By: Kayla Adams
We’ve all had moments where we obsess over the scale and find ourselves stepping on it a few times too many. Stop it! Yes, stepping on the scale does provide a sense of accountability and may help you to make better decisions day-to-day, but it can be detrimental to your progress and your emotional well-being if done excessively. Let’s explore a few non-scale victories that prove you’re making progress no matter what the scale says!
Non-Scale Victories that Prove You’re Making Progress
Sometimes the number hasn’t changed, maybe you’ve gained a bit, or perhaps you lost some weight, but it wasn’t as much as you expected. Whatever the case may be, sometimes it’s best to take a break from the scale and to evaluate your health and wellness progress in other ways. Here are a few non-scale victories to note:
You Notice a Difference In Photos
What a fun way to monitor your progress! Whether you take the traditional full-body pictures of your front, back, and side profile or take selfies instead, progress photos give you a great visual of your evolution. Try snapping a picture each week with a timestamp and creating a separate album dedicated to this in your photos. If you start to notice that your face is getting slimmer or your arms are looking a little more toned, that’s definitely a non-scale victory!
Your Measurements are Dropping
It’s possible that you may not be shedding pounds but are losing inches as you build lean muscle mass. Pull out the tape measure and get to work! For women, consistent measurements of your bicep, waist, forearm, wrist, hip, and thigh are good places to start. For men, chest, biceps, and waist measurements are great ways to track progress. If you’re noticing that the numbers are dropping, you’ve got another one of our non-scale victories checked off!
Your Old Jeans Fit a Little Better
I tend to keep a couple pairs of old jeans in my closet that I can try on every so often. When I initially started my journey, I could only get my old pair of jeans up to my calf, then my knees, and so on. This is a great way to gauge if you’re moving in the right direction or if you need to turn it up a notch to achieve more noticeable results.
Make sure your non-scale victories & goals are attainable & realistic. For most of us, keeping that pair of jeans from college or from before a drastic life change (illness, having children, etc) can be more of a punishing comparison than a helpful one. If you want to keep an old pair of jeans around, make sure you’re not pressuring yourself into losing an unhealthy amount of weight.
Your Mood is Elevated
If you find yourself in a better mood, more optimistic, or feeling more social, then this is one of the non-scale victories showing that you’re knocking down barriers in achieving your goals. Studies have shown that weight loss can lead to improvements in mood, particularly when you lose at least 5% of your weight and, whether the scale moves or not, healthier habits make us feel better, too!
You’re Falling Asleep, Staying Asleep, or Sleeping for Longer
If your quality of sleep is improving, then odds are you’ve lost some weight or cleaned up a few bad habits. Both count as wins! A University of Pennsylvania study confirms that weight loss is associated with increased sleep duration which makes this is a great non-scale victory to pay attention to! A restful night’s sleep has amazing benefits that can actually circle back and make healthy habits such as exercise and good food choices easier to make, too!
Your Skin Has a New Glow
Exercise, in combination with a nutritious diet, can help improve your skin and reduce blemishes. Oranges, berries, peppers, tomatoes, melons, and broccoli do more than fill us up with nutrition-packed fiber. They’re high in vitamin C which is vital for achieving a vibrant, healthy glow and building healthy tissue and skin. Exercise helps by reducing stress (something that’s also known to promote blemishes) and getting that blood circulating which not only boosts your mood but also that glow!
You Can Focus More Easily
Studies prove that getting rid of excess fat improves brain function and healthier eating can help push out that brain fog that comes with unhealthy habits & blood sugar dips. Take some time to assess your mental clarity as you’re working to shed excess weight and inches. If you find that you’re able to recall things better and feel less mentally cluttered, then this is a great non-scale victory!
You Aren’t Craving the Same Foods
I have an extreme sweet tooth and was feeling a bit lost when I initially decided to make better food decisions. But, after a while, I noticed that I no longer craved sugary sweets or beverages! I actually began wanting treats like whole grain rice cakes with avocado and refreshing lemon water. Studies show that food cravings can account for a whopping 7-11% variance in body weight, so this non-scale victory can serve as an indicator that our habits are sticking! So, as you began taking steps towards making better decisions with fitness and nutrition, give yourself a round of applause when you start to notice your food cravings shift!
Endurance & Energy Rise
Weight loss & well-balanced nutrition are linked to higher levels of energy and endurance. So, if you begin to notice that you’re able to do everyday activities without stopping for breaks or that you’re able to exercise for an hour versus 30 minutes, then kudos to you! A boost in endurance or energy levels is a non-scale victory that leads to not only a better body composition, but a healthier lifestyle overall. That’s the goal, right?
Your Journal Entries Are Changing
Journals allow you to track your diet, physical activity, sleep, and the way you feel on a day-to-day basis. This means that, when you feel like your progress is stalling, you’ve got a log of what you felt like when you first started! Head back to the beginning and note what challenges were hardest and which habits refused to let up. Have you tackled some of those? Have some of those habits become a bit healthier? Those are non-scale victories to be proud of!
These are a few of many great and effective ways to hold yourself accountable and gauge your success while taking a break from the age-old scale. Remember, you’re so worth it!