When it comes to losing weight, many people get hung up on what the scales say and feel deflated over small fluctuations or setbacks. If you’ve gained weight or your weight hasn’t changed at all despite your hard work, that doesn’t mean you haven’t progressed in other ways.
There are various ways to measure success that don’t depend on the scales. Stop weighing yourself daily if it brings your mood down and demotivates you. Instead, bust out the bathroom scales weekly and focus on these 5 factors instead.
1. Your clothes fit better
If you don’t take progress photos, start doing it. Progress photos are important, as they allow you to see how much you’ve changed over time instead of obsessing over numbers on the scales. Even if you don’t take photos, you’ll notice changes in how your clothes fit and your overall appearance.
Can you fit into those jeans you love again? Have you been wearing new clothes you never dreamed you’d feel confident in? These are concrete markers of progress and you should celebrate them.
2. You have higher self-esteem
When you start seeing changes from your hard work, it gives your self-esteem a massive boost. Have you noticed that certain areas look more toned and defined? Does your skin look clearer? Are people complimenting you more?
Seeing results from your commitment and discipline is highly rewarding and starts improving your confidence over time. One of the most effective ways to measure success is focusing on how you feel within – confidence isn’t something the scales can give you.
3. Your mood has improved
When we know we’re doing something that’s good for us, it makes us feel positive. Changing your mindset and challenging negative self-beliefs are essential to change your lifestyle. Scales can’t measure your thoughts and beliefs, but you can.
Do you feel more energetic and less sluggish? Are you sleeping better? This shows your training is paying off and you’re feeding your body the right fuel. If you keep a mood journal, have you noticed improvements since you’ve been exercising and eating well? This is another sign of growth that may not be reflected in numbers on the scales.
4. You’ve replaced bad habits with healthy ones
People often focus on the weight loss aspect of their nutrition and fitness programmes. However, what you gain is just as important. Whether it’s becoming more organised, new cooking skills or healthier habits, there are plenty of things to gain from nutrition or fitness support.
Have you stopped buying snacks from the office vending machine several times a day? Are you more organised with your meal prep? Do you swap junk foods for healthier alternatives most of the time? Have you been eating more fruit and veg than before? Working on a few healthy lifestyle habits and sticking to them has a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing, so make sure you celebrate these achievements.
5. You feel stronger
If you feel yourself getting stronger, this is a sign your hard work is paying off. Have you been achieving new personal bests in your workouts and increasing your weights? Can you carry out some everyday activities without feeling breathless anymore? Do you feel more confident at the gym? Are you learning new exercises that seemed daunting to you at first?
Next time you have a wobble about why you’re not losing weight, take time to think about other ways you can measure success. Reflecting on different elements of your life makes you acknowledge how far you’ve come so you can celebrate your progress.