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Progress: Beyond the Scale
“If you’re not assessing, then you’re just guessing” is a mantra we like to use when it comes to progress. We’ve already laid out researched, practical strategies of successful weight loss case studies (Keeping The Weight Off), one of which is self-monitoring. The findings are clear, in order to progress towards success, you first need to identify specific assessment methods you plan on tracking…beyond the scale.
The scale is the obvious go-to for most of us. After all, it’s an easy, numerical way for us to get a snapshot of our body weight. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that the scale is not a measure of our “body fat”; there are many variables that affect our scale weight, beyond just how much body fat we have. We often forget this and become frustrated when the scale doesn’t budge. That said, weighing yourself regularly is just 1 tool in your toolbox to assess your progress. Here are some other ways to track progress:
- Medical Check ups – Do you visit your doctor regularly? And get bloodwork done?
- Internal Monitoring – Blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring can now be done in-home
- Body Fat Estimate – The keyword is “estimate”. Regardless of the method used, it will have a margin of error.
- Body Circumference Measurements – Use a tape measure to get the circumferences of various body parts (chest, arm, waist, leg)
- Clothes – Are they fitting looser?
- Performance – Are you lifting more weight, doing more reps, running/walking further or longer, etc.?
- Compliments – Are you starting to get feedback from others that you’re looking leaner or in better shape?
Just like with your weight loss strategy itself, the assessments method(s) you choose to utilize must be tracked on a consistent basis. Otherwise, it won’t be accurate. We recommend making a system out of it (stay tuned on how to do so in next week’s post). Whichever ways you choose to assess your progress, moving beyond just the scale will provide a broader perspective and, hopefully, remove some of the frustration the scale can bring.