Beyond The Scales: What To Know When Your Weight Won’t Budge

Weight Loss Stalls Scales


Have you ever stepped on the scales only to find that the number didn't change - or worse, it went up? Bummer. But, don't worry, you're not alone! 

Let's take a reality check and remind ourselves that the number on the scales is not the only marker of progress on your weight loss surgery journey. In fact, there are a bunch of factors outside of actual fat loss (or gain) that can influence weight change. Let's take a look at a few:


One of the biggest culprits is water retention. Did you have a wild weekend and indulge in some salty snacks? Or maybe you didn't hydrate enough? Either way, these things can lead to temporary water weight gain that will eventually go away. Phew!

To shift water weight, up your water intake to help flush out excess sodium and fluids, limit your salt intake and get sweaty by increasing your physical activity.


Are you hitting the gym and lifting weights? Congrats, you're probably building some lean muscle! Muscle is more dense than fat, so it's possible to lose fat and gain muscle without seeing a change on the scale. But you'll definitely notice a difference in how your clothes fit!

We can think of muscle as a fat-burning machine because it requires energy (in the form of calories) to maintain, which means that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn - even at rest - ultimately helping to reduce body fat! Yay.


Are you consistently weighing yourself in the mornings, fully nude, after emptying your bladder and *cough? The reason why it's important to weigh yourself under consistent conditions is to minimise the number of variables that can affect the number on the scales. 

Be consistent with the time of day, clothing worn (or not worn), the presence or absence of food or water in your system, and any other factors like exercising recently, being sick or if it’s that time of the month. 

By keeping these factors consistent, you can ensure that any changes are indeed changes to your body composition, rather than outside factors.

Ready to stop obsessing over the number on the scales, or hang them up for good?

There are a heap of ways to measure progress beyond just the number on the scales. That's where non-scale victories come in!

Non-scale victories, or NSV for short, are any positive changes or accomplishments that don't involve weight loss but still contribute to your overall health and happiness. Check out this awesome list of NSV that our customers have shared with us recently: 

  • Shopping without fear
  • Fitting into sports uniforms
  • Flying without a belt extender
  • Buying clothes in ‘straight’ sizes
  • Being able to run
  • RSI disappeared in arm
  • Hiking and actually enjoying it
  • Trying Pilates
  • Wearing beautiful dresses
  • Putting on shoes easily
  • Being able to wrap a normal size towel around yourself
  • Keeping up with the kids
  • Fitting pre-pregnancy clothes
  • Just feeling happier!
  • Feeling more attractive
  • Going horse riding
  • Confidence at the beach
  • Having a baby after several miscarriages
  • Getting back into sports
  • Feeling confident enough to tuck a shirt in
  • Going to a water park with my kids
  • Bending over to pick things up
  • Ending lower back pain
  • Valuing myself again!

NSV can be anything that makes you feel great about your weight loss. They are personal to you and can vary from person to person.

By focusing on NSV, you can stay motivated and inspired on your weight loss journey, even if the scale doesn't always show the progress you want. Celebrating these little victories along the way can help you maintain a positive attitude and stay committed to your goals. 

So don't just rely on the scale for progress - take time to recognise and celebrate all the amazing changes you're making in your life!

Do this Non-scale victory check today: 


Are you waking up with more energy and feeling less fatigued throughout the day? That's a great sign that your health is improving. 


Are you able to take the stairs without becoming breathless, play with the kids longer or make it the whole way through an F45 session? That's massive progress right there!


If you feel like you've lost weight, but the scales aren't reflecting it, do a clothes test. Slip into something from the ‘skinny’ side of your wardrobe and see if that pair of jeans you bought back in 2014 fit yet. 

So, let's not base our self-esteem, potential for future progress, commitment and motivation all on one single number. 

Remember, progress comes in many forms, and sometimes the scales just don't tell the whole story. 

Keep pushing yourself, stay consistent, and don't give up - you got this!

Emma x

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