Using the scale as a tool to track progress, definitely isn’t for everyone. If you feel triggered by it THROW IT AWAY! Honestly, it’s not necessary. Though if you want to continue to use the scale to track progress, that’s ok too. However, I would strongly encourage you to also use 2 non-scale methods because the truth is, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story…and if you’re using it as your sole indicator of progress, you’re not setting yourself up for success.
There are several methods and tools that you can use to track your progress towards your fitness goals that don’t involve having to use the scale. I’m going to share five of my favourites with you here.
Take measurements of your neck, arms, chest, waist, hips and thighs. In doing this you’ll be able to see if you’re losing inches rather than focusing primarily on weight loss. Fun fact: you can be losing inches as your bodyweight stays the same or even increases.
Keep track of how you’re performing different exercises and what weight you’re using. This will allow you to monitor improvements in strength. For example, you may have started by doing pushups on your knees but can now do them with standard form, or perhaps you started by deadlifting 70lbs but have worked your way up to 110lbs. These are both indicators of progress.
Yes, not having to wear a long shirt with your favourite pair of jeans to hide the fact that they’re unbuttoned is progress and something to celebrate! Non-scale victories deserve to be acknowledged and are a great way to remind yourself of just how far you’ve come. (Side note: Sometimes it’s best to buy clothes that flatter your current body rather than constantly trying to fit into a smaller size. Changing your physique takes time but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel confident and beautiful along the way.)
Keeping a log of your mood, energy levels, and sleep quality are other great ways to track your progress without having to rely on the scale. As you continue to consistently work towards your goals, you should notice your mood improving, that you have increased energy and are enjoying better quality sleep. Of course, there are a bunch of different factors that affect these three areas which make it difficult to attribute improvement solely to your fitness habits, however, if you’re journaling on these topics regularly you’ll be able to spot patterns and draw better conclusions as to how they relate to your fitness routine.
One of my favourite ways to track progress is by taking weekly photos. Be sure to take a photo from the front, back, and side views (with your arms up and parallel to the floor so that you can clearly see your midsection) and compare photos every so often. As you continue to take updated progress photos, eventually you’ll be able to see significant changes in your physique.
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