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14 ways to measure progress when the scale won't budge

We've all been there. You start eating better and getting more exercise and you check your weight every day. And every day it stays the same. But don't get discouraged. There are plenty of other ways to measure progress. See if one (or more) of these applies to you.

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1. You are losing inches.
Take some key measurements. Measure your hips and waist or anywhere else. If you are doing resistance training you may be adding muscle mass. Since muscle is denser than fat, the results may not show on the scale. You might find that even though the number on the scale is staying the same, that your clothes are getting looser.

2. You look better in the mirror. This is related to #1. The changes do not always show up on the scale. But sometimes it is hard to see the changes because they take place slowly so try taking pictures of yourself so you can compare later. Try to pose in the same wy each time and wear the same clothes if you can.

3. You feel better. One of the first thing you will notice when you start exercising is how much better you start to feel . If you are exercising the right amount, you should feel tired, but refreshed when you are done and have more energy the rest of the day. You'll have more pep in your step, and not feel winded doing simple things.

4. You went to the gym more than once this week. Sometimes it takes a while to see progress, but the important thing is to take action. Focus on what you can control like doing a workout, instead of the outcome. No gym membership - see #11.weights 652484 1280

5. You got up early to exercise this week. Sometimes when we start to exercise, it is hard to find a time that works. I find that getting up early is a good time. It is harder to make excuses than later in the day and you will feel refreshed the rest of the day.

6. You are eating more slowly. Often we eat so quickly that we don't have time to feel full. By slowing down you give your body time for the hunger queues to kick in. You will likely be eating less and likely noticing the hunger cues.

7. You are eating more mindfully. This is related to number 6. Think about and taste what you are eating. You are less likely to finish the whole bag of chips if you really think about each bite. Changing how you eat can be as important as changing what you eat.

8. You noticed when you reached for something you shouldn’t be eating. Sometimes we reach for a handful of chips without even thinking about it. If you start by thinking about it, then maybe next time you won’t be reaching for it. Are you really hungry and will the choice you are about to reach for satisfy you?

9. You went for a walk most days this week. This is another case of thinking about the action, not the outcome. By going for a walk most days you are forming a habit. Once you have formed one healthy habit, it makes it easier for other habits to follow.

10. You found a way to exercise at home. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, there are plenty of ways to exercise at home. Try getting an app for your phone to help with ideas. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good workout at home, but a few simple things like some resistance tubing, and an exercise mat are great ways to get you started.

11. You got a gym membership. Often, gym memberships are purchased and not used, but it is still a first step and that is important. The next thing to do is:

12. You signed up for an orientation at your new gym. You will feel less intimidated exercising after an expert has shown you the ropes. You will also get more out of your membership if you know what to do.

carrots13. You ate more vegetables this week. If you had one serving per day last week, try for two. If you normally eat 2 servings per day, try for 3. For more ideas on eating more vegetables check out this article.

14. You packed a healthy lunch (and ate it). Many restaurants do not offer healthy choices and also serve huge portions so you are more likely to overeat unhealthy food. Take the extra time to go for a lunchtime walk.

 

When we have an outcome based goal like weight loss, it is nice to see progress. Sometimes it takes time before any progress is noticeable. Start by understanding that progress may be seen in other areas than the scale, then focus on behaviours that you can change, rather than outcomes that you have less control over.

If you are looking for more ideas for losing weight download these free tips for weight loss during menopause. If you are looking for support in your weight loss efforts join my facebook group.

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