All too often I see clients get far too hung up on using the scales only to measure progress.
I have spoken elsewhere about other ways to track progress as the scales often mask progress but how can you really know whether your nutrition plan is taking you closer to your goals?
How can you get over the feeling that nothing is happening yet even though you know you have been working so damn hard?
Well, you can start by considering whether these ‘little’ things are happening…
You eat to your hunger and are paying more attention to your food
Progress is being made when you start to eat more mindfully. This means that you are present in the moment, you taste your food, you appreciate it but do not feel the need to finish it just because it is there.
You are more in tune with what your body needs and are able to provide it without going past fullness.
This also means that you are likely to me making more fresh, nutritious choices that are keeping you fuller for longer.
You don’t feel the need to constantly pick or snack because you are no longer relying on processed food that only satisfies you momentarily.
You now know when enough is enough and feel all the more calmer and in control because of it.
You have more energy
Finally you don’t keep putting your alarm on snooze!
You wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. You may even have you gym ‘mojo’ back!
Perhaps you are relying less on caffeine to get you through the day and your motivation, and therefore prooductivity, at work has soared!
This is a sure fire sign that you are giving your body what it needs.
Your clothes are beginning to feel loser or fit better
That work dress or new suit that has been lurking at the back of the wardrobe finally fits!!
You can abandon the baggy jumpers and elasticated skirts and start wearing clothes that make you feel good! And this, in turn, makes you more confident – at work and at home.
You are finally starting to feel like you will be in the right size body for you and it is putting a big smile on your face – this is infectious and will be reciprocated.
This is also why I always get clients to take measurements regularly because these can change dramatically when the scales don’t and this means that you are most likely losing fat, not muscle, which is EXACTLY what you need to do in order to get a lovely, toned body shape.
Your quality of sleep has improved
When we eat better, we sleep better too.
You have probably cut down on caffeine, your stress levels have reduced and you don’t have that awful bloated feeling when you go to bed.
Plus, you are probably being more active in the day because your energy levels have improved so you are sleeping like a baby!
And better sleep = better adherence to a healthy regime!
You feel happier
A poor diet = poor moods!
We all know that when we eat crap, we feel crap! But that is all a thing of the past now.
Yes, you still enjoy a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine (even both…) but the majority of your diet is better that ever before and it shows!
You feel like you again, you have a spring in your step and the ‘dark’ days are becoming a distant memory.
You are more active
All of this postive energy and extra sleep means that you are moving about more.
Maybe you are walking more, doing more at the weekend or really smashing the gym!
If you are doing the latter, your recovery is so much better, you can do more and are getting stronger! Your motivation has therefore improved and you can see a purpose to the gym again.
Finally, you no longer feel lethargic, like you can’t be bothered or that you are going round in circles.
You don’t beat yourself up any more!
Once and for all, you have found something that you can see yourself doing in the longterm.
You no longer feel ‘bad’ if you have a night out or a takeway because you know exactly how to manage it now.
This isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle and you have no plans to ‘go back’ once you have hit your target.
You have realised that no food is out of bounds and you feel all the more better for it.
Social events don’t freak you out but equally, you don’t ever feel pressured to eat or do something you are not comfortable with.
You feel know how to plan yet feel liberated and actually enjoy your food more than ever before!
So, if you are sick of feeling like your whole life revolves around the scales, start looking for the little wins that are the REAL SIGNS OF PROGRESS!
And celebrate them.
Tell your colleagues you feel amazing.
Tell your family you are sleeping better.
Tell your friends how great that new dress feels – drag them shopping!
Progress is all about small steps. These small steps build the foundation for huge success which is sustainable and not just an arbituary number on a scale.
If you have been trying to make progress for a while but seem to be getting nowehere, enlist the support of a nutrition coach. They can help you set achievable goals and recognise all the positive markers of progress that you make that you may fail to see along the way.
This could be just what you need to stay motivated!!