0.  Now, I was wondering what was going on?

My hypothesis is that chia seeds were affecting the numbers.  I had run out of flaxseeds the previous week, so I started using a tablespoon of chia seeds, instead.  Chia seeds turn into a gel in the stomach, swelling to a much larger size.  They also add double the fiber of flaxseeds.  I was close to or exceeded 40g of fiber per day on most days.  The chia seeds, I believe, were holding a lot of water in my system for longer than normal.

I bought some more flaxseeds, so I started eating a tablespoon of those again this past weekend.  I can’t be sure the chia seeds were causing the fluctuations (I’m assuming by holding the water), but from Monday on, my numbers have once again been steadily declining.

All this time, I was eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and running/walking 30 to 40+ miles per week.  Therefore, the scale lied to me.  I knew it, and from closely tracking what I’m eating, how much and what kind of exercise I’m doing, how much water I’m drinking, and what I weigh, I’ve noticed that these things happen when holding onto water.  I wasn’t worried, but I must admit it was frustrating, especially since my doctor’s appointment was Monday.  I had hoped to weigh a few pounds less.  Oh, well!

Predicting weight loss is like predicting the weather.  There are so many variables that it’s impossible to predict how much you will lose consistently.  If you live a healthy lifestyle, you will be much more likely to attain the weight you want to be.

Just remember, scales don’t tell the whole story, so try not to stress out about the  numbers.  In fact, stress might make you gain weight or keep you from losing it.


  1. Lynn Obermoeller says:

    Interesting about the flaxseed and chia seed. What is a chia seed? Scales do lie. Here’s something interesting I’ve noticed and it’s probably not appropriate to “talk” about – but why is it after a bowel movement, one ends up weighing more?