We are smart men and women, but our emotions sometimes get the best of us, especially when the scale is involved. We know our bodies are ever-changing and our weight will fluctuate. Not letting that number blinking back at you effect your mood for the rest of the day is a battle for many of us, even when we know logically we have made some healthy strides.
Seeing that number go up is not always due to actual fat gain. We can be retaining more water especially after a tough workout, it could be our time of the month, maybe we are more stressed than usual or we had a horrible night sleep – clearly there are numerous other reasons we can attribute this to. And for men, it can mess with your head too! Scale obsession is more prevalent among women but men aren’t immune to this mind game.
Truth is, being a slave to the scale is not only stressful, it’s counterproductive. That number is such a fleeting measure of success and there are other ways to figure out if your diet and exercise routine is working for you. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to lose weight, gain weight or simply tone up a bit. Follow these tips to determine your progress aside from a silly number.

How are your clothes fitting?
Try on your favorite pair of jeans or dress and see how they look and feel. Baggy? Great, you’ve probably lost some weight. Fit the same? Still awesome! A little on the snug side? You might want to take a step back and make some dietary and daily activity changes in your program.

Take pictures
The old saying “the camera doesn’t lie” is relevant in this scenario. Stand in the same place that has decent lighting each time you take a progress photo. Take one shot from the front, one from the side, and if you can finagle it, one from the back. Pick one day each week to take these, wearing the same clothes if possible. When you feel like you are making little to no progress, this is a great tool to reinforce all of your hard work!

Be in tune with your body
Your body is a smart thing and can tell you more than the scale ever can. Even if the scale is stuck or goes up, take a second and ask yourself how you’re feeling in general. How’s your energy? Is your acne finally gone? These are far more important things to take into consideration than what the scale reads. Come on, who doesn’t want to feel and look amazing?!

Goals and performance
If you are someone who is a goal-oriented person, focus on something you can control, like your workout performance. Hitting yoga class 3 times a week after work? That’s something worth celebrating! The small victories like keeping a consistent exercise routine or eating plenty of vegetables are all steps in the right direction.

Confidence and Mindset
Making lifestyle changes can be tough and there will be times you will want to throw in the towel. If you can stick through it and get past the struggle, you will gain more confidence than you could ever imagine. Whatever your goal is, being the healthiest version of yourself is the ultimate prize and will affect all aspects of your life.

The scale is only one determining factor in our progress towards becoming healthier individuals. If possible, get rid of that bathroom scale for a while and use these other measures to gauge how your current nutrition and exercise plan are working for you.

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