While weight can be a useful way to measure progress over time it can have some limitations.
Firstly, weight doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat - so while you may have gained muscle and lost fat over the course of your healthy journey, it won’t reflect this on the scale.
Secondly, it’s normal for weight to fluctuate between 1-2kg over the course of a day, due to a number of factors (see our article here which explains some of the reasons weight can fluctuate). So if you are jumping on the scales each morning and notice the number jumping around, it may feel demoralising.
With this in mind, it’s important to consider other ways to measure your progress when embarking on a weight loss journey. Not only can it keep motivation high during weeks when there may be a weight plateau, but it’s a great reminder of all the other positive changes that come with a healthier lifestyle.
Taking body measurements of certain areas of your body can give a good indication of body changes, such as fat loss. Sometimes the scales can remain the same, but you might notice you have actually lost cm’s in certain parts of your body.
Here are some measurement you can use to check your body changes:
Choose a form fitting outfit and each month, take a photo of yourself from the front, back and sides. Make sure you take the photos in the same outfit, in the same place, with the same lighting so it’s easier to compare changes.
Choose an item of clothing that is a little tight, and try it on every few weeks to see how it fits. Note where it starts to feel loose, and how you feel wearing it.
Making new lifestyle changes like increasing activity levels and eating healthier can help boost energy levels. Start to notice how your energy levels are changing each week. You could make a note on your phone or on a piece of paper on the fridge to monitor how your energy levels are changing.
Good quality sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. When making new lifestyle changes, you might notice sleep quality improving, or increased sleep time. Track sleep with a fitness tracker or by making a note in your phone.
Tracking steps can be a useful way to assess progress with your activity. Use a fitness tracker to see how many steps, on average, you take each week. Review how your average steps change over time.
If you are including exercising in your new healthy lifestyle, you may start to notice your strength improving. Start to notice if you can finish your usual walk 5 minutes faster than when you started, or if you can get through a workout without breaking sweat. Celebrating your improved strength is a great way to maintain motivation.
The doctors and dietitians at Rosemary Health have significant experience helping people to lose weight and keep it off. They are committed to supporting you throughout your weight loss journey – from the moment you first consider losing weight through to helping you maintain a healthy weight in the long term.