Being on a weight loss journey often means you have the desire to see the number on the scale go down on a regular basis. It sounds like such a simple thing, but if you’ve been on this journey for a while you know that the scale can be a fickle little beast. There will come times where you feel you did everything “right” and the scale does not give you a number you feel you deserved. I’ve been there. I understand.
There is also a chance that you start to become a bit obsessive over the number on the scale. We tend to give the number the scale presents to us a lot more “weight” (pun absolutely intended) than is necessary. In my own journey I have found that when you start to allow the number on the scale to dictate your mood or your self-esteem, it might be time to take a break from weighing yourself.
I guarantee some of you just wondered “but if I don’t weigh myself, how will I know I’m making progress?” That’s exactly what I am here to tell you. Believe it or not, the scale is not the only way to track your weight loss progress. The number given to us by the scale is only one metric that can be used to help understand the whole picture, but I want to share with you a few others that you should consider, especially if you find you need a break from your fickle scale. While I promise you there are more ways than listed here, today I want to share 4 ways I personally track my progress without the scale.
One of the easiest ways to see if you’re making progress in your weight loss journey requires absolutely zero work. How are your clothes fitting? It can be pretty clear if your weight is going in the right direction based on your waistband. Are those jeans fitting a bit too snug? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate just how accurately you’re tracking your food. On the flip side, did you need to tighten your belt by a notch or two? Great! That obviously means things are moving in the right direction and you can keep doing what you’re doing. Over time, your clothes will tell you how your journey is going. No numbers necessary.
Measurements are a great way to track your progress using numbers without having to face the fickle scale. It will take a longer period of time for you to see a change in your measurements, but since this weight loss journey is a marathon, not a sprint, that’s okay! Once or twice a month take your measurements and write them down. Over time you should be able to see progress in those numbers. What is great about measurements is they will tend to show progress even if the scale disagrees with you, so whether you weigh yourself or not, I highly recommend logging your measurements. They’re a great motivator.
3. Energy level
Many people spend so much time worried about the number on the scale or the physical changes in their bodies that they forget to take notice of perhaps the most important change: how they are feeling. Yes, I agree that the physical changes in your body from weight loss are a lot of fun, but have you ever considered things like your energy level? If you suddenly find yourself with more energy and a little extra pep in your step, this is a huge indicator of progress in your journey.
Once you start to see progress in ways that allow you to have more energy for the things that matter and lets you live life to its fullest, in my opinion you are living the dream. Once you are fueling your body optimally, you will feel better from the inside out, which in turn allows you to have the energy to move more, which promotes the physical changes you’re seeking, which will result in more progress, and the positive impact cycle goes on and on. Check in with yourself to see how your energy levels have been lately. The answer will definitely help you gauge your progress.
This one tends to be a hard one for many people to hear, but consistency is the most important thing when it comes to success in weight loss (or anything for that matter). If you don’t step on the scale or take a single measurement but you track how consistently you follow your plan, and present a consistency rate of at least 80%, I promise you there will be progress. If you follow your plan, stay within your BITES or calories consistently for an extended period of time, there will be progress. If you need a break from the scale, try tracking the days you stay on track instead. Grab a calendar and every day you stay on plan mark it with an X. At the end of the month, you should see at least 80% of the calendar covered with Xs. If you do this for 3 months, odds are you will also see progress in your body. If you are noticing that you only earn an X 50% of the time, that is clear data that something needs to change.
Tracking your consistency is not an exciting metric, but it’s the most effective. At the end of the day just remember that the scale isn’t the only way to measure progress in your journey. There are many factors that can mess up a weigh in, but more importantly, it is crucial that you keep in mind that weight is just a metric to track where you are along the way. If you start to associate the number of pounds you did or didn’t lose in a week with your value as a human being, it might be time to take a step back and track something else for a while. You can always go back to scale, but it never hurts to have other ways to measure progress as well. Good luck!