The scale certainly isn’t a tell-all sign of progress. There are SO many more ways to track success! So, if you've hit a plateau and you’re concerned about the number on the scale, here are five alternative ways to measure progress without a scale.
Your Sleep Quality Has Improved
First of all, you’re sleeping better! Getting a good night’s rest has been linked to more active lifestyles and is crucial for optimal health. Those who sleep poorly are at risk for a variety of health issues. If you have observed an improvement in your sleep quality you can thank your new active lifestyle!
Satisfaction - Your Eating Habits Have Changed
Another way to track your progress is to notice how you feel after a meal. Feeling satisfied after a meal may be due to the nutrient-rich choices you are making. If your plate has fiber, protein, and nutrient-dense foods (fruits and veggies!) you are less likely to feel hungry soon after eating a meal. Take it a step further even and think back to how satisfied you felt before you started listening to your body more. Have you noticed any changes?
You Have More Energy
You’re on your way to better health when you have more energy! The foods you are choosing to consume are more nutritious; therefore, you are fueling your body properly. A balanced diet will have you feeling energized, not exhausted. Eating too many processed foods such as those that are high in sugar can wreak havoc on your energy levels. (Yes, I’m talking about that bowl of sugary cereal that causes a spike in blood sugar and the subsequent crash.) One tip is to keep a journal on your energy levels, workouts, and overall well-being as a method to track your progress. Making lifestyle changes and noticing how you feel is far more important than a few numbers on a scale!
You’re Focusing on Lifestyle Changes
You can be assured that you’re making progress when the small changes that once felt hard now feel easy. Remember the tiny daily habits I talked about in my goal setting post? You set your main goals and plotted out the daily habits to help you reach those goals. Now, you’ve been tackling them and building healthy habits day after day to become a part of your lifestyle. Congratulations! This is huge. You’re well on your way to a healthier you and there is no turning back now!
If you find yourself hyper-focused on the scale, take a look at your goals. Did you set purely weight-based goals? For instance, if you are too focused on weight loss and the number on the scale, try setting goals that are not weight-oriented. Instead of pledging to lose X pounds, set a goal to tune into your body 4-5 times in a week to see what sort of movement (if any) it is seeking. Making improvements in habits, movement and listening to your body are far better indicators of health than how much you weigh.
Bottom Line - Should You Toss Out Your Scale?
The scale does not define you, nor does it give you the whole picture. Let me say it again (and say it out loud with me). THE SCALE DOES NOT DEFINE ME. Whether or not you decide to keep or toss your scale is up to you.
Keeping track of your progress is so important and can help you stay motivated to continue crushing your goals, but don’t forget to celebrate your wins! Above all, your worth has nothing to do with the number on the scale.
If you enjoyed this article be sure and hit the share button. My goal is to be the last dietitian you ever need. I personally love food and firmly believe you don't have to give up what you love to reach your goals. My services are virtual so no matter where you are, we can find a way to help you have your cake and eat it too! Click here to inquire.