How much of your focus, every single day, is spent thinking about the number on the scale?
While weight may be one of the most common measures we track in our health journey, it is definitely not the only measure of success. Identifying the non-scale victories and non-scale successes that you’ve personally achieved (hint – there are plenty of them!) can keep your motivation up on the days (or weeks) where the scale just won’t budge.
How does weight loss work?
Before we get into all of the non-scale successes you can celebrate today, it’s important first to understand how weight loss works so that you have realistic expectations. Weight loss is not a linear process, meaning it ebbs and flows. Weight changes, especially rapid weight changes, can happen for several reasons – muscle gains, where you are in your menstrual cycle, salty meals and water weight, or inflammation. With that said, it can be frustrating to put too much emphasis on the number on the scale.
If you’ve followed any strict or fad diets in the past, you probably lost weight pretty quickly, especially in the beginning. It can be so exciting to see those initial quick results. However, after some time, it starts to slow down, leaving you questioning what you’re doing wrong.
During those first few weeks of dieting, you are losing mainly water weight. Have you ever wondered what that actually means? When you follow a restrictive diet, your body breaks down glycogen (stored carbohydrates) for energy. Glycogen is stored with water. That means that when your body breaks down carbs and they are excreted from your body, they take water along with it.
Fluid Loss vs. Lasting Weight Loss
When your body excretes water due to diet restriction, this results in fluid loss. This is not the same as lasting weight loss – such as losing fat. At some point, the fluid loss levels off and your body adjusts, causing your weight loss to slow down. This is not what you want! You want fat loss so you have true weight loss. This often means aiming for a slower, more gradual weight loss so that you are more likely to keep it off. For many, this means an average of 1-2lbs of weight loss per week.
Focusing too much on the scale can make you feel like you’re failing, especially when you’re not seeing that number going down every time. The truth is, there are many factors that may affect your weight on any given day, and identifying non-scale victories along the way will keep you motivated no matter what the scale says that day.
Focusing solely on the scale number can result in unwanted stress and pressure on yourself. Sometimes you may lose 2 pounds in one week, and another week you may stay the same. Focusing on all of the non-scale successes will remind you of how far you’ve come so you stay the course.
Aside from weight, there are a multitude of non-scale victories and non-scale successes worth celebrating in your health journey that are just as important to recognize. In fact, they may even be more important because many of these non-scale victories are what keep you going even when you reach your goal weight. Often times the hardest part of weight loss is staying motivated and keeping it off once you’ve reached that desired weight.
Many of my clients reach their goal weight by working with me via a proven-system and lots of accountability. This is a time of transition and reflection on how far they’ve come so that they use that to keep the momentum going. It’s important to remember that when you achieve and focus on any non-scale victory, you could be losing weight in the process but also are improving your mood, health, and well-being.
Here are several non-scale successes to refer back to when you’re in need of encouragement – including physical, mental, emotional, and beyond. If you’ve accomplished any of these victories, pat yourself on the back and celebrate your success today!
Physical (External Appearance)
- Glowing skin
- Stronger, thicker hair
- Fresher breath
- Flatter stomach
- Leaner appearance
- Clothes fitting better
- Wedding ring fitting better
- Less bloating
- More defined muscle tone
- Feeling more confident in your appearance
- Decreased back, knee, and joint pain
- Reduced fatigue
- Less reflux, heartburn, and gas
Mood, Emotions, and Psychology
- Improved mood and happiness
- Enhanced patience with yourself or your kids
- Reduced anxiety or stress
- More optimistic attitude
- Less depression and improved overall mental health
- Fewer sugar cravings
- Improved body image
- Feeling in control of your food or eating habits
- Less reliance on the scale
Food and Behaviors
- A healthier relationship with food
- Improved disordered eating habits
- No more bingeing
- Practicing mindful eating
- Stops eating when full
- Listening to your body
- No more yo-yo dieting
- Learned how to cook
- No longer using food as reward or punishment
- Can identify emotional vs. physical hunger
- Improved focus and attention span
- Improved performance at your job or school
- Faster reaction times
- Improved memory
- Clearer thinking
- Increased productivity
- You’re sleeping more soundly
- You fall asleep more easily
- You no longer need a sleep aid
- No more “snooze” button needed – you wake up more easily
- Less snoring
- Fewer night sweats
- Less sleep apnea
- Increased energy
- More steady energy throughout your day
- No more midday energy slump
- More energy to play with your kids
- More energy to exercise and keep up with healthy habits
- Less reliant on sugar and caffeine
Remember – the scale does not have to define your success. Refer back to these non-scale victories to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and all of the success you’re having along the way. I help my clients create more of a balance in their weight loss plan so they are losing weight consistently but aren’t over-restricting their diet choices.
Weight loss is a journey – not a destination to the finish line. For more support and accountability to achieve both your scale and non-scale victories, I want to invite you to book a free discovery call with me.