Last Updated on May 6, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
When you first decide to improve your lifestyle and lose some of your body mass, it can be easy to get discouraged. One of the biggest hurdles you’ll come across is when the scale tells you that you have lost very little – even though you’ve put in a lot of effort. This can lead to negative thoughts of giving up and even depression. Although the scale can be a great instrument when tracking your progress, it shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on. There are many ways to tell when you’re losing weight.
Losing Weight Is Easy
Many people get into this mindset that they just can’t lose weight no matter what they do. In some situations, this may actually be true. Those who suffer from physical disorders and over-active thyroids could have complications. However, I’ve know many people who say they can’t who really didn’t put in much effort. In many cases, it’s my friends who tried for a week and gave up because they didn’t lose 20 pounds.
For me, personally, losing weight is all about reducing my intake and increasing my activity. Just like any other diet plan, really. There is one important exception to this plan of mine – I don’t deny myself the goodies I love. I believe that you can live healthy while enjoying some of those things that “experts” call “bad.” It’s all in how much of them you eat. Like I’ve said before, “A bag of cookies does not a serving make.”
Things to Monitor When Losing Weight
When you start losing weight, the scale can be misleading. As there are many things that can cause your weight to fluctuate, you don’t want to put all your faith into this device. Here are a few ways you can see results of your efforts over time.
Taking weekly measurements of your body can show you how many inches you’re losing. This is a great method to see when you’re losing weight. As you replace the fat weight with muscle, things like your waist and arms will begin to shrink. Since muscle mass weighs more than fat, this shrinkage can be key to help you keep motivated to continue.
Tracking Physical Exercise
When you start working out for the first time, it can seem nearly impossible. I remember the first time I did a plank – I was vibrating to the point of almost being motion sick. Over time, it became easier and easier. I no longer shake in a plank and I can hold my position longer than I could when I first started. When you keep track of your exercises, you can see how things are getting easier for you. This is because you’re building up endurance as well as strength.
Pay Attention to Clothing
Clothes are a dead giveaway when it comes to losing weight. Things may start to feel less constricting. My wife points out how some of her clothes seem to fit much better than before, even though she doesn’t think she lost that much weight. The clothes will tell when you’re progressing, especially after they’ve been washed. This is because the fabric will shrink back to near-original fitting when dried.
Take Routine Selfies
Taking a picture of yourself in the mirror once a week can show you areas of the body that you’re losing. Depending on your body type, this might take a bit of time. This is why I suggest doing it once a week and then make a collage of before and after shots. It’s the visualization of these images that can inspire you to continue.
Don’t Put All Your Faith in the Scale
Scales can be handy when your losing weight. They’re just not to be blindly trusted. Everything from water retention from what you ate the day before to bathroom visits to relieve yourself will cause your weight to fluctuate. You’ll need to add other forms of perception if you truly want to see the impact you’re making on weight.
Sometimes, even just looking at your shadow on the ground can be inspirational. I know when the sun hits me just right, my shadow looks pretty epic. Just because the scale doesn’t show much progress, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a profound impact on your health. Keep your eye on the scale, but don’t evolve your whole routine around it.