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5 ways to measure success (that don't involve the scale)

mindset Jan 09, 2023

We are often told that the best goals are SMART goals, i.e. they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.     After working in weight loss for the past 12 years I can tell you that this isn't necessarily the best or only way of measuring progress in a weight loss journey. 

It makes  perfect sense on paper and is easily applied to weight loss when we create a goal that is based around the scales, for example:  “I want to lose 10kgs by the 31st of March”. The challenge is that weight loss is an emotional journey and there can be lots of negative emotions around a scale-related goal, especially if someone has tried and failed multiple times in the past. 

What really matters is knowing your WHY and measuring your progress along the way. 

Here are five ways you can do this without ever having to step on the scale:

1. Focus on your ACTIONS

The truth is that we don't have full control over the scales.  Your body composition can change dramatically due to illness, hormones and even the weather.  However, while we can't fully control the scales, we do have complete control over our actions.  Decide the 3-5 most important actions you need to take each day to get results and use this list to measure and track success.  If you keep taking action, the scales will take care of themselves.

2. Forget the TIMELINE

When you put a tight time frame on a weight loss goal, the extra pressure can backfire and send you face first into the food the minute you have a slip up.  At the end of the day, the speed of your journey only matters to one person: YOU.  Slow weight loss may not be as exciting, but slow progress is better than no progress!  If it allows greater freedom and enjoyment along the way then slow down so you don't  give up.

3. How long is your piece of string?

If you’re allergic to numbers, use a piece of string to measure your progress.  Have a piece of string for each body part you want to measure and check yourself every few weeks so you can see where the changes are happening.

4. Use a piece of clothing

Got a favourite piece of clothing that’s currently too tight?  Put it on each week and see how much closer you are getting.  Put it somewhere you can see it regularly, for extra motivation.

5. Use other health markers

Get bloods done regularly to check other health markers.  Two important things to look at are inflammation (measured as C-reactive protein) as well as HbA1C – your average blood sugars over the past three months.  Both of these areas should see improvement when you change your nutrition- particularly with a low carb food plan. 

There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to goal setting – if you are highly motivated by the scale and it gives you the drive to succeed and get results, that’s fantastic.   But if you hate the scale, it's good to remember that there are other ways you can measure your progress. 

What matters the most is creating a powerful WHY so you keep taking action, checking in with yourself regularly to make sure what you are doing is working and  maintaining a positive attitude so you enjoy the journey and don’t give up.

Because if you don’t give up, you will nail your goal in 2023!

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