You know the rules, right?
Always weigh yourself first thing in the morning. Don’t eat or drink anything beforehand. Go the bathroom first. If you’ve gained a pound, it’s probably because you’re PMSing/retaining water…or because you’ve gained muscle.
One of my clients quipped that her scale reads 3 lbs. lighter if she moves it to the opposite corner of her bathroom.
This mind game is a total waste of time.
In this article I’ll share 8 ways to measure your progress – and measure the effectiveness of your diet – without ever having to “weigh in” again.
Yes, we’re talking about reaching those weight loss goals but ANY eating plan’s results can be measured this way. Otherwise, even short-term progress can result in long-term setbacks.
Are you enjoying your food?
I don’t want to hear a half-hearted yes. And I don’t want you to say you’re “enjoying” your food in the sense that you’re enjoying thinking it’s making you healthier.
I want to know…is your food delicious? Satisfying? Lip smacking good?
Because if it’s not, first of all you might be missing key nutrients and going about this whole weight loss thing wrong.
And second of all, if you aren’t enjoying your food then your eating plan is going to crumble at the first sign of pizza.
So tell me, on a scale of 1 (yuck) to 5 (amazeballs) how are you enjoying your food?
How did you feel when you woke up this morning?
Energized? Lethargic? What about in the middle of the day and again in the evening?
Your energy levels should be relatively steady and even all day long, with a natural drop off before bed.
If that’s what you are starting to notice – and you aren’t relying on caffeine – it’s a very good sign that the way you’re eating is working for you.
How are things moving, er…down there?
I’ll tell you a funny story. My husband, bless his heart, once started drinking a powdered meal replacement instead of breakfast and lunch. This went on for quite awhile.
(What? Did you expect him to listen to his wife and eat real food??)
In the months that followed, he experienced more cases of diarrhea and nausea than ever in his life.
Proper digestion means having a comfortable bowel movement at least once per day, with no regular instances of running for the toilet.
Of course even healthy changes, like eating more fiber, can result in temporary digestive discomfort.
But if these issues persist, it’s a those tell-tale sign that your body isn’t happy and your diet isn’t working for you.
How’s your mood?
The connection between food and your mood is strong. I’ve had clients tell me that they feel more patience, calm and less road rage as a result of changing their diet. It’s a noticeable difference!
On the other hand, classic “dieters” are known to be grumpy and annoyed because they’re feeling hungry and deprived.
A diet that balances your body will balance your mind and lead to more happiness. Pay attention to how you feel, and keep track of how things change over time.
Do you suffer from PMS or menopause symptoms?
I know you might be thinking…”Since when does dieting have anything to do with PMS?”
The fundamental cause of weight gain (or stubborn weight loss) is inflammation. And inflammation is also linked to hormone imbalance. Three common problems are insulin resistance, low thyroid and high levels of cortisol.
Therefore, if you notice that your PMS has calmed down…even if the weight hasn’t come off yet…you’re on the right track.
How’d you sleep?
Sleep, like your period, is cyclical. Paying attention to these patterns is a great way to know whether your body is balanced or not.
Do you fall asleep easily or stare at the ceiling. Do you toss and turn all night or do you sleep soundly? How many hours of sleep do you get?
A proper diet will help your body sleep well. And conversely, here’s a little-known secret…
Prioritizing sleep will help reduce cravings and regulate your appetite. Win!
Lemme see that face.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ…and the only one you wear on the outside. You can take advantage of its visual cues.
Skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis can be triggered by food intolerances. Acne points to hormone imbalance. And dry, lifeless skin can be due to a lack of nutrients.
In other words, if your diet isn’t quite right it shows all over your face.
How do your clothes fit?
Even when pounds stay the same, your body composition can change drastically. That’s why your closet can be a truly effective way to measure your progress.
Are your jeans snug? Or do they button easily?
Does your dress bunch up or drape nicely?
Are you able to fit into clothes in the back of your closet again?
Have yourself a little fashion show and find out.
A holistic approach works best.
Face it. Most people who lose weight on diets put the weight back on…and then some. So if we only measure success with a scale, we ultimately fail.
Instead, start looking at the bigger picture and you’ll find ways to bring balance to your body and life. That’s when your body finds its ideal weight, effortlessly.