5 Reasons the Scale Has Gone Up

You got up this morning and got on the scale. To your dismay, the scale is reading higher than it was yesterday. What the hell? Guess I just have to eat less today, or cut out more of something.

Actually, you don’t..

There are a few reasons that you should consider before you take drastic measures in response to the scale going up.

1. You had a larger than normal meal

Yesterday you saved up all of your calories for the day and went out for a nice dinner. We’ve all done it, but now the scale isn’t being nice. You ate within your calories, the scale shouldn’t go up, right? Well, it’s really hard, nearly impossible to gain pounds of fat mass overnight. This is most likely weight related to the food you ate (holding onto water, high salt, more food in the digestive track, etc)

2. Digestion/Constipation

If you had a large meal last night, then you had a large meal last night, then you probably haven’t gone #2 yet. You still have a large meal sitting in your digestive track, waiting to be put somewhere and the excess thrown away. If you haven’t gone # 2, give it some time. Wait until you have gone to the bathroom to make your decision on whether or not you have gained 5 pounds of fat from one meal (not gunna happen, BTW).

3. Salt Intake

If you had a craving for something salty, or you used more salt than you typically do, you could be holding onto excess water. Once your salt levels go back to “normal” (for you) then the weight will typically come off. This typically happens with many pee breaks J.

4. Holding Water

Going along with the increase in salt intake and hormones making you hold onto water, just drinking more water could be making you hold onto more water. When you start drinking more water, your body is overwhelmed and doesn’t quite know what to do with it, so you pee it all out. Over the course of a week or two, your body adjusts and you pee less (though probably still more frequently than before you increased your water). At this time, you may notice the scale go up a little because your body is filling in all the places that it wants water with it’s new steady source.

5. Muscle gain

If you had a great workout last night, or even two days ago, your feel sore, and tight.. that’s your muscles expanding. Typically, the expansion is the blood flow to the muscle which shoves protein into the muscle to repair. If you take any supplements that contain Creatine, or something similar, the creatine forces more water into the muscle, which makes it expand and in the future, need more blood and protein. While the creatine is doing it’s work, your body is probably holding onto more water.

How to Deal With the Scale Increase:

Continue with your current plan. Do not make any changes to your normal eating/workout schedule at this point

So the scale has increased since yesterday, or a week ago. Don’t freak out. Stick with your current plan. If you had a big meal, or went over your calories/carbs.. don’t worry about it. You’re human. Just get back on track with your next meal. Think big picture. The more that you stick to the plan, the better the outcome.. if you stick to the plan 80% of the time, that’s 80% better than if you let one mess up ruin the entire week…

Maintain normal water and salt intake

Again, don’t go drastically changing things. Get back to your normal salt and water intakes. If you are trying to increase water intake, continue with the increase. Don’t drop back down. Give your body time to adjust.


You get stressed out about things and you do things to distress. Your body gets stressed out too. Being on a diet, or a really tough workout is stress on your body. Be nice to it. Pamper it. Take a bath, crash on the couch and binge watch your fav. Show.. something that isn’t creating more stress for you or your body. Sometimes it needs some “me time” too.


If you continue to notice the scale increasing and you have stayed consistent with all aspects of diet, workouts, stress levels, sleep levels, etc. for about 2 weeks, then it may be time to reassess. It could be that you have reached a level where the calories that you were eating for weight loss are too high because you’ve lost weight (yay! Great job). You should readjust your calories (and macros) to fit your new weight.

Other Considerations:

If you aren’t dieting and you are still noticing an increase in the scale weight then you may need to look at your lifestyle overall. Not just workouts and diet.


Is it that time of the month? Are you getting close to that time? It could be menstrual hormones to blame for the increase in weight. Although you have to remember, it’s most likely water weight and not fat mass. Wait until your menstrual cycle is over and weigh again. See what changes.


Sleep is super important when it comes to.. well, just about everything. If you are sleep deprived you can experience increase in hunger, stress, weight gain, lack of focus, lower calorie burns. All of which can lead to weight gain, or an increase in scale weight.
Try to aim for 7-9 hours of GOOD sleep a night. It doesn’t count if you just lay there and pet the cat all night (I’m soo guilty of this).

Stress levels

If you are going through a stressful time with work, relationships, finances, or anything else, this could be causing you to see an increase on the scale. Stress makes your body do crazy things, like trigger your fight or flight response and release cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone which has been linked to greater belly fat storage.
How do you De-stress:
  • Meditate
  • Take a bath
  • Read a book
  • Try to avoid social media  to prevent you from comparing yourself to others
I hope that some of these ideas have you a little less stressed out and less willing to slash calories and increase cardio after the scale has increased. Give it time and stay consistent and you can see progress.