If the scale has you singing the blues, don’t fret. The scale is only ONE way to measure weight loss.
Let me share a couple of recent “wins” from a 63 year-old client of mine. She and her husband spent 2.5 hours splitting firewood, loading the back of a pickup and unloading it into their wood shed... with no trouble at all. That is enough hard work to burn over 1,000 calories!
Earlier that same week, my client’s daughter-in-law bought a heavy wood table and chairs. Her daughter-in-law asked for her help to unload the set. After they finished, her daughter-in-law couldn’t believe how she struggled to move the set and my client did not, despite their age difference.
This client doesn’t need a scale to tell her that she’s getting stronger and feeling fit. Her daily activities are proving this, and it is definitely something for her to feel good about! So, let me continue by sharing 7 other ways to successfully track weight loss and fitness success beyond the number on the scale.
1. Take progress photos. A healthy lifestyle is just that – a LIFE style. Taking photos at different phases of your life will definitely capture your progress. If you can’t take the photos in the same outfit, at least take them in the same positions. I recommend a front, side and back pose. Daily progress is not as noticeable as the progress in monthly photos.
2. Measure your parts. As in body parts. Grab a soft tape measure and wrap it around your chest, waist, hips, and upper thighs. These can be measured just like stepping on the scale. The key here is to be consistent where you’re wrapping that tape measure. For instance around your waist, measure at your narrowest point or 2 fingers above your belly button. Set a schedule, like every 4-6 weeks so you can track the progression of your success.
You can simplify this further by just tracking your waist-to-hip ratio. Do this by calculating your waist measurement divided by your hip measurement (W/H). To reduce your risk for heart disease and other health conditions, women should aim to have this number be <.85 (ideally under .80) and men should aim for this number to be <.90.
3. Beat a personal record. This is probably one of the most rewarding measurements. When you first started your workout program, maybe you could only do a wall push-up and now you’re knocking out push-ups on your knees on the ground. Or maybe you started with only bodyweight for most exercises and now you can use 10-pound weights. Getting stronger, feeling fit, and beating your former self, feels pretty darn good.
4. Celebrate your ZZZ’s. Most fitness trackers can now track and measure your sleep. As you are changing your daily habits of exercise and food choices, your sleep may be affected in your efforts, and hopefully in a good way. Is it easier to fall asleep? Are you sleeping more soundly? Do you wake in the morning feeling more rested? All of these are steps in the right direction of a healthy lifestyle and
5. Are those cravings diminishing? Reducing certain foods from your lifestyle, like processed foods and sugar, ultimately decreases food cravings. So let’s say you were one that had daily afternoon cravings for something sweet, but you’ve recently increased your protein intake. Are you paying attention to the progress you’ve made as you see your cravings gradually decrease? This is definitely notable progress and a great thing! I like to track cravings on a scale of 1-10 week to week. If your score is 5 or less, you are on the right track!
6. Are you still dragging or are you now the Energizer Bunny? Energy level is something we can’t take for granted and is important to track. If you are starting out on your journey and noticing a dip in energy each day, note the time in a notebook or piece of paper. It may be around the same time each day. This could give you some insight for needing some different food and/or beverage choices prior to that dip.
Make some healthy food changes and continue tracking how you feel. The energy you need in a day for your work, house and kiddos is definitely something to celebrate when you feel like you can keep up.
7. Zip up those jeans! Okay, let’s face it. We all have at least 1 pair of jeans stuffed in the back of our closet that we are “waiting” to get back into. Well, I say you get those babies out of the closet and use them as a measure. (Even if you can’t get them up and over your thighs yet.) You will be surprised… After regularly implementing some healthy habits, one day they WILL fit again!!
I think most of us are aware that the scale doesn't always show our success.... but our old jeans, better sleep, increased energy, etc. definitely do!
You got this! A little consistency and hard work go a long way. You don’t always need the number on the dang scale to be successful in your journey.
Let’s get FIRED UPP,