7 Non-Scale Victories That Prove You're Making Progress
When you’re on your weight loss journey, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game. But while it can be frustrating when the scale just won’t budge, there are plenty of other ways to gauge whether your hard work is paying off.
“Chances are, positive changes are happening that you’re not noticing if you’re obsessively checking the scale,” says Devin Alexander, a weight loss coach, cookbook author, and chef for NBC’s The Biggest Loser. “There are other ways to see results.”
Here are a few non-scale victories that are totally worth celebrating.
Non-Scale Victory #1: You’re Less Winded
You know that endless set of stairs in the subway station that you usually dread climbing? After a few weeks of high-intensity workouts, you might notice you can make it to the top without huffing and puffing. “If you feel less winded after exercise or have more energy as you go about your day, that means your heart is getting stronger,” says Alexander.
Non-Scale Victory #2: Your Workouts Feel Easier
The more you perform an exercise, workout, or fitness program, the more efficient your body becomes at doing it. So your workouts may feel easier, but you may also notice your progress start to stall. Hitting a workout plateau may not sound like much of a “victory,” but look at it this way: It’s a sign you’re getting stronger and you’re ready to up your fitness game even further.
Non-Scale Victory #3: Your Clothes Fit Differently
Maybe you’ve noticed a little more room in the waistband of your jeans. Or you finally have the confidence to dust off that bodycon dress that’s been hanging in the back of your closet for months. If your clothes fit differently than they did a few weeks ago, consider that a non-scale victory.
Non-Scale Victory #4: You’re Losing Inches
If you’re losing fat and building muscle at the same time, you may not see dramatic results on the scale — but your body measurements can give you concrete proof that what you’re doing is working. Measure your waist, hips, chest, arms, and thighs, and keep track of your progress over time.
Non-Scale Victory #5: You See More Muscle Definition
You might not have six-pack abs (yet), but you may notice your muscles are more defined than before. One way to spot those subtle changes: Take a weekly workout selfie. “You should be able to see some subtle changes in the photos that you wouldn’t necessarily notice while you’re staring in the mirror,” Alexander says.
Non-Scale Victory #6: You’re Getting Compliments
You bump into someone who mentions that you look healthier or asks if you’ve been working out. Chances are, they’re not just buttering you up — they’re being honest. “Other people can often see subtle physical changes in you before you see them,” says Alexander. “If someone compliments you, embrace it. It’s a sign that you’re doing the right thing.”
Non-Scale Victory #7: You’re Happier
Instead of focusing solely on pounds and inches, take a step back and analyze how you feel as you go through your day. Are you in a better mood? Do you feel more confident than usual? Are you sleeping better? These are flashing indicators that positive changes are happening. “When you get in the habit of making healthier choices, it becomes easier to replace all of that negativity you tend to pile on yourself with happier thoughts,” says Alexander.
Health is More Than Just A Number
Weight loss may be one indicator of success, but it’s not necessarily the best way to measure progress. Instead, appreciate other milestones you reach along your journey, and focus on improving your overall health. “Use the scale as a general guide, but don’t let that weight define you,” says Alexander. “There’s so much more to what makes us healthy than that number.”