You vs The Scale: Different Ways of Measuring Progress

fullsizerenderWhen it comes to achieving your fitness goals, keeping track of your progress is essential. Doing this lets us know whether or not our fitness plans/workouts and our diets are working.

Studies have also shown that those who track their progress are more likely to stick to their fitness routines compared to those that don’t.

One of the preferred methods of tracking progress has been to track weight. While this is generally a good indicator of progress, it does have the potential to be deceiving, especially if you exercise regularly.

Exercise changes our body composition and increases our body’s lean muscle mass which means that you can actually gain weight but lose inches. If you focus solely on how much you weigh, such an outcome may be disheartening and make you feel like giving up on your overall goal. This was something I experienced when I started my fitness journey. In the picture on the left I was at a very unhealthy stage of my life. I exercised only occasionally and my diet consisted mostly of junk food. At that point in time I weighed between 63-65 Kg. The centre picture was my first fitness competition it involved 16 weeks of intense training and a restrictive diet. This is the leanest I have ever been. My stage weight was 68 kg. The picture on the right was taken last week and reflects my current shape.  Currently I exercise regularly but take a flexible approach to dieting. In this picture I weigh 78 kg. If I only used my weight to track my progress it would appear that I wasn’t making any. So here are 3 alternative ways to track progress other than jumping on the scale.

  1. Progress pictures = We see ourselves everyday and so it may be hard for us to see the changes that our bodies go through over time. Taking pictures and comparing them can be a good indicator as to whether or not your fitness routine and diet are working for us. They can also help us notice the changes in our bodies that we might not even have known were happening.
  2. Improved Strength and Endurance = Progress can be seen through improved strength. If you manage to perform an exercise at a heavier weight than before or you can perform more reps than before. Maybe you had a workout plan and you struggled to get through it and now you’re able to get through it a lot easier. Progress can also be seen through improved recovery time.
  3. How your clothes fit = If your clothes fit better or you’ve gone down a size. Our clothes can be a much more accurate indicator of fatloss than the scale, since our weight can fluctuate  due to fluid shifts.


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