We’ve talked non-scale victories, goal-centric scales, and the #morethananumber movement, but I haven’t shared my favorite non-scale ways to monitor weight loss and fitness efforts! Weight loss aside, these are three excellent non-scale indicators of progress that can totally tell you if you’re getting closer to achieving your physical goals. Whether you’re avoiding numbers, are going on a trip and aren’t packing a scale, or just want new tools in your arsenal, here are the three best ways to chart your progress WITHOUT weighing yourself.
- Pictures. Mirrors may lie, but pictures usually don’t! Progress pictures are not only super motivating, but they’re also an easy way to track the physical changes you’re making. The best part? You can take one any time and go from there. Seriously, take a picture and then hit the gym consistently for the next seven days, then take another picture at the end of the week. You’ll see a difference. It’s crazy how much just a week of clean eating and regular exercise can impact your physique! If you’re feeling camera shy, try comparing an old Facebook or Instagram photo to your current figure. There’s no rule that you have to put on a bikini and snap a selfie for photos to be useful. If you’re worried about someone stumbling over your images, there are even apps for you to keep your progress pictures in, like Tone It Up’s Perfect Fit app, or Pushh.
- Clothes. Whether this is a special dress for a big night out or your personal pair of “skinny” jeans in the back of your closet, any item of clothing works for this trick! You can either buy something new in a smaller-than-usual size as a motivational/aspirational treat, or use the fit of an item you already have to employ this measurement strategy. The way things look and fit can be an easy way to see if you’re making progress. Are things loose or tight? Do you no longer have a muffin top? Did you not have to do lunges to get into your yoga tights? All of these things can indicate progress just like the scale can.
- The Tape Measure. Losing weight? If you’re doing it right, you’re also losing inches. It’s also not at all uncommon for people to lose inches but NOT weight. Talk about discouraging if you’re only focusing on the scale! Common measurements include bust, natural waist (usually a little bit above the belly button), and hips at their widest point, but you can track whatever variables you like! Thighs, arms, low waist, neck–it’s all fair game. Measure no more than once a week for the most accurate, consistent picture of your size and progress. Bonus: A tape measure is super cheap and you can take one anywhere.