Q&A Tuesday:
5 Ways to Get the Scale Moving Again

Welcome back to our “Q&A Tuesday” series, where each week we take a question that we get asked all the time and share our expertise.  In case you missed it, last week we covered, “How to CRUSH Your Nutrition While Traveling” In case you missed it, you can catch it HERE.

This week, we are taking on an ongoing popular topic, weight loss.  It can be super frustrating when you’re working hard in the gym, making better food choices and the scale just….isn’t….moving.  Sound familiar at all?

5 ways to get the scale moving again

Oftentime, clients ask us if they should exercise more – increase their workout days or do more cardio.  While sometimes the answer is a simple, “yes”, oftentimes there are other factors that can be prioritized before logging more workout hours.

Inspired by Jen Comas of Girls Gone Strong on just this topic, here is our list of 5 things to consider when the scale isn’t moving:


1) Consistency

The first question to ask yourself when the scale isn’t moving is how consistent are you being with your workouts and nutrition?  Are you sporadic with exercise?  Are you either on or off with your nutrition?

To lose weight, you certainly don’t need to be in the gym five days a week or tuned into your nutrition 100% of the time, but you do need to be consistent with your efforts.  

Sure workouts can fluctuate from week to week, give or take a session, but if some weeks you’re working out 1x/wk and others 3x/wk, it may be time to dial in your level of consistency a bit more.

5 ways scale moving again

In terms of nutrition, striving for 100% healthy choices all the time isn’t realistic nor is it fun.  Striving to never have a brownie again? Zero fun. Staying away from your friends due to fear of nachos and beer?  Zero fun. Obviously you can’t have fun all the time and expect weight loss, but there can certainly be a balance.

Striving for an 80/20 balance is a great goal when it comes to nutrition.  80% of the time, making optimal nutrition choices and 20% of the time, indulging a bit and having fun.  If 80/20 seems too loose for you, you can always start with 90/10 and see how that works.

The key here is consistency.  Eating optimally one day is awesome, but not being able to string a bunch of those days together or the majority of your meals is a common area that can have a huge impact on weight loss.

2) Weekend Eating

Weekends account for roughly ⅓ of the month.  Crazy when you put it into perspective, right?  While weekend eating ties into the above consistency, it’s also a specific area that often gets overlooked.  

If you’re one of those people who eats really well during the week but anything goes during the weekend, that means about ⅓ of your month is comprised of less than stellar nutrition choices.  That’s a lot of days, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

how to get the scale moving again

It is certainly tough to stay dialed into nutrition on the weekends, especially when it’s the perfect time to unwind, get together with friends, shut your brain off, enjoy your downtime and have a little fun.  Nachos and beer anyone? 🙂

However, if you’re struggling to get the scale moving again, take a look at what’s going on during the weekends. Perhaps instead of throwing it all away come Friday night, you can splurge on one meal each weekend day. Pancake breakfast or pizza dinner?


3) Dietary Fat

Dietary fat is another often overlooked variable when it comes to fat loss.  While good fats are good and significant to weight loss, too much fat (either good or bad) can hugely impact the scale in a negative way.

Fat can add up quickly because it tastes good, plain and simple.  It’s also very dense, calorie-wise – 9 calories for every 1 gram of fat compared to the 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates.  

how to get the scale moving again 5 ways

If you’re struggling to get the scale moving again, try taking a look at your overall fat consumption.  Keep a food log for a few days and add up your fat totals for the day. You may be surprised to find yourself eating a high amount of fat, much more than your body needs, sending those calories into excess storage.

4) Alcohol

Aside from empty calories, alcohol can have a negative impact on weight loss in other less obvious ways.  One less obvious way that alcohol can increase your waistline is it can disrupt your digestion, which can increase insulin resistance, making it tougher to lose weight.  Alcohol can also negatively impact sleep quality which is one of the biggest lesser known variables when it comes to weight loss.

And of course there are more obvious effects that alcohol has on the body such as decreased proper judgement (hello entire pizza or handful of cookies!), excess calories, nutrient and hormone disruption and over a longer period of time with more heavy use, vital organ breakdown.

5 ways to see the scale move again

We’re not here to tell you NOT to drink, heck – I couldn’t picture going out for mexican food without a salted margarita on the rocks!  We are here to tell you that alcohol, even in moderation, can have a negative impact on your weight loss journey.

If you’re struggling to get the scale moving again, take a look at your alcohol consumption.  If you generally have a 1-2 drinks most nights, try cutting that down to 1 drink every other night.  See what that does for your weight loss stall.

Some bodies are more sensitive to alcohol intake and you’ll find that even a few drinks per week can negatively impact your loss.  Whereas other bodies can tolerate a few more drinks.

Bottom line: weight loss comes with sacrifice and for most people, alcohol is one area that many will find that they need to say “no” to more often in order to say “yes” to the scale and measurements going down.


5) Resistance Training

Last but not least, if you’re having trouble with the scale moving in a downward trend, look over your exercise routine. Are you doing any resistance training (weight lifting) at all or mostly just body weight movements and/or cardio?

weight loss and 5 ways to get the scale moving again

We talk about it A LOT, but weight training is awesome for soooo many reasons.  Cutting to the chase, lifting weights increases muscle. The more muscle your body has, the more body fat it burns at rest.  The more body fat it burns at rest, the leaner and more defined you will be.

So if you’re lack resistance training in your program and you’re actively trying to lose weight or further define your body, add some into your workouts.  You can do so by adding in weight training to cardio days or you can separate your weight training and cardio days.

Do you have more questions about how to get the scale moving again? If so, drop us a line and let us know! And make sure to tune in next week as we will be answering our next question…

Written by Sophie DeHenzel
5 Ways to Get the Scale Moving Again

Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Bigstock (TeroVesalainen), Bigstock (Ivelin Radkov), Bigstock (Dean Drobot), Bigstock (Rawpixel.com), Bigstock (beer5020), Bigstock (shutter2u)

nutrition coaching for women sophie dehenzel copy

Hi, I’m Sophie. I’m Co-Owner of DeHenzel Training Systems, Precision Nutrition Level 2 ProCoach, Certified Personal Trainer and Pre/Post Natal Specialist. I’m also a wife, mom, tennis beginner and ice cream lover.

Most importantly, I love helping people just like you gain control of their health for good. If you’re tired, frustrated and still struggling to rein in your diet and get moving, check out our nutrition and personal training services and take the first step today.

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  We also offer Virtual Personal Training – train anywhere, any time!

Within Northern Virginia, we service Arlington, Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Gainesville, Great Falls, Haymarket, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge. Don’t see your city listed? Contact us today to find out if we service your area!

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