As soon as people talk about weight loss goals the most common thought is the number on the scales. However, that number should not be the most common thought as there are many other ways to set weight loss goals and there is several weight loss victories that will help you look good and feel even better!
Why is it important to not focus on the scales? The scale can be impacted by so many contributing factors. You could have had the best week with food choices and exercise yet the scale has gone up! Why? There is no way to really know exactly why, but it could be:
FLUID: How much or how little water you drunk that day, how much water you had before weighing, how much fluid your body is holding due to weather, medical conditions or time of day/month.
FOOD: How much food you have eaten that day and what type of food or is your body holding food (constipation)?
The only thing you can do to try and avoid these factors is weigh at the same time every week (not daily), on the same set of scales, in the same clothes. But you will still not have complete control over your body. The best thing to do is focus on all the other positives.
Let’s look again at before hoping on the scales. You had a great food week. You exercised most days of the week. You are feeling really proud of yourself and positive. The scale shouldn’t have the power to change this; it’s just a machine after all! Don’t let it judge you, your week or your choices. Don’t let it impact your emotions or your self-worth. In the end you experienced a week that was full of healthy lifestyle changes and reduction of lifelong habits you’ve always struggled with – these are priceless when it comes to keeping weight off in the long term!
What to look out for?
HABITS: What habits contributed to your weight gain? These need to be a main focus for you. Find alternatives to overcome these habits and congratulate yourself every time you do. Stop and realise when you avoid these habits, when you say no to them and ensure you acknowledge your progress.
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES: Everyday think about the choices you made, which ones are you proud of? What choices would you have made before? All healthy choices help in the long term and each time you make a healthy choice it can get easier and easier.
BETTER SLEEP: When your body is healthier you will find you sleep better as it is not struggling to breath as much. Regardless of what the scales say, if you are sleeping better then you are headed in the right direction.
ENERGY LEVELS: Better sleep, less weight and a healthier body will result in increased energy levels. Each day will be easier to get through and could prove to be more enjoyable. You will find you can be involved in more activities and fit more into your day.
How to track non-scale victories?
PHOTOS: Before and after photos are a great ‘non-scale’ tracker for weight loss. How does your face look different? How has your stomach, arms or legs changed? How is your facial expression different in each photo? Ensure you also take photos during the journey. If there is a day like above that you feel like it will be a good scales result and it isn’t take a new photo instead to see the changes in your body and overall appearance.
MEASUREMENTS: In the end our measurements are what we see in the mirror. Our measurements decreasing are what allow us to go down a size in our clothing. Decreases in measurements allow our body to function easier and operate more effectively. As with photos take measurements regularly, not just before and after – monthly is our recommendation.
CLOTHING: Similar to measurements, clothes is a fantastic guide of our body changing shape. A pair of jeans that you could not zip up before now fit with a room to move! For ladies when you are able to go in a notch on your bra, and for gentlemen when you are able to go in a notch on your belt – these would not be possible without your body changing shape. No matter what they scales say if you have dropped a dress size and fit old clothes a lot more comfortably now you have had success, and no number on the scales should let you forget that.
So start with weighing on the scales once a week, then once a fortnight, and then wait a month. Yes, I challenge you to weigh once a month! Instead, take measurements and photos, focus on healthy food choices and exercise routines, try on old clothes and get some sleep! Recognise all of the changes you have made in your life that were not there before.start your journey now