Becoming healthier by managing our weight can be challenging. The progress is never linear, daily life often interferes, motivation waxes and wanes, and sometimes, even if we’re doing everything the experts say we should, we still can’t lose a pound.

We’ve all heard the saying “it’s not about the number on the scale”. While this is true and you are much more than just a number, it’s important to understand that the number is sitll important. When the number is high, we know that it is having a negative effect on our health. So to a certain extent, the number does matter. This is why it is such a motivating factor for people who are trying to lose a significant amount of weight – so they can be in better health.

A lot of people find that even when they’re doing everything “right,” the number on the scale isn’t moving in the right direction. If this happens to you, don’t worry–you’re not alone. It might help to take a closer look at your diet to make sure you’re not consuming more calories than you think.

Just because you hit a stall doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you’re less worthy or that you should give up. Hitting a stall can be discouraging, but don’t let it get to you.

It’s normal to feel disappointed or want to give up when you hit a weight loss plateau, but it doesn’t mean you haven’t made progress. Look for other changes in your body and keep in mind that you’re still making healthier choices even if the scale doesn’t reflect it.

Signs That You’re on the Right Track

Even when the scale isn’t moving, there are still ways to tell if you’re heading in the right direction. Here are seven signs to look for:

Your Clothes are Fitting Better

Even if you’re not losing weight, it doesn’t mean that you’re not losing body fat. Even though the scale might not show it, you can still be losing inches. This is something that happens to a lot of people. If you’re losing inches, that’s a huge victory and a sign that you’re on the right track.

You Are Getting Stronger

If you’re seeing improvements in your workout performance or physical appearance, don’t be discouraged if the changes don’t show up immediately on the scale. There are many indicators of fitness and health besides the number on the scale, so take pride in the progress you know you’re making.

Muscle Definition

The definition of muscle is one of the first physical signs that you may notice when losing weight. The amount of time it takes to see this sign varies from person to person, depending on factors such as genetics, body type, and age.

If you want to achieve your goals faster, it is recommended that you follow a challenging, consistent, and long-term exercise regimem. For example, if your goal is to build muscle mass, you should take on a strength training program.

The more muscle you have, the more changes you will see during exercise.

You Are Not Noticing Cravings as Often

Recognizing the changes in your tastes and enjoying healthy foods is a big step in the right direction. Looking forward to a plate full of veggies is a major non-scale victory. Not reaching for a Hershey’s bar every day because you’re not craving them is one way you know you’re heading in the right direction.

You Have More Energy

Waking up feeling refreshed and full of energy is a good sign that you’re on the right track to better health, regardless of what the scale says.

Better And Improved Health

If you are shedding pounds and your health is improving, this is evidence that you are losing weight safely and effectively, because too much body fat increases your risk of health conditions including:

  • Heart diseases and strokes
  • Cancers of the cervix, breast, rectum, colon, uterus, endometrium, ovary, gallbladder, esophagus, pancreas, liver, prostate, and kidney
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Digestive problems such as heartburn, liver problems, and gallbladder disease
  • Gynecological and sexual problems

Everyday Tasks are Easier

Scaling the stairs without being out of breath and not breaking into a sweat after doing some light housework or mowing the lawn are now things of the past. Those who have never had weight issues would never think that these would be considered “rewards,” but when you’re trying to get healthy and lose weight, you start to notice the little things.

Examples include the first time you can get out of the car without struggling. So, hold onto the little, everyday victories when you’re not seeing the scale go down. You’re getting closer and closer to living a healthier life.

Changes In Your Body Measurements

If you’re looking to see whether you’ve lost weight, one of the first places you’ll probably check is your body measurements. This can be more revealing than just looking at the number on the scale, so many people prefer to track their progress this way.

Before beginning your weight loss journey, you will need to take several body measurements, such as your waist-to-hip ratio. Your waistline is often a good indicator of how close or far away you are from a healthy weight.

WebMD states that your waist size is indicative of the amount of fat around your belly. This type of fat is associated with various health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The ideal waistline for women is around 35 inches or less (unless you are pregnant). Therefore, if you notice that your waist size is getting smaller, it means you are on the right track.

You do not have to go to a professional to determine such measurements as your waist size. You can simply buy a measuring tape and then follow these steps to record your waist size:

  • Stand upright and wrap the measuring tape around your waist. Target the area just above your hip bones.
  • Do not press the tape on your skin such that it is tight. Instead, let it be snug.
  • Take the measurements just after you exhale.

It is not necessary to take body measurements every day, you can do it once a month or every two weeks.

You Have More Confidence

The number on the scale shouldn’t dictate how you feel about yourself. When you’re finally content with your appearance, don’t let the scale ruin your confidence. Achieving a healthy weight and lifestyle requires many changes, one of which is increased self-esteem. A lot of us let the number on the scale determine our mood for the day. Please don’t let it have that power over you!

Losing weight can give women a new sense of self and it’s not because of the number on the scale. It’s because they learn that they are capable, powerful, and in control of their life, choices, and happiness. That’s what gives them confidence, not what’s on the scale. The number can fluctuate day by day and week by week, but that new sense of self is something I can always hold onto. So don’t let the number decide if you have a good or bad day – you decide that!

You Feel Great

You can celebrate even if you haven’t lost any weight in a month because you are making the choice to feel good about yourself. If you have all six of the following signs, then you are most likely feeling great:

  • Your clothes are baggy
  • You’re running easier
  • Resting better
  • Knocking things off your to-do list like a champ
  • Walking into a room as if you own it, and
  • You’re trying new things because your confidence can’t be shaken.

The Healthy Weight Loss Concept

Before discussing the signs of weight loss, let’s look at what weight loss actually is. Most of us want to lose weight quickly. You may have heard of people wanting to lose weight in two weeks or less before an important event. This could be a prom, birthday, or wedding.

Losing weight quickly is dangerous for your health. According to WebMD, rapid weight loss is associated with the following:

Gallstones

There is a 12 to 25% chance that individuals who have lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time will experience these issues.

Malnutrition

If you don’t consume enough of certain nutrients, it’s likely you will experience nutrient deficiency. Most often, this is due to not eating enough protein for several weeks.

Dehydration

It is also likely to occur but is also easily preventable if you drink a lot of water.

Electrolyte Imbalances

They may also occur and can be life-threatening

Side Effects

Some of the side effects of anorexia nervosa include headaches, hair loss, fatigue, and constipation.

Health experts advocate for healthy weight loss, which is slow, sustainable, and realistic. Healthy weight loss does not involve losing 10 pounds in 10 days, but rather long-term changes in diet, movement, and thinking.

The goal of losing 5-10% of your body weight in a 6 month period is a healthy weight loss target. This means that if you weigh 160 pounds, your goal should be to lose 8 pounds. Similarly, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal should be to lose 10 pounds, which is roughly 4.5 kgs.

If you follow a slow pace program, you may not experience the same health risks as someone who has a more intense workout. This can help you maintain your weight loss over a longer period of time.

The purported benefits of a rapid weight loss program are not long lasting. Such changes are usually short-term, and you may end up gaining back all the weight you lost, plus additional weight, in a very short time frame.

 

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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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