The number on the scale is not the only way to measure progress. In some cases it’s a good measure and in some it is not. It's better to mark your progress using a variety of methods so we can see ourselves getting slimmer, becoming more tone, and increasing strength and endurance
The trend is always the same with my MIND.BODY.SOUL. Challengers and Body After Baby Clients, For the first few weeks the weight drops off but then the loss slows.
This does not mean it isn’t working…
Here are a few samples of phrases I have heard in conversation recently:
“I only lost one pound this week [which for the record is amazing in itself], but I just zipped up my pre pregnancy jeans for the first time!”
“I actually gained 2 pounds over the last phase, but lost 2 inches off my waist!”
“My weight loss has plateaued, but I had so much energy in my workouts this week that I powered all the way up to 10 in my stepladder circuit on Friday!”
You all need to start dropping the “but" and celebrating your success first!
It’s not all about the weight!
Guess what! When you are following a nutrition and exercise program,
...you will lose fat AND gain muscle.
That's why it’s so important to use a mix of many other data points to track your progress!
4 Valuable Data Points To Track Your Progress
We use all of the following data points in my programs.
1. Weight: While it’s not the be all end all, it is a source of data. It’s especially useful for calculating your daily calorie goals. Do not weigh yourself daily! I recommend no more than 4 time per week. Remember to look at trends more than numbers; progress not perfection.
2. Circumference Measurements: These give a better idea of overall body composition and fat loss. Use a tape measurer to measure around the narrowest part of your waist, the widest part of your hips, your bicep and widest part of your thigh. Pull taut but not to the point of compressing the skin.
3. Pictures: These are the ones I get the most resistance from my clients on, but they are often the most valuable. I can't tell you enough how many of my clients regret skipping this step. In the end, they know they are seeing changes - toner arms, flatter tummy, more definition in their cheek bones,...- and wish they could compare side by side for that added validation. Doing so is empowering! Take photos from the front, side and back wearing a bathing suit or shorts/sports bar.
.4. Endurance Assessment: It’s not just about looks. You should getting stronger and increasing your endurance too. So measure that! Track how many pushups you can do in a minute, how long you can hold a plank, and/or your performance in the Muscle Maker workouts.
I recommend creating a data table with all of your measurements so you can see them next to each other over time (which I provide for you in the MIND.BODY.SOUL Challenge and Body After Baby Program, hint hint…).
Track the data every 2-4 weeks. Trust the process, give it time time, and use ALL of the data points to decide if your plan is working.
YOU are STRONGER than you think!