I have been working out for two weeks now. I have not been eating a lot. I have gained a pound, and I don’t understand why. I started out at 216 lbs. and when I got on the scale last night I was actually 217.8 lbs. I am trying really hard and need some advice. 

– Monica R.


Bravo at how much effort you are putting in! The scale is a guide but the true marker of how your body’s responding to curbing calories while increasing exercise is how your clothes are fitting. Scale weight can fluctuate with hydration status, time of day and changes in clothing. For the most accurate and consistent result when weighing yourself use the same scale dressed in lightest clothing possible at the same time of day each time, and never post-exercise. A digital scale is more accurate than a dial-type scale. A manual balance (physician’s beam) scale is the kind most often found in our sports clubs’ locker rooms as it stands up to heavy use – this type is very precise if it’s calibrated regularly. 


Accuracy and consistency of weights provided by home bathroom scales.  M. Yorkin, et al. BMC Public Health 2013, vol. 13, article 1194. 

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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