So you started a new plan, you’re sticking to your diet, eating your veggies and protein, and doing your workouts. You see your weight loss coming along great initially, but you find that over a period of weeks, the decrease in weight has slowed down.
Motivation only lasts for a little while unless you see progress. If you track your weight daily, you will notice just how fickle the scale can be. Sometimes it does not show the drop in numbers as it did at the start of the plan. Furthermore, it may even seem to increase occasionally, in spite of you doing everything right. When weight loss is stuck, we tend to get demotivated and disheartened, and that’s when we are in the biggest danger of dropping our program and going on an all-out binge.
But weight is not the only parameter by which one must measure their progress. So here are some other ways to know if your program is propelling you towards the right direction.
🏋️️ You’re performing better in your workouts
The short circuit that exhausted you is now your warm up. Your previous work set is now your warm up set. You are stronger and fitter in general and have no problem carrying around large grocery bags on your own. More strength = more lean muscle, which means you are making progress.
👗 Your clothes are fitting differently
They are getting loose from different parts of your body, even if your weight isn’t going down. This is a common phenomenon especially in people who exercise a lot. You may be gaining muscle mass (which is dense and therefore heavy) while losing fat (which is voluminous.) Does your belt buckle need new holes? Do your shirts now have drooping shoulders? That old blouse is fitting you again? Progress!
⚡ You’re more energetic
That post-lunch slump is no longer there, and you feel bright and ready to perform most of the day. Eating something doesn’t make you sleepy, and you feel like you can do so much more in the span of the same 24 hours.
👩 Your mood has improved
Many people come to us with unstable moods. A good diet and lifestyle is surprisingly effective at making people feel a lot more emotionally stable, as hormonal profiles also change due to the consistency in diet, as well as the endorphin rush from exercise. Furthermore, becoming physically healthier has a great carry over to one’s confidence and self-esteem. You may find yourself becoming more positive and cheerful throughout the day.
💬 Your friends and family have started making comments
Even though you may not see major changes yourself after a point, you will be on the receiving end of plenty of comments from people about how much better you look, how your skin is glowing. People at work might even comment on your productivity. And rather than giving you advice, people are now asking you for it.
💤 Improved sleep
You’re sleeping like a baby and wake up feeling more energetic than before. This is an incredibly crucial piece of the puzzle. An unhealthy lifestyle has a great impact on sleep, and that in turn has a great impact on your health. It’s a negative feedback loop, which suddenly becomes a positive one as you get fitter and healthier.
The moral of the story is – Don’t fixate on the number on the scale. Notice all the other signs of progress and give yourself a pat on the back! After all, the number on the scale is just a number. It does not determine (beyond a point) how healthy you are, or how much self-confidence you should feel. Keep doing what you’re doing and take your time reaching your goal weight, while enjoying these other benefits.