As you begin to map out a healthy weight loss plan, you first have to look within to make sure that all of your GOALS and MOTIVATIONS are in line. Before you can start to plan your weight loss on the outside, everything on the inside needs to line up.
In this article, we’ll take a look at those internal motivations, and how to map out and measure your weight loss efforts “beyond the scale." What does beyond the scale mean? It doesn’t mean that you should never weigh yourself, because keeping a healthy record of your progress throughout your journey is essential.
What mapping out your weight loss progress “beyond the scale” means, is having a rational and healthy understanding of the different aspects of a weight loss program, and how they affect ALL of you, not just a size of clothing or a number on the scale.
How can this help you? As you take a look at what you would like to accomplish with your weight, you need a roadmap, so that you can feel good about your progress. This article will help you plan a realistic roadmap, sharing resources to help you get there along the way.
You can’t just leave your weight loss to chance, but you also shouldn’t become so obsessed with a number that you fail to look beyond the scale! Let’s get started and learn exactly how to do this and how you can effectively move towards your goals!
First: Why and HOW the Scale Matters
Before we can go beyond the scale, we need to take a look at why the scale matters. And also take a closer look at the type of scale you are using, because that can make a big difference.
What type of scale do we recommend? A SMART one.
This means, we recommend a scale that can help you track and monitor not JUST your weight, but other essential body metrics. Discover why this is so important in this article, The Most Important Metrics to Track for Weight Loss.
But as a summary, a SMART scale should be able to tell you other percentages and measurements, including:
- Your body mass index (BMI)
- Total fat percentage
- The amount of water in your body
- How much muscle you have
- If you’re getting enough protein
- And more!
Once you know the right metrics to measure for success, then it’s also important to know how and when to weigh yourself (and the answer is not every day, or even multiple times a day)!
Here are a few tips for success and you can also check out our article on How to Use a Smart Scale.
- Your weight will fluctuate throughout the day, based on what you eat and drink, your bathroom habits, and the clothes you wear
- For this reason it’s better to weigh yourself once a week, preferably on the same day and time, in the same outfit (or no clothing), as weighing yourself every day may be discouraging and confusing
- Also check body fat percentage once per week
- Feel free to check water and protein percentage every day since those are more situational and can help you focus on healthier habits
Next: Beyond the Scale 101
As mentioned earlier in this article, obviously your weight loss goals are not just about tracking how much weight you’re losing, or even lowering your overall body fat percentage.
While of course these things are important, there are also other things to consider when it comes to losing weight, that revolve much more around your lifestyle, how you feel, and your overall perspective and satisfaction with your current state of being.
In short, the success of your weight loss journey depends on much more than just your measurements, and this should also be factored into your success. Knowing these things in advance can also help you to celebrate all of the wins along the way, instead of just being hyper-focused on one number at the end of your path.
This should also absolutely factor into your goals and the “what” you want to accomplish at the end of everything. Check out this blog on How to Set Measurable Goals, which you can keep going back to and refining along the way.
Here are some examples of ways that you can cheerlead your progress and track your own set of lifestyle results along the way, based on how well you find that you’re doing these things…
- Your health is much better than when you started actively changing your lifestyle habits and making better dietary choices (exhibited by the need for less medications, approval from a doctor, or just a general sense of overall feeling much better than previously)
- You have more energy and “zest” for life (you notice that you have a bit more “pep” in your step, you’re more motivated to complete tasks and even to get out of bed in the morning)
- You have a newfound sense of inner confidence (you take pride in the fact that you’re doing something good for yourself, and you’re starting to witness the way your clothes fit differently, which you love)
- You’re able to do more physically (where you once weren’t very mobile, now you can do much more and for greater lengths of time than you were able to before, whether in an exercise capacity, or simply just being able to play with your kids or grandkids)
- People are telling you how great you look (it’s not just your own perception of things, but when other people notice how good you look, or how happy you seem, that’s a huge indicator that you’re on the right track)
How to Meet Your “Beyond the Scale” Goals
Getting beyond the scale, which we now see to be the real and true measure of success, doesn’t happen without the needed time, motivation, and effort behind it.
It’s also helpful to realize that even when you focus on eating a healthy diet and add exercise into your routine, there are other lifestyle factors you may be forgetting about. And when it comes to weight loss, ALL of these factors are important, not just one of them.
Let’s take a look at other factors that have an impact on your goals and your bottom line…
Sleep is a vital part of our lives, and something we do every single night, so it’s easy not to think of it as part of a weight loss strategy. We’ve also been told multiple times by our doctor and other medical professionals that we need to get enough sleep in order to maintain good health – a number that’s different for everyone.
But you may not realize immediately how the sleep and weight loss connection works. Over the past decade, there has been a trend towards Americans sleeping less, and also having a higher body mass index. This signifies the important connection between weight and sleep as a way to ward off obesity and maintain a healthy weight. (1, 2)
Along with the obvious negative impacts of not getting enough sleep (like increased appetite, a sluggish metabolism, over-eating, and making unhealthy food choices), one that is more forgotten is an increase in stress. On the flip side, too much stress can also negatively affect sleep.
Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone” can wreak havoc in your body when it rises to higher than comfortable levels. Along with a number of unwanted side effects of being too stressed, like headaches, bad digestion, tense muscles, fatigue, and mood changes, another effect may be a bigger waistline – especially when high stress is allowed to fester for a prolonged period of time. (3)
Take initiative to reduce stress in your life by pinpointing the source of your stress and looking for ways to alleviate it, instead of trying to “power through” when you know you’re taking on more than you should.
Along with the stress hormone, cortisol, there are other hormones in your body that can have a direct impact on your health and weight loss goals. The first step in making sure that they don’t interrupt your health plans is awareness.
Two other hormones of interest when it comes to your weight and waistline include leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones work in tandem to make sure that you don’t starve – but are therefore not as useful when you’re actively trying to drop pounds. (4)
When you lose body fat, leptin levels in your body drop. Leptin is known as the “thin” hormone, because higher levels of it signal the body to shed body fat. However, with less of the hormone, your brain gets the message to slow the metabolism and increase appetite, helping to prevent starvation.
The same is true of ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone. Your stomach secretes this hormone when you haven’t eaten for a while, telling your brain it’s time to nourish. However, losing weight can also cause the same effect – with higher levels of ghrelin telling your body it’s time to eat.
To help overcome this built-in system of protection from starvation, the key is awareness. Being informed about your body actively trying to keep you from losing weight is the first step in overcoming it. Then try things that can help you get control of your appetite like 310 Thin, 310 Tea, and 310 Lemonade.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the importance of staying hydrated when it comes to weight loss. Getting enough H20 is not only necessary for your health, but research also shows that it’s important if you want to slim down. (5)
How can staying hydrated help you lose weight? It may…
- Suppress your appetite (especially when consumed before eating a meal)
- Stimulate metabolism (when cold water needs to be warmed internally by the body)
- Keep you away from other calorie-packed drinks
- Enhance exercise and calorie-burning results
- Detox the body to help reduce bloat
- Assist the body in burning more body fat
- Help keep the brain alert and motivated
- Help reduce stress
How do we suggest you stay hydrated? 310 Hydrates contain essential electrolyte minerals to enhance overall hydration, so you don’t have to drink as much liquid throughout the day. And 310 Lemonades help enliven your water with delicious flavors, with no sugar and only 5 calories per serving!
What Should You Do Next?
So, now you know about ways that you can help yourself “win” beyond the scale this year – and how you can track meaningful progress in your overarching health and weight loss goals.
What To Do Next…
- Make sure you’re plugged into a Community that can help support and encourage you along the way
- Keep up with the right tools to help you ensure your success, including protein-packed shakes, supplements and more
- Learn the basics of healthy eating if you haven’t already, and also how to eat mindfully for overall happiness, peace of mind, and satisfaction, along with better weight loss results
Check back on the 310 Blog for more articles from our team of 310 Health Coaches! Or, find us all in the 310 Community where we’re always ready and willing to help answer your questions on your individual journey and ways to monitor your progress and success!