There are many ways to assess your weight loss that has nothing to do with your weight. This post will show you 3 ways to assess your weight loss success.
You know, when you’re trying to lose weight, scale lies many times. Successful weight loss, in fact, has nothing to do with how much weight you’ve lost.
Think about it, why are you trying to lose weight? What is your ultimate goal for losing weight? Do you want to feel better? Do you want to look skinny? Do you want to be able to play with your grandchildren and children without getting tired? Or Do you want to reduce your health risks?
Well, all of them are valid reasons for you to lose weight. But amount weight loss (in pounds and kilograms) is not the only way to assess this success.
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Here are 3 ways to assess your weight loss success without measuring weight.
1. Measure Body Composition.
Our body is made up of muscle, water, fat, bones, organs, and tissue. All this makes up our body weight. We typically categorize them into two major groups – fat mass and fat-free mass. Another term we use more frequently is lean body mass, a total of muscle, and body water. A percent-body-fat is a measure that tells us what is your fat to lean body mass ratio. It is important to follow this number than weight. Read this to learn why?
Our body composition (particularly body fat percentage) provides us a much better assessment of our success than just bodyweight (this article explains it well). When we lose fat and gain lean body mass (muscle & water), our weight may not change but clothes get lose. You lose inches and feel more energetic. This is the true weight loss success. Fat or adipose tissue is a key factor that releases cytokines and starts the inflammatory cascade leading to diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. When fat is reduced, all those other factors improve. This will lead us to the second way to assess your success.
2. Assess your health risk parameters
The second way to assess your weight loss success is to look at your health risk parameters. One should not undermine these parameters because these were your goals for your weight loss efforts. These include:
- Blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, the blood pressure numbers improve and thus require you to take a smaller dosage of blood pressure medication or none. If you see that happen, you know, you have done well even if the scale is not moving. It is possibly due to the fact that you have lost fat and also improve your lifestyle. It is a SUCCESS!
- Joint pains. If you had joint pain and notice that now you can move around better and go up and down the stair with minimum to no pain, you should feel proud. It is a SUCCESS! You are making a difference in your lifestyle and making changes that are affecting your health even if the scale is not moving.
- Blood glucose. If you have diabetes and notice that your blood glucose is much lower and now taking fewer medications or no medications, it is a SUCCESS. You don’t need to see a drop in pounds. It means you have improved your lifestyle. You are more active than before and your diet has improved. Weight alone will not tell you that.
- Energy level. If you have adopted a healthy lifestyle where you are eating smaller frequent meals, have a variety of meals in your diet, and are active daily, you should see a difference in your energy level. You should feel more energetic. If you are not feeling energetic, then you are probably following a FAD diet. Rethink your approach! Keto diets and long-term fasting can bring the energy levels down. Also eating a large meal once a day will also make you feel less energetic.
3. Assess your athletic performance.
This third way to assess your success is more meaningful. When one loses right kind of body weight component (fat) and remain active daily, you improve your cardio-respiratory fitness. This will happen when you remain consistent with your routine. This is marker of SUCCESS! You should recognize it and applaud yourself!
Here are few simple ways to assess your cardiorespiratory fitness at home:
- One mile walk test. One of the biggest components of behavioral changes is monitoring. To assess your weight loss success, keep track of the time it takes to walk one mile. If you can walk one mile with less effort and in a shorter amount of time, you should know that you are doing well.
- Talk test. If you are doing an aerobic workout, monitor the intensity of the workout. If you find yourself doing the same intensity work as before without any effort, you are doing well. One way to measure less effort if you can talk while doing the same workout as before without getting short of breath, you have improved your cardiorespiratory fitness. In general, if you can not hold a conversation while working out, it is a high-intensity workout for you.
- Amount of weight lifted. Strength training should be part of your exercise routine. All you need is at least two times per week, two days apart. You should monitor the pounds of weights you are lifting. If you can lift more weight or the same weight without difficulty, you are improving.
Remember, monitor, and celebrate your success
Weight is an important and easy marker to assess your weight loss success but equally important is the improvement in your lifestyle parameters (as discussed above). You should monitor and celebrate your success. This will motivate you to keep going.