Are you on a health journey and the scale won’t budge? Although the scale can be one form of measurement to assess if you are on track with your goals, it is not the only one. Our body weight fluctuates day-to-day and week-to-week based off of a variety of reasons, some of which cannot be explained. This can be frustrating at times, especially when you think you did everything right and are expecting a certain number in your head and then “Darn! I am up a pound?”. Before you get discouraged and decide to throw in the towel, let’s see if there are other ways we can celebrate your efforts. Here are 8 things you can do to track your progress other than using the scale:
- Celebrate saying “No, thank you” to temptation. You are trying to resist junk food but your co-workers are not on the same plan and offer you candy and chocolate, so you politely refuse. The old you would have indulged because one piece of something sweet usually leads to more and because you said “no” you avoided that roller coaster. That’s a huge step in the right direction!
- Celebrate getting back on track in the moment. Going back to the work scenario, maybe you do give in this time. And unfortunately it does lead to another piece and then another. However this time you don’t allow it to ruin your healthy dinner plans and since you over did it on the sweets at work, you decide to skip dessert tonight and have a small piece of fruit or decaf tea instead.
- Celebrate being kind to yourself. In addition to putting action forward to picking yourself back up after going off track, you’ve mentally decided to forgive yourself and remind yourself that you are human and that everything cannot be perfect all of the time. Since you are working on loving yourself and improving your overall health, you then kindly talk yourself into finding new solutions going forward.
- Celebrate drinking less empty calories. Soda. Juice. Sweetened Teas and Frappacinos. These are all beverages that provide calories but lack nutrients therefore the only reason behind drinking them is the immediate satisfaction of taste and the more we satisfy our sweet tooth with empty calorie beverages, the more we want to drink them. Cutting back on sweetened beverages creates an opportunity for us to consume more nutrient dense foods and water.
- Making healthy swaps at a restaurant. The waiter comes to your table to take your order and even though you really want the chicken parmesan with pasta you ask: “I would like the chicken parmesan but instead of pasta I’d like to substitute it for steamed broccoli. Oh, and you can take the bread off the table. I don’t want to be tempted to eat it. Thank you!” Chances are the portions at the restaurant are larger than the proper size and even though that option is fried you still made small adjustments which eventually will lead to big results.
- Check your body fat. You may want to invest in a Fat Loss Monitor because even when the scale does not move, your fat to muscle ratio might depending on your exercise regimen. Most of our organs and tissues require muscle support to work optimally so I recommend tracking your body fat in addition to your body weight. On average, a healthy body fat range for women is 21-36% and 8-25% for men, respectively. This range varies slightly depending on age.
- How do your clothes fit? Our body fat distributes as we change our eating patterns and believe it or not where we carry excess fat can dictate our health for better or worse. When we carry weight closer to the heart we are at a greater risk for heart disease so if you notice the belly fat is going down and going closer to the hips then that is something to celebrate.
- Notice improved energy and mood. You notice you are sleeping better, you are happier, and overall in a much better mood than usual because you are making efforts to take care of yourself and making changes to your diet. How we feel matters most, do not let the scale dictate otherwise!
If you did not hit your target using the 8 ways above then there are two things probably happening. One, you are not letting enough time pass or you are not doing the above often enough. Consistency over time leads to big results so be patient and keep trying. Two, you may not be going about achieving your goals in the most effective way. If that is the case then reach out to a nutrition professional who can help you. Feel free to comment below or e-mail me at TipsWithToni@gmail.com so we can figure out how to keep you motivated and on track!