How To Effectively Measure Your Progress On Your Weight Loss Journey (3 Helpful Tips)
As you may already know, if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, I am currently on a weight loss journey (again). I’ve been sharing before and after pics in my private Facebook group for busy working moms (you can join my Facebook group here), and I’ve been very open about my struggles and challenges. At this point, I’ve come up with a system that works for my real life, and it’s something that I can commit to and be consistent with, which is half the battle.
I’ll be starting a new series here on the blog, this month, documenting my weight loss journey, and sharing my progress with you, along with what I’m doing to reach my weight loss goals. So look out for more details about that, in my next blog post.
For today, I want to give you 3 helpful tips for measuring your progress while on a weight loss journey. The scale is not the only way (and certainly not the best way) to measure whether or not you’re being successful in your weight loss journey. For me currently, building lean muscle mass is much more important than only losing weight (because I want to be toned and strong, not flabby, as I lose the weight). But I do recognize that, on your weight loss journey, it’s easy to be strictly focused on the number on the scale. Don’t make this mistake! Remember, it’s not the only way to measure your weight loss progress or success. So although the scale may show the same number, from week to week, these other items may tell you a completely different story.
Here are some important and valuable ways to measure your progress, on your weight loss journey, that will tell you what the number on the scale won’t.
How To Effectively Measure Your Progress On Your Weight Loss Journey (3 Helpful Tips)
Photo via Beachbody
1. Track Your Measurements. I’ve been sharing the details of my progress, including my measurements, in my private Facebook group for busy working moms, and it’s been very encouraging! If I was just going by the number on the scale, I might underestimate the amount of progress I’ve made over the past few weeks. But, because I’m tracking my measurements (especially around my waist), I’m seeing that I’m doing even better than I originally thought! If you’re on a weight loss journey like me, don’t skip this step. More than likely, you will see significant changes in your measurements, and how your pants/clothes fit, long before you see a major drop in your weight on the scale. So track your measurements, keep going, and stay encouraged, no matter what the number on the scale is telling you. One more thing to note, depending on many other factors like; hormonal changes or imbalances, how much water you’re drinking, and how much your sodium intake is, you may find that you get bloated throughout the day or week.
I recommend taking your measurements first thing in the morning, before you eat, and checking them at this same time, every week, throughout your weight loss journey. This way, you’ll have an accurate record of your progress. Be sure to measure the following areas to accurately track your progress:
Lastly, don’t forget to write those numbers down each week, and/or save them in your phone, so you can see just how far you’ve come, after a month, and so on!
2. Track How You Look. Speaking of changes in how your pants/clothes fit, how you look will tell you a lot about how you’re doing on your weight loss journey, before the scale shows any significant changes. So before you’re able to shout from the rooftop, “Look at me, I lost 20 lbs.!”, you’re going to start to notice small, but significant changes in your appearance. Before you start your weight loss journey, be sure to take some photos of yourself, facing the camera (full-body), and also facing the side, to capture your profile (also full-body). Then every week, or every two weeks, or so, take a new set of pictures, so that you can compare, and really evaluate your progress, to see if you’re moving in the right direction. Before you know it, those jeans that you used to have to squeeze into (while holding your breath lol), will suddenly slide on with ease, and you won’t have to lay down to zip them up anymore (you know what I’m talking about ladies)!
You might look in the mirror and see that your face looks a little slimmer, your cheekbones are a little more noticeable, or you simply don’t look bloated anymore. This is a BIG DEAL! It’s not always about the number on the scale, or how much weight you’ve lost, or hope to lose. Sometimes, just being able to look in the mirror and say, “Wow, I look good, and I look healthier!”, is all the motivation you need to continue on your journey to get fit, strong, and become the best version of you that you can be!
3. Track How You Feel. This one is major because, even before your measurements start to decrease, and you start to see small changes in your body, you will notice a difference in how you feel. So let’s take a moment to highlight this aspect of your weight loss journey, because it’s super important. When you start making changes to your lifestyle, in an effort to lose weight, it’s not easy. That first 7-10 days, can be pretty brutal, because you’re disrupting your normal patterns and habits, and developing new ones. You’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and into your glory zone, which is where the magic happens! But, by about half-way through week 2, something incredible happens…you start to realize that you feel different! Actually, you realize that you feel really good!
You’re not as tired as you used to be. You’re not as cranky as you used to be. You feel more energetic, you’re in a better mood, and you don’t crave the same unhealthy foods, that you used to eat all the time. You feel stronger, you have more stamina, you're more flexible, agile,etc. But the crazy thing is that, at this point, you may not physically see any significant changes in your appearance (especially not on the scale). However, your body is sending you a strong message, just based on how you feel. That message is, “You’re doing great! Keep up the good work! You’re getting stronger!” Acknowledge that! Celebrate it! That will be just the motivation you need to keep going, and before you know it, you’ll be back to wearing your little black dress, without the Spanx! Yasss!!
Does this make sense? Do you see why it’s important for you to measure other things, besides just that number on the scale? There’s more to your weight loss journey than how many pounds you’ve lost. There’s a lot more going on in your body, and you need to make sure that you’re keeping track of, and acknowledging those things too.
Here are some other important numbers you need to be aware of, on your weight loss journey:
Your blood pressure.
Your heart rate.
Your cholesterol levels.
Your BMI (body mass index).
"Your body mass index, or BMI, provides a quick way for your doctor to estimate your level of body fat. Although not infallible, it can clue him in as to whether you're at risk of chronic disease and other complications related to being overweight or obese. A high BMI makes it likely that you'll be subject to additional health screenings, including diet and physical activity evaluation, family history, blood tests and other appropriate evaluations.” ~ via Livestrong.com
Lastly, you should make a significant effort to track some other important items as well.
You should keep track of (in a journal, or other document) how much water you're drinking, what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, how you’re feeling before you eat, how you feel after you eat, and what you’re doing for your workouts.
Use the Hidrate Spark app and water bottle to track your water intake, and get reminders to drink water!
Why is all of this important?
Because it will give you a clear indication of where the source of your problems are, related to your weight loss (Are you not eating often enough? Are you doing more emotional eating than you realized? Did you over-snack today because you were bored? Do you need more sleep?). In addition, it will help you see clearly where you’re currently at, and where you need to improve, so that you can get stronger, healthier, and reach your fitness goals faster.
Do you see why it’s so important for you to not solely focus on how much you weigh, and how much weight you’re losing, from week to week? There are so many other important factors at play, when it comes to your weight loss. Don’t focus on the wrong things, and miss out on the significant progress that you are actually making.
When you’re consistent with the right things, even if it’s small changes, you will begin to see positive differences.
I can’t wait to share more with you about my weight loss journey and progress, in our next blog post!
So tell me, are you currently on a weight loss journey? Are you trying to get more fit, healthier, or stronger? Have you found that these tips will be (or have been) very helpful to you on your weight loss journey?
Post a comment below, and share your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear from you!
Please share this post on social media, and help to empower another busy, working mom, who’s trying to stay fit, physically, mentally, and emotionally. We are all in this together! Let’s lift each other up!
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Body works ball - Code: Jump
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