Scale weight, is it the most important part of your fitness journey?
For a beginner, the scales can often be the go-to place to check if you’re making progress on your fitness journey. However, if you want to truly track your progress, spend less time on the scales and concentrate on these 4 superior progress indicators.
- You have more energy:
Maybe you’ve felt like crap for so long you can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling full of life. Your alarm is the devil and you fear it ringing in your ear every morning when it’s time to go to work.
Before you go to work you need a large coffee, otherwise you can’t talk for best part of the morning, and when you do you want to kill everyone. Mid-afternoon you crave sugar and another hit of caffeine, then by 7pm you’re on your comfy sofa binge watching Netflix.
Maybe your body is deprived of vital minerals and nutrients, or maybe you have a nutrient deficiency with a food group, which can drain your energy and cloud your focus.
Or maybe you don’t sleep enough, you spend all night scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and only get 5 hours sleep per night, so you wake up feeling like a zombie who needs stimulants just to make it through the day.
What progress will look like:
You wake up before your alarm and jump out of bed feeling like a new person, your eyes are open and you’re not thinking about your morning coffee.
You don’t need a large coffee before leaving for work in the morning, a simple glass of water does the job.
You have energy when you finish work, you don’t want to rush home and slump on the sofa, you want to move and play with your kids.
A good nutrition plan will provide the body with constant energy throughout the day, rather than a quick buzz then a monstrous crash shortly after. If you get this part right, you will start to feel great, even before the scales start to move.
- Your clothes fit a little looser (or tighter)
You reach into your closet, you go for the jeans you haven’t worn in a few weeks that normally fit a little snug around your legs and waist. This time they fit a little loose, it fits good and feels great!
Or maybe you’ve pulled out an old baggy T-shirt that is usually too big, it drapes over you and looks like when your mum passed you down your older siblings’ clothes. But now this T-shirt is a little tighter, it’s tighter around your back and arms, which is a sign that you’ve gained some muscle and you’re making progress.
What progress looks like:
Muscle and bone are both denser than body fat. When we build this lean mass, we often get heavier but smaller (at least in certain areas). If you’re male you may find your arms bulging, your shoulders broadening, your chest filling out and your bum hardening.
If you’re female, you may find the scale weight goes up, but your clothes fit better.
Therefore, in addition to monitoring how their clothes fit, we suggest clients use a tape measure to track the circumference of various body parts.
- Your mood improves:
Have you ever been labelled as being grumpy, or told that a smile doesn’t cost anything? When your brain is deficient of nutrients you may not be your usual self and your emotions may be all over the place. Also the phrase “Hangry” has been developed in desperate moments when you’re really hungry and get angry because of this. This feeling of hunger may be what your brain is constantly like when it is deprived of vital nutrients.
What progress looks like:
Improving your mood and mental outlook can show up in many surprising ways. Here are some of the things Tribe Training clients have discovered after improving their nutrition habits.
- Happier and more positive
- More confident
- Clearer in my thinking
- Open to try new things
These positive changes come from the experience of changing habits. When we try something, and succeed, we get a big feeling of inspiration that encourages us to keep going and keep making positive changes.
These change can also come from nutrition itself. The brain and nutrients have exactly what they need to do their jobs: control mood, release hormones, regulate energy. But if the body is lacking certain nutrients, these essential mechanisms can become affected by this.
- It feels like a lifestyle change, and not just a diet:
Diets aren’t positive. They are another burden on your life that isn’t enjoyable and shouldn’t be the go-to approach to lose weight. The thing is with diets, they are often overly complicated tasks that can only achieve short term success, and every time you start a new one you can’t wait to quit. And when you do quit, you will be right back to the place you started. You’ll be disappointed in yourself because the diet has failed again, and you’ll be back to processed foods, back to feeling hungry and frustrated, back down the road to weight gain.
What progress looks like:
Progress happens when you’re in a routine and things come naturally to you, you’re not on or off something, its just part of who you are and starts being your daily life. Here’s when you know you’re onto a winner and you’re doing great:
- You naturally choose the healthy whole foods: You pick the chicken and vegetables over the pizza, without even thinking about it. You know that the pizza would make you feel shit and the protein and vegetables would leave you feeling great.
- You have a plan:Prepping meals on a regular basis and having everything organised with your nutrition and training. It now becomes a regular part of you weekly routine.
- You don’t “ruin” your diet anymore… Okay, so let’s get this straight. You still eat cake on your birthday, you still order pizza and Chinese on the odd weekend, you still love popcorn when you go to the cinema, but you don’t see these foods as “bad” or let them effect you. They’re just a part of enjoying your life. You have them, you enjoy them, then you go back to your healthy balanced diet which you enjoy and feel great from.
Some tips going forward:
If you’re tired of living by the scales, here are some tips to help you break free:
Track everything and celebrate your wins
Track everything and look for signs of progress in all aspects of your life, not just on the scales. When you have a win, no matter how big or small, make sure you celebrate it.
Add more stuff, don’t remove
Don’t remove junk food.
Don’t remove alcohol.
Add more protein, vegetables, fruit, vegetables and water. If you do this, you will have less desire for the other “bad” foods which don’t support your goals.
Focus on one thing at a time
Change only one thing at a time. Making small changes daily will combine to huge long-term success. But don’t try to change everything overnight, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Once you’ve achieved a small goal, find a new goal and aim for that, they’ll soon add up!
Find a coach to help you along the way
I’m a personal trainer and I hire my own coach. I have a coach to support with me with my training, and with my business. My training knowledge is pretty good, but I still like to have the guidance of a great coach to support and guide me with my training, and the same goes for my business.
Hiring a good coach was the best thing I ever did. It’s much easier and more enjoyable when you have the guidance of an experienced coach. If you’ve been trying to transform your body for a while and you’re not making much progress, it’s probably time to hire a coach.
Want to learn more?
If you want to transform your life, learn more about training, nutrition & lifestyle. Then my 12-week habit-based coaching system is the perfect program for you. Follow the link here to find out more: