Scales are liars.

By Blake Bakkila
March 29, 2018

If you've been eating right and working out regularly, you'd expect to drop pounds, not gain them. But that's exactly what happened to one social media user—and her story is a good example of why you should never link your self-esteem to what the scale says.

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In an Instagram post shared on Tuesday, user @bananas.gets.fit provided a side-by-side photo showing what she looked like before starting fitness influencer Anna Victoria’s Fit Body Guide method, and then how she looked after following the plan.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of posts talking about how you guys are down and out about what the scale says,” she wrote. “So after some digging I found the photo on the left, that’s me at the very beginning of my fitness journey a little over 2 years ago. I was super depressed and coping by eating my emotions.”

At the start of the program, @bananas.gets.fit said she weighed 150 pounds—but now weighs in at 175 pounds. The weight gain isn't a bad thing, she continued.

“Fast forward to 2 years of @annavictoria programs and I’m 25 pounds heavier, fitter, and wear a size 6 versus a 14 (for those that care),” she wrote. “The purpose of this post is to show you what the scale says does not matter, take your measurements, take progress photos and stay consistent. Is my body perfect, absolutely not (I love me some chips and salsa and Starbucks) but I love it and in the end that’s what matters.”

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Program creator Victoria was thrilled to see the before and after, and she reposted it on her page with the caption, “READ THIS THEN THROW YOUR SCALE AWAY‼️ @bananas.gets.fit went from a size 14 to a size 6, but the scale didn’t reflect that in the way you’d think...why? Because the scale is a LIAR.”

Victoria, who has already said that she doesn’t weigh herself, is certainly onto something. The number on the scale is helpful, but it doesn't tell the whole story. For starters, it doesn't reflect your body fat percentage, which is more indicative of your overall health. And the number can be higher if you've been working out a lot, since muscle weighs more than fat.

So while it's good to gauge your weight-loss progress by stepping on a scale, don't let it be the only the only measurement you use. As @bananas.gets.fit realized, dropping a couple of dress sizes tells you in no uncertain terms that your body is leaner, and a body-fat percentage reading can let you know if you're in a healthier range as well.