With all of today’s technology and fitness trackers, there are many endlessly empowering ways to record your health progress. Of course, the scale is just one them! The scale has long been our “go to” for the best measure of health, and while that number is one helpful variable, it doesn’t actually tell you if you are HEALTHY!
Let’s be honest, the scale delivers emotional turmoil, and just one bad day can change mindset and completely derail health gains!
WHY THE SCALE DOESN’T DELIVER GOOD FEEDBACK
Any given scale has a relative discrepancy, depending on its quality. But more importantly, when you are on a health journey and losing weight by eating better and getting fit through exercise, you should be gaining lean muscle and losing fat cells, and few scales measure fat percentage or body mass index, both better metrics for health.
FAT VERSUS MUSCLE
It’s not that muscle weighs more than fat, because it doesn’t! A pound of feathers weighs the same as a one pound brick! A pound is a pound. Instead, muscle takes up less space, so it’s more dense. When you eat better and begin exercising, you might be gaining lean muscles on the scale, but you are losing inches. That relationship is rarely measured on the scale. You see the number rising, which is a total measure of fat and muscle, and are left only with a feeling of defeat.
YOUR WEIGHT VARIES
Typically we vary by several pounds on any given day and even throughout each day based on food and beverage that has been consumed, hormonal changes, and even how much you are holding or releasing bodily water.
For this reason, if you choose to use the traditional scale, it’s important to measure weight and body fat percentage every day at the same time, most preferably in the morning before exercise, water, or food, all of which will impact an accurate body fat percentage read.
PROGRESS IS THE KEY
As your health improves you will notice progress across many metrics. Plugging into how you feel, look, perform, sleep, and eat is critical to your staying on track for long term, sustainable health gains. Use these additional and alternative health metrics to dial in your progress.
MEASURE AND PHOTOGRAPH
A tape measure in concert with pictures are much better “dipsticks” on your health than the scale. This is one time a selfie might come in handy! Measure your hips, waist, thighs, and arms to analyze your body composition. If you are losing fat cells and gaining lean muscle, the inches have no choice but to diminish. Punctuating this standard, after analyzing the health of some 300,000 individuals, British researchers found that those who have waist measurements that are half that of their height have less risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes. Bottom line? Measure, take selfies, and keep your waist to height ratio in check…just don’t measure daily, any more than you should step on the scale daily!
TRY ON CLOTHES
Back to the understanding that muscle is more dense and takes up less space than fat, that means your clothes should fit better, with less tightness and without the dreaded muffin top. You will FEEL your progress when you get dressed every morning! And, you begin to look forward to pulling on the skinny jeans!
CONSIDER HOW YOU FEEL
Our crazy, fast-paced lives don’t lend themselves well to self-reflect on feelings. Anxiety, stress, and brain fog are the norm for most busy moms, and we are all too quick to accept it as the norm. As you start to eat better and to get fit, your life becomes more balanced, happiness increases, stress decreases, brain fog dissipates, and you generally can take life’s challenges in stride. Just as you can feel the proverbial “butterflies in your tummy,” your happiness starts in the gut too, and no amount of Doritos or ice cream will create the effective “communication network” that connects your gut and brain to trigger happy hormones. A healthy diet feeds the gut microbes that produce happy neurotransmitters (hormones) such as GABA and serotonin, which decrease anxiety, depression, and brain fog. Want more happiness, eat better!
REFLECT ON HOW AND WHAT YOU EAT
It’s a fairly predictable cycle, when clients commence working with me, they begin to eat less out of a package and begin to prepare more meals at home. Home cooked meals establish at a table, and with more mindfully eating practices. Eating better means you prepare more foods at home, you select and prepare new and unique ingredients (chia seed, amaranth, daikon radish, or rooibos tea anyone?), and you develop a connection to your food (where, by whom, and how it was grown). Mindful eating is slow, deliberate, empowered. As health improves, you seek the best foods that nourish your mind, body, and soul, rather than eating or restricting calories, which mean you see more veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds on your plate too! After all, no one can successfully argue the healing properties of a protein bar any more than a slice of pizza! Mindful, plant-based eating rules the day!
WATCH YOUR PERFORMANCE IMPROVE…SIGNIFICANTLY!
This is when your fitness device will pay off in spades, because as gut health improves and chronic inflammation decreases, your athletic performance becomes optimal with more energy, faster paces, better reflexes and coordination, longer distances, heavier weights, more reps at the gym, and overall faster recovery. For example, if you could run only 2 miles consecutively last week and this week ran 3 with ease and a quick recovery, your routine to eat better with more plants must be contributing to more optimal performance. And who doesn’t want that?
CHECK YOUR TRUE HEALTH METRICS
There’s no arguing, blood pressure, HDL and LDL cholesterol, as well as blood sugar levels are all contributing measures to your overall health. Getting regular checks is important, especially if you have the genetic disposition or previous history of disease. When you eat better and get fit with a nourishing plant-based diet, less stress and better sleep, your health metrics improve too.
HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING?
Medication, stress, and a poor diet can all contribute to poor sleep. Exercise improves insomnia and sleep apnea and can promote a deeper sleep. With less big, evening meals and constant grazing well into the night as well as less caffeine, sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol, your sleep improves too!
Now, are you ready for a HEALTH PROGRESS QUIZ? How do you rate?
How many of these AWESOME measures of health progress can you check off?
👉🏻😍 Do you feel happier?
👉🏻😍 Are you sleeping better?
👉🏻😍 Do you have more energy?
👉🏻😍 Are you feeling more confident?
👉🏻😍 Do your clothes fit better?
👉🏻😍 Are you choosing different foods?
👉🏻😍 Are you cooking at home more often?
👉🏻😍 Can you lift more weight at the gym?
👉🏻😍 Are you able to do more reps at the gym?
👉🏻😍 Do you walk/run longer or faster?
👉🏻😍 Do you recovery faster?
👉🏻😍 Are you eating at home more often?
- 12 out of 12 = YOU ARE A PRO!
- 10 to 12 = YOU ARE a SUPERSTAR!
- 8 to 10 = YOU ARE ON TRACK! KEEP ON GOING!
- 8 to 6 = YOU ARE SOLID…ON YOUR WAY!
- 6 or less = LOOK AT WHAT NEEDS WORK! ADD ONE!
Regardless of how you rated and how you choose to measure your progress, the most important thing is to reflect, to monitor, and to track, keeping your focus on steady progress and not perfection.
My private health coaching is a perfect way to begin making gains in ALL areas! When you work with me, you will balance your busy life to make room to eat better and to get fit! You’ll see progress and changes in every aspect of your life!