While many of us desire a leaner, more sculpted-looking body, the scale doesn’t always cooperate with our efforts. While the scale isn’t the best measure of your health and fitness, we completely understand the pain and frustration that comes with a scale that won’t budge.
First, don’t fear! There are many reasons this could be happening, since scale fluctuations are normal. Don’t let a one- or two-pound swing derail your efforts. It helps to focus on Non-Scale Victories to stay motivated on your weight-loss journey.
Give credit where credit is due
Non-scale victories allows you to take your focus away from the bathroom scales and direct it to more positive improvements that you might otherwise be missing. If you’re just starting out with diet and exercise, a simple marker of victory could be making it to the gym the number of times you committed to exercising, or eating three healthy meals each day for a week. If you accumulate more “wins” in these columns, the scale will respond! Weight loss is all about consistency and patience.
Since weight loss is often a big motivator for stepping in the gym, use subjective measures, as opposed to the scale. Take measurements rather than focus on numbers on the scales. Or you might notice that you now have more energy, your clothes fit better, or you receive compliments from your spouse and friends. What’s a number on the scale if you look and feel more comfortable in your own skin, after all?
Take time to notice the little things
Exercise often feels daunting and demanding of our energy, but in reality, daily movement energises us. Another great non-scale victory is having more energy throughout the day and sleeping better at night. This isn’t something that happens overnight, mind you, but with consistent exercise and healthier food choices, it’s a victory that makes a HUGE difference in your daily life.
Because our food cravings are often caused by stress and lack of sleep, having higher energy levels and more restful nights can diminish food cravings. A great non-scale victory is noticing that you don’t crave a pint of ice cream every night. Developing a taste for healthier foods is another victory. Perhaps you never liked the taste of most vegetables, but by learning to prepare new healthy dishes, you’ve grown to quite like Brussel sprouts. Your taste buds changing in response to a healthier diet are a victory that makes it easier to continue eating healthily.
Monitor your progress
Beyond diet, turn your focus on your performance inside the gym to know if your training is going the way it should. Setting personal records (PR!) on a lift or doing a faster cardio workout are great signs that you’re making progress.
You can keep track of your workouts in a small notebook or a note on your phone. Record the sets, reps, and weight you lift each day. Look back at your notes each day so you can push yourself to lift a little more in your next workout. Fitness trackers are a great way of automatically logging your activity, enabling you to see at a glance how much – or how little – you do on a daily basis and can be worn around your wrist, or some can be attached via a carabiner. This will ensure you make continual progress. It’s also motivating to look back at your workouts from a month or two ago to see how far you’ve come since you’ve started.
In the battle to lose weight and get fit, these non-scale victories can keep you motivated to stay the course. We can’t always control how the scale responds to our efforts, so focus instead on controlling your actions. With consistency and patience, you can accomplish any fitness goal!