Unfortunately, the metric we've been relying on for decades — numbers on a scale — isn't always indicative of the progress you're making in your weight-loss journey. In fact, some really powerful transformations that appear to be slim downs involve very few pounds lost — some even have gained weight!
Here are some little victories to keep an eye out for — track this progress just as much if not more so than you're tracking your shed pounds.
- Your clothes are a little loose. One of the best indicators that you're making progress? How your clothes fit. If you notice you're having to keep your pants from falling down or adjusting loose clothing that used to feel tight, make a note of it and celebrate!
- You feel stronger. Tone It Up's Katrina Scott told POPSUGAR that when she was on her own weight-loss journey, the first thing she noticed was that she was able to run around her block. Before she started getting in shape, that small task felt impossible. Though it might seem trivial now that she's so strong, it was a huge leap in her fitness and weight-loss journey. Ashley German, who lost 115 pounds, said something similar: "Getting stronger psychically was a huge accomplishment for me. I had never run a mile in my life so the first time I ran a mile straight through was the absolute best feeling in the world."
- You're not eating as much. Have you been able to curb cravings and control your portions? Make sure you're taking note! Did you notice that you ate less or stopped when you were full (and it was sooner than you expected) and feel good about it? These are successes, so give yourself credit.
- Your progress photos look bangin'. Kayla Itsines told POPSUGAR that one of her favourite tips for staying motivated is to take progress photos. Even if you feel self-conscious when you're beginning your journey, it's so important to get those photos — from all the angles! You'll be so happy you did down the line, so you can do a little before and after for yourself. Plus, no one has to see but you!
- You have more energy. Esther, who lost 170 pounds, said when she started losing weight, the first indicator was her energy. "I am the person who I always was inside. I am happier, more vibrant, more engaged in all aspects in life."
- You have a new sense of space. A woman named Hailey, who lost over 100 pounds, described this as a major life change that had nothing to do with the scale. "I remember when I was overweight, I took up so much more of an area, my arms could not simply sit at my side — they instead jutted out. Or when I was sitting in class in university I could not put down the little side table attached to my seat as it did not sit flat. Once I lost the weight, this changed; I felt more confident when I was walking around and didn't feel awkward about where I stood or if I was in the way, like I had felt before."
- Your new favourite foods are healthy ones. Sticking to a diet can be super challenging, but after a while you'll find healthier foods you love. Did you fall for chia pudding or become obsessed with brussels sprouts? That's healthy progress that not only affects your weight loss but your overall health and well-being, too. You should be so proud of yourself!