Your main objective is to lose weight and become healthier overall. You’ve done all the necessary lifestyle changes to make it happen – filling yourself up with mostly fruits and vegetables, limiting your snacking of cookies and chips, going easy on wine, hitting the gym consistently, and you’re even lifting weights. But whenever you weigh yourself on the scale, nothing changes. Your weight is still the same… or worse, it’s higher than it was the last time.
Before you get carried away and be all disappointed, you should know that the weight scale doesn’t paint the whole picture. There are still other ways to measure your progress. As you become healthier, there are subtle indications that manifest both in your mind and body. Here are 5 signs you’re getting fitter even if the scale tells you otherwise:
1. You don’t crave for junk foods as much as you did before
Once you’ve taught yourself to focus on a cleaner, more wholesome diet, your desire to eat junk foods becomes less powerful. As you continue to stick to a healthy diet, you may even get rid of the junk cravings for good. You should know that you can train your body to want healthy foods instead.
To confirm that your cravings for processed foods have really subsided, create a list of foods that you used to crave. After two weeks, observe if you still crave them. You should also measure the level of your cravings. When the desire for certain food is strong, it’s hard to fight it. But if not, it’s easy to tell ourselves to do the right thing and eat blueberries for snack instead of potato chips.
2. You’re lifting heavier dumbbells
If you’ve started lifting weights or performing body-weight exercises, there’s a higher likelihood for significant progress. For some individuals, it takes only a few weeks to see developments in strength. Progress may slow down a bit after your initial success but there’s still improvement that can happen over time, nonetheless.
Generally, you should be capable of lifting weight that’s 7-10 percent heavier or perform endurance strength activities for a longer duration after every two weeks or so; that is if your workout routine involves progressive overload. This means you slowly make your muscles work more intensely over time by adding weight or tension.
Just keep in mind that fitness improvement doesn’t work the same for everybody. You can also tell that you’re doing better in meeting your fitness goals if you feel that you have more energy for workouts and you have greater balance and coordination in your movements.
3. You feel well-rested
Working out has been proven to not only increase your energy levels during the day, it’s also been shown to enhance the quality of your sleep, too. In a study, it was found that when people suffering from insomnia engage in a long-term workout plan, they tend to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply than before they started exercising. Once you notice that your sleep is becoming better quality and length-wise, this might encourage you to sleep earlier.
4. Your appetite is different
If your fitness objectives are highly motivating you to hit the gym, you may either be not hungry as usual or you may be extremely famished. The bottom line is that exercise can generate both effects. Some people have decreased appetite and others the opposite.
If your main goal is to have a leaner body, feeling like every food you see is worth devouring can be quite exasperating. In actuality though, you may need to eat more to continue your body’s calorie-burning mechanism. You may even have to increase your food intake so your body has sufficient fuel to last through your workout session.
To evaluate how your appetite has changed since starting a fitness plan, take note of your hunger levels and approximate calorie consumption. If you come to the realization that you’re eating more since starting your workouts, that’s fine. It’s not unexpected, as long as you’re incorporating more natural, whole foods into your diet.
5. Your jeans fit in a different way
Concentrating on how your clothes feel in your body is a great way to measure your fitness progress. Just don’t anticipate that your jeans will be considerably loose. If there’s any improvement, you will feel that they fit better. If your want a visual proof of how your body is evolving, you can take photos of yourself wearing the same clothing.
Set a specific period of time and with this you can compare. However, if this becomes a nasty habit that leaves you feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t see any substantial results, then it’s not worth your time. You should only do it as a visual gauge of your progress, not a reminder to be negative about your body.