Many people assume that the only way to track your progress is by weighing yourself. We all know that feeling of getting on the scale, and letting the number that appears dictate how much progress you have made.
You know that feeling when you have been working out and eating well for weeks, but the number on the scale just hasn’t changed and you feel discouraged?
Let me let you in on a little secret. If I had used the scale as a measure of my progress, I would have given up a long time ago. This is why i ditched the scale.
Now don’t get me wrong, weighing yourself CAN be helpful to some and I won’t discredit that. Some key tips for if you want to use the scale to measure your progress is to weigh yourself in the morning, once a week, and using the same scale under the same conditions (like being barefoot or naked etc.) and after going to the bathroom! But if you’re finding the process more destructive than helpful, ditch it girl!
Throughout my entire journey I have never used the scale as a good indicator of progress.
It is so important to acknowledge that the scale weighs all the matter inside your body, and not just your fat. It does not take into consideration your body composition i.e. what is muscle and what is fat, and it also can’t tell the difference between actual fat or food in your stomach that you have just eaten!
This makes it hugely inaccurate and even daily activities such as eating and drinking can impact the number on the scale.
Additionally, as a woman, it has been shown that weight can fluctuate anywhere between 1-5kgs in a day! This fluctuation is in no way an indication that you have gained body fat, but instead is our normal bodily reactions to activities done in the day.
Another huge factor is PMS. I don’t know about you, but during that time of the month (or even leading up to it) I get a terrible bloat, my breasts almost double in size (Baywatch here I come!) and I retain a heap of water. These hormone changes often cause the number on the scale to go up and many people may get anxiety over sudden weight gain. It’s SO important to remember that gaining weight during your period is a normal bodily response, and is not an actual indicator of gaining body fat!
Here are some better ways to track your progress:
Journal how you are feeling:
Tracking things like energy levels, your general mood, as well as your quality of sleep. It is no secret that before I made lifestyle changes, I was extremely sluggish and needed an afternoon nap every day! Remember that all journeys have good and bad days, but I found it particularly helpful to read how I was feeling and what I wrote on a good day to motivate me on days where I felt I needed an extra push.
Taking progress pictures: this really helped me, and was a great way to remind myself of how far I have come. Some progress photo tips are to take the pictures at the same time of the day, with the same lighting! It’s important to note that taking pictures in the beginning of the day will be different to those at the end of the day, because of food and water intake. I also like to take these either once a week or once a month, depending on your personal preferences. It can be a great way for you to see your changes in your body composition over time!
See how you fit into your clothes:
One of the first signs that I needed to make a change was that most of my clothes was extremely tight/didn’t fit anymore. I thought it was the washing machine shrinking my clothes, but clearly it was more than that! I used an old pair of shorts as a benchmark, and tried it on to see my progress.
Making better food choices:
There is a huge misconception that progress is only about physical gains! The truth is one of my biggest indicators of progress was how I was eating and the food swaps that I was making – making healthier food choices and choosing to fuel my body with nutritious foods that helped me feel good, and staying consistent with this was one of my biggest progress indicators! It helped me show myself that I was able to be committed to making a lifestyle change that is long-term.
Here are a number of helpful blog posts on my diet and what I did: