HOT TAKE: You probably need to gain weight to achieve your IDEAL body…
It is really common to see clients mention in the first few weeks or months of working with a nutrition coach that they’re disappointed when they see the scale go up.
From experience, many clients come to a nutrition coach chronically dieting, eating in a caloric deficit, or undereating for longer than 3-6 months. It is imperative that they reverse diet back up to at LEAST their maintenance calories and spend at least 3-6 months eating enough food to boost their metabolic rate. This will allow them to lose more weight effectively in the future. Your metabolism slows down when you eat lower calories, so as calories increase, your metabolism should increase as well.
Now, the scale could go up for a number of reasons, such as an increase of carbs, which causes the body to hold more water. The weight gain could also be due to an increase in lean muscle or 😱 even fat! And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may be what you need to restore function to your body’s systems so that it can respond how we want it to respond in the future.
Want to get that “toned” look or gain muscle? Well guess what? Gaining muscle takes hard work in the gym and it often takes eating more food than you’re used to. Needs may range from 700-3000+ extra calories per week. Muscle=more mass and the scale will go up. If the body is building more tissue, it needs more energy a.k.a. food.
I honestly wish we could all just throw away the scale sometimes because people get SO caught up and fixated on the number that they don’t even pay attention to other markers that show progress like:
- Progress photos
- Changes in their measurements
- Strength and endurance gains
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- For women, Improved menstrual cycle and PMS symptoms
I understand how seeing the number on the scale go up can seem disappointing when you paid money for someone to help you reach your “weight loss” goals, but fat loss and muscle gain is not a linear progression, and we probably need to get a little out of our comfort zone to achieve what we want.