Hopping on the weighing scale three times a day is a common habit of those trying to shed kilos.
However, if you have just embarked on your weight loss journey, then a weighing scale might not be an ideal way to track your progress.
Losing weight is much more than just dropping numbers on the scale. In fact, the scale is better in helping you manage the weight, rather than losing it.
There are a lot of changes that take place in your body when you exercise daily and switch to healthy eating habits. These changes are a better parameter to track your weight loss and health goals.
So what does it do? These 10 fitness, health, and weight indicators are much more empowering ways to track your progress.
1. Measure your Hips, Thighs, or Biceps.
Go for the old-fashioned way to track your progress by measuring yourself with the help of a measuring tape. This can help to track accurately where you are losing fat. In the beginning, you might not see changes in the number on the weighing scale. Measuring tape gives you the exact number and is the best option to track your progress if you are trying spot reduction or focus on some specific part of your body.
2. Download a Sleep App
You can’t seriously expect yourself to eat well or recover from your workouts (that is, if you even have energy to hit the gym) if you don’t get good sleep, says Fear. Besides, poor sleep increases your body’s levels of inflammation and contributes to the development of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. “Keep track of how many hours and how well you slept,” Fear recommends. Many fitness trackers like FitBit can track sleep, while apps and gadgets like Sleeping Cycle and Beddit are specifically designed to do it.
3. Check your Blood Pressure
It’s not the sexiest way to record your progress, but when it comes to your heart health, it’s one of the most accurate. “Even if your weight doesn’t budge, your blood pressure can show a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Fear. What’s more, since your blood pressure is largely affected by your nutrition, exercise, and stress levels, it can give you a pretty good picture of your overall health. To check and track your blood pressure whenever, wherever, try downloading Blood Pressure Companion.
4. Take some pictures
Sometimes, by looking into the mirror, it is hard to see the changes in your body. Taking pictures and comparing them with your previous pictures can really help you see the difference. For accuracy, wear the same clothes, stand in the same pose and at the same place. This would keep you motivated and help you to see the changes taking place in your body. Try to do this every week.
5. Test your fitness
Losing weight should not only be your agenda. Getting fitter and healthier is a better approach. When trying to lose some kilos, test your fitness level to track your progress. Lift more weight, run an extra mile, add another set to your workout. If you are easily able to do them, that means you are making progress and getting fitter.
6. Try to fit on your old clothes
Trying on your old clothes can also be an excellent way to track your progress. That favourite pair of jeans or that top that you loved and always wanted to wear again. This is the time to try them. It can be motivating to see it fitting better each time you try it on.
7. Count your Active Minutes
Or just your steps. Both, displayed through any number of handy fitness trackers, will give you insight into how much you’re moving every day and week. And that reveals way more than your weight does about your health, says Robinson. But more important than hitting a certain number of minutes or steps is improving those numbers. Be more active this week than you were last week, and you can just about guarantee you’re getting fitter.
8. Feel Out Your Sex Drive
Yep, we’re going there. The quality of your sleep, your workout, and even the number of veggies on your plate impacts your sex drive, says Fear. “Feeling a bit more randy is a good thing!” She says. It lets you know the other pieces of your health are in place. In a relationship? Try keeping track of your sex drive and hanky-panky with The Boyfriend Log app.
9. Consider your Waist-to-Hip Ratio.
Is “hips don’t lie” still a thing? Because it should be. Your hip circumference, when compared to your waist circumference, can tell you a lot about your metabolic health. While excess weight around the waist points to abdominal obesity, research from the University of Oxford shows that butt, hip, and thigh fat is healthy and actually lowers your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. To determine your waist-to-hip ratio, divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference. The goal is to have a WHR that’s 0.85 or lower, according to the World Health Organization.
10. Test your Favorite Workout Every Year
Many of my healthy patients use birthday goals or tests to track their fitness, which is very effective,” says Dr. Mclee Tembo. “Every year, do a set of pushups, crunches, or run a mile, and track this data—trying to improve year over year.” But you don’t have to test on your birthday.