We aren’t encouraging you not to use scales in this post, this merely suggests alternatives for those who don’t like doing it or become over obsessive with it.
You’ve started eating healthier and exercising. You’re feeling better and noticing a difference in your body, so you muster up all the courage you have and step onto the scale, filled with hopeful anticipation. The number is higher than you expected. You feel discouraged, frustrated, and that all your hard work and sacrificing is for nothing.
Strength training is one of the best ways to lose weight and get healthier, but as you’re losing fat, you’re gaining muscle. This means the scale doesn’t go down as quickly as you’d like. It’s important to monitor more than just the scale to see if what you’re doing is working.
Here are six different ways to track your progress:
1. Measurements…measure around troublesome areas like your waist, hips, arms and thighs and compare every 2-3 weeks.
2. Progress Photos…an excuse to take a few selfies! Take a couple of photos of yourself, front and back and compare how you look in a few weeks. Project Lean people have just seen the benefits of this!
3. Clothing…when people complain about the scale I always ask how their clothes are fitting. Their faces immediately brighten while they explain how much better their clothes fit, or how some are now too baggy.
4. Skin…After a few weeks of exercising and eating a healthy diet, you’ll likely start to notice major improvements in your skin.
5. Fitness…it’s can be as simple as day to day tasks like climbing the stairs or playing with the kids without getting out of breath anymore. Or try recording how many press-ups or squats you can do in 60 seconds, or how long it takes you to run or walk a mile, then return to the challenge in four weeks and see if you can beat your record.
6. Sleep…When you’re expending extra energy working out and putting better foods into your body, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep.