Non-scale victories are health improvements that result from small life changes. They may go unnoticed if you’re only focused on the scale as a measure of your success. A bathroom scale shows a number, a snapshot of your weight at a given moment on a given day. But the journey to a healthier life can’t be reduced to a single frame so easily. You can create a truer picture of your progress by recognizing the many improvements you’re experiencing day to day.
Your mood has brightened: If you’ve gotten into a new health and fitness routine and are starting to notice that you feel happier, then that’s a pretty good measure of success.
Your clothes fit you better: Your pants may let you know your weight is changing before the scale does. If your clothes are feeling more comfortable than they used to, your efforts are very likely paying off. A study showed that roughly 77% of women and 36% of men wanted to lose weight so they’d look better and feel more comfortable in their clothes. Appearance is especially powerful for younger people.
You have more energy: When you’re eating more nutritious food and increasing your physical activity, you’re bound to feel more energetic overall. Health researchers point out that increased energy is one of the main benefits of adopting a healthier, more active lifestyle.
Your joints don’t hurt as much: If you suffer from joint pain, then your fitness goals may include reduced discomfort. For every extra pound of weight a person carries, it puts four pounds of pressure on the knees. Rather than stepping on a scale, look out for signs that your body is feeling better-down to the joints.
You feel stronger: Maybe you’re lifting heavier weights at the gym, or lugging groceries feels a little easier than it used to-either way, take note of your strength gains. If you do fitness classes, think about how you felt when you first started going versus now. If it was initially hard to even get through the class, but now you feel energized afterward, then you’re making progress. Keep in mind that as you build muscle your weight may plateau or go up, so the scale really can’t be trusted when it comes to measuring success if increased strength is a goal.
You are craving less sugar: For those who have a sweet tooth, staying away from treats is a challenging but attainable goal, and the first sign of success may come well before the numbers on the scale start to drop. If you’ve been cutting back on sugar and find that you’re craving sweets less, this is definitely a sign you’re breaking the sugar cycle.
Watching your weight change on the scale is one very helpful tool but it’s certainly not the only tool to use to prove you are meeting milestones.