Whether it’s for weight loss or weight gain, the scales is a popular method to measure progress. Sure, the scale displays your overall weight but there are many other factors that contribute to that number. Things like water retention, muscle mass, time of day, feeling bloated, etc are not measured on the scales and that’s why you shouldn’t always listen to the scales. Instead of obsessing over scale numbers, here’s 5 ways to measure progress without using the scales.
Take progress pictures
Taking photos of yourself at the beginning of your fitness journey might seem daunting and uncomfortable, but it’s a great way to measure your progress. Have the image saved somewhere, perhaps on your phone, so each week you can compare your progress to your physique from the start. Become your own motivation.
Test your fitness levels
The number on the scales isn’t the only figure you should be tracking when it comes to progress. Chasing alternative numbers like the number of reps, sets, time, weights or distance is far more motivating then confiding in the number you see on the scales. Can you run faster? Lift heavier? Finish that fitness class? Asking these questions will build your self esteem up rather than putting yourself down by the scales. You should feel proud for pushing yourself further. Feeling fitter is progress, can the scales tell you that?
Check your clothes
Wearing old clothes, or items you once couldn’t fit into but now feel loose, is a great indicator to your process. How do you feel whilst trying on your clothes? Do you feel happy? Healthy? Strong? Sexy? Like you can conquer the world? Noticing a difference in the way your clothes fit is a huge motivator during your fitness journey. If you look good you feel good on the inside too. It’s a powerful cycle that helps measure your progress.
Measure your body fat
Body weight and composition are not the same. Measuring body composition and body fat percentage is another way to track your progress when fat loss, muscle gain and improved health are your goals. If you have access to a gym then ask a personal trainer to measure your body fat, if using calipers, make the sure the same person takes your measurements every time, at approximately the same time of day.
When in doubt about your progress, talk to someone about it. I am certain you will be washed away with compliments. When somebody else notices changes to your body and wellbeing, it helps you realise just how well YOU are doing. It isn’t about looking for attention, more so appreciation from those who care about you.