It’s all too easy to get entangled with ‘weight on the scales’ when it comes to embarking on a weight-loss focused goal. This hyper-focus, however, can steer us off the path when scale weight moves slowly or plateaus (or goes up!). But it is SO important to realise that weighing yourself is only one metric of tracking progress. So while it can be demotivating when the numbers do not reflect the effort level applied, when you’ve built up a goal weight in your head for so long, I challenge you to ignore what the magazines have made you believe is the most important thing. It is time to take a look at the WHOLE picture, to consider a non-scale victory, so you can fully realise just how much progress is being made.
What is a Non-Scale Victory?
I would say the explanation is in the name! These kinds of measurements as the positives that are the result of weight loss and that occur outside of the number on the scale.
Here are some examples of the extensive list of NSVs to celebrate.
Taking your measurements each month can be a reliable method of tracking progress. As you gain muscle, it’s likely that your weight will fluctuate and even go up in some cases, due to the difference in the density of this type of tissue. Measurements put it all in perspective and show that while the scale numbers may be going up, the important numbers (eg. circumference of your waist) are going down.
Also read: Why Am I Not Losing Weight? 7 Common Mistakes We All Make
It can be hard to notice the small changes that occur over time and especially when the scales aren’t moving. Photos and how you look in the mirror can help to show the obvious success aesthetically.
Choose an outfit or a garment that you want to fit into better, whether old or new and use that to mark your achievements. Often the scales can confuse just how well we are going, but the clothing does not lie!
Keeping a log of your workouts is an excellent reminder of just how far you have come, from when you first started. Celebrate increased strength, shape changes and looking firmer with new muscle!
Realising that you can now complete a full workout that seemed impossible in the early days is such a milestone! Even being able to join in with activities that were out of bounds with previous limitations is superb progress.
Regular exercise and proper nutrition can have a significant impact on the length and quality of sleep. Great sleep has a plethora of health benefits and this alone can aid in the efficacy of your approach to sustained weight management.
Also read: Sleep Series: Can Sleep Influence Weight Loss?
Consider that as your body composition changes with having a little more muscle, your body fat percentage might indeed be lower than you expected, while the scales do not reflect a change.
You’ve stuck to a plan and implemented the changes that you need to for a sustainable lifestyle approach moving forward! You’re making better choices habitually and replaced old patterns with new empowering ones.
Being more flexible results in many benefits, including lowering the risk of injury, the ability to perform more exercises and reducing stress levels, to name a few.
With practice and perseverance, working specifically on your exercise technique and diligence to correct form, can open the doors to trying more advanced movements, more effective sets during your workouts and even building confidence to tackle any area of training or gym setting without fear.
As we exercise, we release endorphins ( happy hormones ), which in turn can help to improve overall mood, increased energy levels and a sense of mental clarity throughout the day. Serotonin boosting foods are also on the menu!
Also read: 5 Effects Of Walking For Just 15 Minutes A Day
Strengthening our joints with regular exercise is so important for the longevity and health of them. You’re winning when you notice how much stronger you are with reduced pain or stiffness.
This might not be an obvious result of frequent exercise, but having better digestive health is a huge non-scale victory!