10 ways to measure your weight loss progress without the scales...
When it comes to measuring progress and results a lot of people generally tend to get stuck on just way of measuring it. And 9.99 times out of 10 that way of measuring is to use the scales.
Using the scales as your one and only means to measure your progress is setting yourself up for an emotional roller coaster ride of ups and downs! If the scales go down then you're happy if they go up then it's the end of the world... even if it's only 223g difference either way!
Here's the thing and read it till you get it if you're a chronic scale weigher (as in everyday or even twice a day or worse yet, twice in one workout!): scales weigh more than just your body fat. The most significant difference you'll see each day is fluid variations. These fluid variations can be due to hydration levels, what foods you ate (foods high in sodium will tend to increase fluid retention for example), your hormonal levels (women at that time of the month will hold significantly more fluid and therefore weigh more), stress levels, the time of day (you'll weigh more in the evening) your weight can even vary with the amount and type of training you do.
With so much potential for variation and fluctuation, pinning all your hopes that the scales will deliver you with a beautifully linear weigh loss chart is setting yourself up for disappointment.
There are a number of other ways you can measure success without scales (who would've thought!). At those times when the scales don't go the way you want them to go, it's vitally important to be aware of these other markers of success because sometimes we can become short sighted and forget about all the other wonderful progress, we've made despite what the number on the scales says... which may simply be just a fluid variation anyway!
Here's 10 ways to measure success that don't involve jumping on the scales
1. You're getting stronger - Can you lift more weight than you did 2 weeks ago or 2 months ago? If 'yes' is your answer, then congrats it's means you are improving! If you can lift heavier weights, you can build more muscle which means you can burn more calories 24/7!
2. You're getting fitter - Getting through that spin class, boot camp or gym workout with less fatigue? Do you notice your heart rate doesn't go through the roof in the warmup anymore? Is your heart rate dropping faster after sets/workouts? If 'yes' is your answer, then congrats it means you're making progress and getting fitter!
3. Your clothes are getting looser - This is THE BEST indicator of whether or not your dropping body fat. Even if the scales don't move for 2 weeks but your pants are noticeably looser then that means your body fat is melting away! Keep being consistent and the scales will catch up and even if it doesn't don't get caught up on that "ideal number"!
4. You have more energy - Not needing those afternoon siestas as much? Do you have more energy to put into your workouts? If 'yes' then those helpful food choices are making a difference!
5. You're saying 'NO' to unhelpful food choices - Are you making better choices around food? Did you go for the meat and vegetable dish instead of the pasta dish when you went out for dinner? Do you find yourself saying 'no thanks' when offered those biscuits for morning tea? Increasing your awareness about what food goes in your mouth is half the battle. Keep your awareness high and keep making those helpful choices. And remember, there is ALWAYS a choice!
6. Old cravings are gone - Do you find yourself eating less of your usual trigger food(s) or not wanting them at all? If those cravings are going away and being replaced with healthy whole food options instead then congrats your making progress!
7. You're preparing your meals - Are you preparing healthier meals ahead of time where usually you would have found something quick and highly processed? Keep it up! Remember to make things easier for yourself and plan ahead! Cook in bulk to save time and money and reap the rewards!
8. Your skin is clearer - This can be subtle or very noticeable. With all those good food choices you've been making has your skin complexion changed or improved? The outside is a reflection of the inside!
9. You can deal with stress better - Having an outlet for built up stress can do wonders for your health and exercise is the perfect outlet! If you've been participating in regular physical activity and you've noticed you're a calmer person at work and or home, then congrats it means you're making progress!
10. Other people notice your physical changes - Sometimes it can be hard for us to notice the small improvements we make because we see ourselves every day! So, when your friend, work mate or old acquaintance gives you a compliment on how good your looking, don't just brush it off, take it as a win and celebrate that someone other than you is noticing your hard work paying off!
Sometimes the scales can create more stress than they're worth. Especially if you use them as the only way to measure your progress. If you understand what they are measuring (fluid variations mostly on that daily weigh in) then you can free yourself of their potential emotional drain and find other ways to measure and celebrate progress and results.
If you choose to use the scales to monitor your progress and success then I recommend weighing in no more than twice a week, once a week would be ideal. A successful week for fat loss would be 250 - 500g per week. Weigh in on the same day at the same time so as to minimize any potential variations and you'll have a more complete 'fat loss picture' rather than simply watching your fluid fluctuate from day to day!
Do you have any other ways you like to monitor your progress and results? Head over to the Balance Point PT
Facebook page and post how you like measure success!