Have you been doing everything right on your health journey, but you feel like the scale isn’t reflecting all of your hard work? Well, the great news is that you are moving forward! The scale certainly isn’t a tell-all sign of progress. It is just one measurement of health...there are many more ways to track success! So, if you have hit a plateau and you’re concerned about the number on the scale, here are five alternative ways to measure weight loss progress without the 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 of increased weight gain or obesity. 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 swapped to more nutritious options. Have you noticed any changes?
Your Clothes Fit Differently
Keep an eye on the way your clothes are fitting you. Have you noticed that they’re fitting differently? You may not be losing pounds, but those inches are dropping as a result of fat loss! This is incredible! In addition to noticing the way your clothes are fitting, measuring fat loss with a measuring tape or calipers is a solid way to track progress. I have also had clients that prefer to take photos of themselves for motivation. In short, it is best to find a method that you are comfortable with and will keep you inspired without placing too much attention on numbers.
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 healthful diet will leave 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 try keeping 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 15 pounds, set a goal to run or walk a mile three times a week. Yes, you will likely lose body fat (and maybe even pounds) in the process. However, making improvements in endurance and building muscle 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. Keep in mind that if you do choose to weigh yourself, to not do so too frequently. I would recommend no more than once a week because not seeing the number on the scale change can lead to frustration and decreased motivation.
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.