Tracking your progress
Picture this: You're standing on a bathroom scale, staring down at the number between your feet, and for some reason it won't seem to budge! You've been doing everything right—training hard, eating quality foods, and watching your total calorie intake—but your scale weight just won't go down. What's the deal?
If this sounds familiar, don't worry. Many, many people have been in that position and ended up getting to the "after" they had been dreaming of. Here's why: there's way more to a successful transformation than a number on the scale. Your total weight is only part of the story, and plenty of other positive changes can be happening without it showing on the scale.
To more effectively track your progress, bust out your "tracking toolkit" and consider tracking these other important metrics until the scale catches up—and it will!
Body-fat percentage:Among other things, your total weight is a combination of fat mass and fat-free mass, or muscle. In some instances, your scale weight might not change much, but you could still be losing body fat and progressing toward your goal! This is why it's especially important to know and track your body fat percentage. Learn how to measure your body fat and what your percentage means.
Body measurements: Guess what? If your scale is stuck but your waist is getting smaller, you're still making progress! Measure the circumference of your waist, arms, legs, and other key body parts to know see where and how your body is changing beyond your total weight. If you're logged into BodySpace, you can track your body parts directly on your profile!
Strength and conditioning: Put aside your bodyweight for a moment. If you've been lifting consistently more weight than you were in the early weeks of Transformed, you're getting stronger! Similarly, if you're doing more work during the same amount of time during your cardio sessions, or feeling less fatigued while doing it, you're getting in better cardiovascular condition. These important markers can help motivate and keep you on track even when your body weight stalls, so be sure to track your workouts on BodySpace or in a simple journal.
Other health markers: If you want to know how your body is transforming beyond what you can see in weight, schedule appointments with your physician to track changes in your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other key health markers. If these numbers are improving, it's a sign you're getting more physically fit and the program is working!
The mirror: Even when your bodyweight seems stuck, the mirror can be your guide. If you can see positive changes—thinner sides, more defined arms, stronger quads or hamstrings—then you don't have anything to worry about. The scale can't tell you if your shoulders look rounder or your hamstrings have more shape, so don't rely on it entirely.
A scale is only one of many tools in your tracking toolkit—and some would argue it's far from the most important one. Use all the methods discussed here to measure what matters and ensure you're making progress!
* Ratings as of article's date of publication