Scale weight is to main thing to check progress for most people trying to lose weight. And why not it makes sense right, you’re trying to lose weight so you need the scales to check that? In reality though the scales can be very black or white. You’ve had a solid week where you resisted treats, ate loads of veg and did some exercise? Too bad, the scales say you are the same weight, wasted week! This of course leads to a lot of frustration, a feeling you’re not making progress and notions of quitting.
But…… There are other ways to check for progress that may show you that you are making a difference with your efforts! Take a look at these methods and add them in to what the scale says to give a clearer picture of your progress!
Root through your granny’s sewing kid and get the measuring tape. This is a great way to see how your body is changing shape. I’ve often seen clients still being the same weight but they’re measurements showing big differences since the last check in! The main areas to check for are your waist (the narrowest part of your torso), the abdomen (the widest part) and for men the chest (straight around nipple line). These are all easy to do on yourself or you could get it done by a partner every week or two. You can get more detailed and take measurements from other areas on the body if you like such as, hips, arms, legs and neck.
This is an excellent way to see progress when the scales are letting you down. Seeing that your belly has gone down an inch or two since your last measurements should keep you motivated for the next week of training and good food.
Don’t ignore when your clothes are starting to feel a bit looser! Jeans, shirts, suits, belts and dresses fitting a bit better or even feeling too loose are great signs of progress and just like the measurements above could be a sign that you are tightening up while still remaining the same weight on the scale. It’s a good idea if you have some of these clothes that are a little bit tight to set yourself a goal of fitting into them comfortably. A couple of inches off your waist, belly or chest makes a huge difference to clothes.
How you feel
Probably the one on this list that is ignored the most! When your stuck on a certain weight and feeling frustrated it can be hard to find positives and reasons to stick to it. Have a think to yourself about how you’ve been feeling since you tidied things up though! How has your energy levels been? Many people notice a big change in energy levels when food is cleaned up and exercise is added into the week. The usual energy slumps at work or in the evening may be gone and that’s worth noting!
Sleep quality and mood are another too that can be improved on. By cutting out crappy foods and training more many people end up sleeping better and having a better day-to-day mood. So if you’ve found yourself waking up feeling much more refreshed that’s a great sign that your body is working how it should be at night and maybe people will notice you’re not as cranky in the mornings!
This one can be a little slower to see progress with and will rarely change week to week but after a while you should be able to look back at older photos from a couple of months previous and see a difference in yourself. The internet is full of progress photo stories and also how to fake them such as Photoshop, tensing posing tighter clothes etc. What you need to do is take the photos from the same angle, lightening and position every time. So standing in your bathroom face on and to the side in a relaxed position will give you the best measure of progress over time.
This is where things get a bit more detailed! There are a number of ways to get your body-fat taken, some are more accurate than others, some cost less and some you’ll have to go to special labs to get done. If you do have access to any of these methods with an accurate practitioner you get some detailed info.
For example a weighing scales literally just tells you what you weigh right? That includes everything, bones, muscle, fat, water and lunch! Getting your body-fat % done separates all that out and you get a clearer picture of how much fat you are getting rid of! It’s great for leaner individuals that want to lose fat but maintain whatever muscle they have. This is really more suited to leaner individuals and shouldn’t be worried about too much.
The scale doesn’t tell you everything and can be thrown out by small things like drinking too much water or having a big meal. Adding in other ways of checking your progress is a must do if you want to see some sort of progress every week. Measurements, clothes and progress pictures are seriously easy to check and can show you how your body might be changing despite the scales saying otherwise. Body-fat % is a great way for leaner individuals to measure fat loss rather than just weight loss. How you feel is also worth noticing as things like energy, mood and sleep quality shouldn’t be underestimated!