Getting healthy and fit is about more than just the number on the scale.
This is important to remember when making any transformative changes for weight loss and nutrition — because at the beginning, a lot may happen in the body before changes in weight can appear.
Progress can be measured in a lot of different ways and there are a few key areas that will show you that you are on the right track (maybe before your scale does) .
That’s why, in coaching my fitness and nutrition clients, I always promote the “progress, not perfection” mantra. Let’s look at all the areas you’re improving in, not just how much you weigh.
Let me show you what I mean. Here are some helpful progress indicators that will let you know that you’re moving forward with your nutrition, fitness and weight loss goals:
Energy and Mood Changes
Have you had more energy for your workouts lately — or been more excited to do them? Have you noticed yourself feeling stronger when you pick things up? Maybe you’ve been able to jump out of bed for work in the morning feeling more rested because you’re sleeping better.
And what about your mood? Are you feeling happier lately or more optimistic about the future? Maybe you’ve been more motivated to make better eating choices or continue healthy habits because you like how they make you feel.
Feeding your body nutritious foods and moving it more often can have a huge impact on your energy, mood, and mental state — and that is absolutely worth celebrating!
Improvements in Activity
Pay attention to changes in the number of weight reps you do at the gym, your endurance levels during cardio exercise, or how consistent you’ve been with workouts overall. Maybe you’ve gone on more walks during your lunch break or started walking to work.
Sometimes these changes can feel small if we don’t think they’re “good enough” yet. But think about how far you’ve come from the beginning.
Your body can look different physically without a change in weight loss. In fact, it’s possible to stay the exact same weight on the scale if you’re losing body fat and replacing it with lean muscle from exercise. Pay attention to any type of physical changes in your body for signs of progress.
Here are some ways to measure them beyond the scale:
- Taking girth measurements: These are far more accurate for measuring progress with body size and composition than checking your weight.
- Comparing progress pictures from the beginning to now.
- Noticing how certain clothes fit on your body, especially clothes you already own that used to be tighter.
Focusing too much on the scale can lead to obsession, as well as disappointment if you don’t see changes as fast as you’re expecting. So it helps to think about what your true goals are on your health journey:
Is it really just about reaching a specific number, or do you care more about things like being able to fit better in your clothes, having more energy, decreasing your risks of disease, and feeling better mentally and physically?
I’m willing to bet your goals are more in line with the latter things I mentioned. So, don’t forget to celebrate all the changes you notice, even the small ones. Always strive for progress, for moving forward a little more each day — not full-on perfection, because that’s unrealistic for all of us.
Of course it’s always a lot easier (and more fun) to seek the help of an experienced fitness and nutrition coach 🙂
If you have been try to make changes to your workout and eating habits and are feeling stuck or frustrated with your progress, I can help! Email me.
If you think you’re ready for a structured nutritional program to follow, and the help of a coach to help keep you consistent and on-track, learn more about working with me. I’ll soon be accepting new clients.