Have you been on point with your nutrition and workouts, but the numbers on the scale aren't moving the way you'd like them to? No need to worry! That doesn't necessarily mean you aren't progressing.
When you're on your weight-loss journey, it's easy to get caught up in the numbers game. But weighing yourself is often not the most accurate way to monitor progress. Whether you want to shed a few pounds or want to get in better shape – the number on the scale shouldn't be your only indicator for improvements.
There are plenty of non-scale victories that show your hard work is paying off.
1. Your overall fitness has improved
Are you lifting heavier weights? Have you noticed you can finish more reps in the same amount of time? Maybe you've become faster on your runs or haven't been opting for the modified moves in your workouts? There are many ways that show your overall fitness levels have improved. Who cares what the scale says if you see these kinds of results.
2. You feel more energized
Have you noticed an uptick in energy outside the gym? Feeling more active and energetic throughout the day is part of the fitness journey and shows you are moving in the right direction. Skipping your afternoon nap or not reaching for the third cup of coffee are all signs of increased energy.
According to the American Diabetes Association, physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout. If you're seeing improved energy levels throughout the day, this means you're successfully balancing your blood sugar levels. A healthy body ensures that everyday tasks are much easier to complete.
3. You're in a better mood
Feeling happier and more balanced is a great indicator that shows you are making progress on your fitness and health journey. According to the Harvard Medical School, exercise reduces the body's stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins – the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. Not to mention, mastering your workouts improves your self-confidence and pride.
Studies have also shown that regular exercise helps you think more clearly, plan better and boost memory performance. You should definitely notice some increased cognitive function and less brain fog.
4. Your clothes fit differently
Pay attention to how your clothes fit and feel on you. Are your shirts looser? Are you down a notch on your belt hole? Maybe your favorite outfit doesn't feel as snug as it used to. Realizing your clothes feel noticeably different is a major non-scale victory worth sharing and celebrating.
Don't forget: You can also notice a better fit on other wardrobe staples. Your jewelry might feel looser, you might finally be able to put your wedding band back on your finger or keep needing to tighten the band of your fitness watch.
5. Your sleep has improved
Do your healthier habits help you sleep better at night? Falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling rested is a great way to see your lifestyle changes are working and improving your overall health
Studies by the National Institute of Health have shown that proper exercise can alleviate sleep-related problems and help you get an adequate amount of rest.
6. You have a regular bathroom schedule
Getting healthy is a process from the inside out. Better and more regular digestion is a clear sign that the healthier diet with more nutritious and fiber-dense food choices you've adopted is paying off.
Multiple studies, including one published by The American Journal of Gastroenterology, found that physical activity improves symptoms of IBS and decreases the risk of gallstones. Research also suggests that regular exercise positively influences the balance of bacteria and enhances microbes' diversity in your gut.
7. You're getting toned
Does the number on the scale still bother you? Take a look in the mirror instead. Are you getting toned? Are veins and muscles showing? When you're building lean muscle, you can't trust your scale. Instead, take body composition measurements to keep track of your milestones.
Experts suggest using a tape measure to record the size of your waist, arms and legs to start. As you exercise, you'll see these areas shrink and change as you gain muscle and shed fat.
Progress is more than a number
Your fitness journey is much more than a number on the scale. While it’s okay to step on there from time to time, your weight shouldn’t be the only way you measure your progress.
Whether it’s an additional rep, more energy, or a few muscles showing - keep checking for those little changes, inside and outside, and let them motivate you to keep going.
You may be already making enormous progress without even realizing it!
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Camper Stories - Kara
“My very first workout, I was hooked. I love everything about the training - it’s very positive.”