Nothing can determine my mood quicker than the bathroom scale. If it shows a number I like, I’m smiling all day. And if it doesn’t, I can’t shake feeling that I’ve somehow failed.
Here’s the problem with the scale: it doesn’t just show how much fat you have. It also shows water weight, organ weight, and the weight of your muscles and bones.
That’s why I prefer to monitor my weight loss without stepping on this rotten square device. Here are a few ways I do it.
#1: Take Your Measurements
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought you lost weight only to step on the scale and have the number remain the same or, worse yet, go up?
Sometimes your weight doesn’t change or increases because you’re building muscle or, if you’re female, you’re holding water weight thanks to PMS. That’s where taking measurements can help.
Ideally, you want to take these measurements no more than once a month, primarily because it does take time to shift your physique. Measurements to record regularly:
- Across your chest (right at the nipple)
- Your waist (at the smallest part)
- Your hips (at the widest part)
- Your right thigh (at the widest part)
- Your right calf (at the widest part)
- Your right bicep (halfway between your shoulder and elbow)
Be sure to measure the same place each time so you record accurate results.
#2: Pay Attention to Your Clothes Fit
I have a pair of pants that I wore back when I worked security for a nightclub, about 12 years ago. They look like something a SWAT member would wear and are super comfortable, but I haven’t been able to do them up in years. That is, until a few months ago.
I got them out of the closet, pull them up, button them, and I could still breathe. Yay!
So, if your pants and shirts are getting looser (or you’re finally able to get back into them), it’s a good sign that your weight is going down…regardless of what your scale says.
#3: Your Body Fat Decreases
This one is tough because, for most people, the only way to tell your body fat percentage is to step on a scale that shows this number too, which kind of defeats the purpose of avoiding the scale unless you can keep from focusing on your weight.
You can get your body fat percentage tested from going to a pro though. Personal trainers and other fitness professionals have several different methods — from body fat calipers to weighing you in water — that will help you track your body fat.
I’ve also seen a new electronic device that looks like a scale but only measures body fat. I don’t know a lot about it though, so I’m not sure how well it works. (If you have one, drop a note in the comments below and tell us what you think!)
#4: Take Photos
There have been times when I haven’t felt like my weight is budging, but then I look at pictures of myself and I can really see the difference.
If you choose to use photos to monitor your weight loss or see how your body changes, aim to take them every couple weeks to a month.
I like to take mine and then use photo apps so I can see them side by side. This makes it super easy to see your progress!
#5: You’re on Fewer Meds (or No Meds At All)
Some people notice that losing weight enables them to reduce the medications they’re taking, if not get off them completely.
So, if you’re on blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, diabetes meds, or some other type of medication and are able to take less or get rid of it thanks to dietary changes you’ve made, that is a true win!
#6: Physical Activity is Easier
One thing I’ve noticed now that I’m in better shape is that physical activity has become easier. I don’t get as winded doing housework as I used to and can go faster and further on the treadmill.
Think about the physical activities you can do now that are easier. Focus on these types of things when you feel like you’re not making progress to help remind you that you are.
#7: You Just Feel Better
Perhaps one of my greatest non-scale victories is that I just feel better. My mood is more even keeled (and happier), I have more energy, I’m more confident, and, overall, I feel better about myself.
Don’t let the scale dictate your weight-loss journey or how you feel about yourself. Instead, focus on these non-scale things instead and celebrate all of the positive changes you’ve made.
The results of your hard work are there…you just have to know where to find them and these are a few options to consider!
Any that I’ve missed? If so, feel free to add them in the comments below!
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