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Inside: Relying on the scale to determine your physical transformation is the quickest way to become frustrated and demotivated. Learn how to redefine success in your weight loss journey by focusing on non-scale victories. Non-scale victories are a much more positive, fun and sustainable approach to fitness. Let’s do this!
Do you find yourself feeling frustrated and demotivated after stepping on the scale?
Are you tired of using an arbitrary number to determine the success of your fitness efforts or weight loss journey?
Getting caught up in scale-centered thinking often causes frustrating and demotivation because it is not an accurate measure of your fitness level or overall health.
Once I learned to shift my focus from body weight to non-scale victories, I feel more in love with exercise and it transformed not only how I saw myself on the outside but how strong and confident I felt on the inside.
Let’s break free from scale centered thinking and focus on what really matters and that is making healthy changes that have a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being!
Let’s do this!
Disclosure: Although I am a certified prenatal/postnatal exercise specialist and personal trainer, I am not YOUR trainer. The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute of the information and advice you receive from a healthcare professional. This website does not replace the medical advice you receive from your provider.
“I’m Not Seeing Results”
Does this sound familiar?…
You’ve been working your booty off to lose weight but the number on the scale is not budging.
All that hard work with “no results” leaves you feeling frustrated and demotivated.
This is what I call “scale-centered thinking”.
It is easy to become demotivated when the scale isn’t showing you the progress you want to see, but that doesn’t mean all your hard work isn’t paying off!
The problem here is that you are focusing on the wrong results!
The scale does not reflect your physical strengths and progress, how hard you have worked or the amazing accomplishments that you have achieved in your fitness journey.
It can’t show you the 10 seconds you shaved off your 5k time or the 10 extra push-ups you can do compared to a month ago.
The scale only reflects an arbitrary number that can change from day-to-day and is affected by things such as water retention, hormones, and stress levels.
There are MUCH better ways to track your progress with something called “non-scale victories”.
Understanding Non-Scale Victories
A non-scale victory is a measurable health and fitness result that doesn’t rely on a scale number for motivation or progress tracking.
For example, instead of making a goal to “lose 10 pounds” you can make measurable goals like, “run a mile in 11 minutes” or “do 20 push-ups without stopping”.
Non-scale victories are the small wins that keep you motivated and consistent, especially during times of weight-loss plateaus.
They reflect your ability to move better, feel better and become the best version of yourself without allowing a number to define your success.
These victories are about celebrating the positive changes you’ve made and all your hard work and every little step you take towards reaching your goals.
And it’s understanding that you are moving in the right direction regardless of what the scale says.
30-60 Day Non-Scale Victory Challenge (3 months worth)
Now let’s put all that knowledge into action!
- First, I would like you to create a list of performance based goals you would like to accomplish in the next 4-8 weeks. These should be things that have nothing to do with body size or scale number. (see below for examples)
- Now use this Non-scale victory tracker to document your journey to reaching your goals.
How To Reach Your Goals:
A Note on Exercise Intensity
Performance based goals require you to push your body harder which leads to higher intensity workouts. This will inevitably give you much better progress in both your physique and your overall health.
8 Non-Scale Focused Goals
How Do I Know My Workouts are Working if I Can’t Weight Myself?
This non scale victory list will help you celebrate your accomplishments outside bodyweight.
Your Clothes Are Fitting Better
As your body composition changes, you will likely find that your clothes fit better despite a change in your body weight.
This is because muscle mass is more takes up less space than body fat.
In other words, muscle mass is more condense than fat weight.
Regular strength training combined with a healthy diet is the best way to boost energy levels and release those feel-good hormones to help you power through your day.
You Are Becoming Physically Stronger and more Fit
Related: 7 Treadmill Workouts That Will Burn Fat & Make You Fit
Improvements in Your Overall Health
Sleep Quality & Mood
Research proves over and over that regular exercise helps with quality of sleep.
Benefits of Non-Scale Victories
Finally, let’s talk about why non-scale victories are important.
While weight loss is often important for overall health improvements, focusing too much on the scale can cause demotivation, frustration and lack of consistency.
5 benefits of NSV’s
Related: 88 Weight Loss Affirmations To Keep You Focused and Motivate
NSV Tools…Can You Get Faster at These 3 Workouts?
Watch your body get stronger and more fit the faster you get at doing these workouts!
Time yourself each time you do the workout.
Wait a few days in between then do the same workout but try to finish it faster.
- 5 burpees
- 20 squats
- 30 bicycle crunches
- 40 reverse lunges
- 50 mountain climbers
- repeat 3-4 rounds
- 20 jumping jacks
- 20 jump squats
- 20 skater hops
- 20 plank jacks
- repeat 3-4 rounds
- 8 manmakers
- 15 sumo squats with dumbbells
- 20 walking lunges
- 20 jump lunges
- 20 hammer curls
- repeat 3-4 rounds
- 10 thrusters
- 10 renegade rows
- 10 power push-ups
- 10 bulgarian split squats each leg
- repeat 3-4 rounds
Is It Ever Okay To Use The Scale to Measure Progress?
I want to be clear that the scale isn’t always the enemy and in certain circumstances, weighing yourself is important for health goals.
If you are significantly overweight, then weighing yourself will be important to track your progress.
However, it is important to develop a healthy mindset and relationship with the scale by not weighing yourself daily and remembering it is only one aspect to your health.
Related: 88 Affirmations To Build a Better Relationship With Your Body
Final Thoughts On Non-Scale Victories
I’m not going to lie and say that it is going to be easy to change your focus away from the scale and it is still something I struggle with at times.
However, for me, non-scale victories have been pivotal in helping me stay motivated in my fitness journey, especially as a busy working mom of four.
Once I became more focused on what my body could do instead of my appearance, I began seeing better results in both my physique and mental health.
So, if you’re feeling discouraged, remember to focus on those small like changes.
These are what will help keep you going even when the road gets tough.
Here are some final reminders about the scale:
- The scale will is not an accurate representation of all your hard work.
- It cannot show important health factors such as body composition, muscle mass and overall health.
- Understand that if your goal is to build muscle, increase endurance or improve your overall health, the scale may not be the best measure of progress.
- Becoming fixated on a specific number can have a negative impact on your mental health and lead to unhealthy and obsessive behaviors.
- Weight loss is not always linear and can be affected by water retention, hormones, or things like constipation. This is why the scale cannot accurately measure your progress.
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.