You’ve been on your fitness journey for quite some time now. And, you decide to hop on those scales. Of course, you’re waiting to be pleasantly surprised with the numbers.
Shock horror, they don’t budge. Worse, they have actually moved in the opposite direction!
The bottom falls out of your world and you decide enough faffing with this fitness journey. Cut your losses and move on. It ain’t gonna work, anyway.
Let us stop you right there!
And let you in on a secret: your weighing scales are lying to you. Yup, these numbers do most certainly lie!
The numbers on your weighing scales do not depict the ultimate truth. There are better ways to track your fitness, and we’re here to show you 6 of them.
But first, why shouldn’t you pay attention to your weighing scale?
Because those numbers on the bathroom scales aren’t accurate indicators of your fitness journey. In actual fact, your body weight keeps fluctuating throughout the day.
You gulp a glass of water, and your weight goes up. Eat a big lunch, it goes up again. Didn’t move your bowels in the morning? Guess what? Yup, them numbers ain’t going down.
Your hormones can also make your weight go up or down. Or if you are retaining water, close to your period… There are a whole forest of reasons why your weight is a wee bit higher than it was just a few hours back.
Also, muscle weighs more than fat.
So, imagine you have started a new lifting regimen. You are killing it in the gym, your body is responding beautifully, you think you can see baby biceps and triceps start to show.
You may be torching your body fat with your new regime but your scales don’t know any difference – they might even show a higher number!
And down plummets your mood. Bummer, right?
The point is, you need to stop stressing if the numbers on your weighing scales do not show the numbers you are desperately wishing for.
So how about some other ways to track your fitness progress, ways that can put a smile on your face? And ditch those scales altogether!
6 Healthy Ways To Track Your Fitness That Don’t Involve A Weighing Scale
What does the tape say?
More important, and more accurate, than the frustrating bathroom scales, is your inch tape. They are not temperamental! Tracking your waist and hip measurements over time is a much better way to keep on top of your progress (and sanity!), than any other method.
What’s more, your waist:height ratio is a much better predictor of your health than most other markers.
Make your inch tape your new friend. Cos those hips (and inches!) don’t lie!
Blood will tell
Even if your hips lie, your blood certainly won’t! That is why blood tests are the most accurate predictors of our health and the one doctors rely on to tell them what’s happening with us on the inside.
So, where are your cholesterol levels at? What are your cardio biomarkers telling about your heart health? What about the condition of your thyroid?
Your liver, your kidneys, if you have any kind of hormonal imbalance, or any kind of autoimmune condition, your blood will paint the story in glorious technicolour.
A great way to keep track is to run essential blood tests (your coach should be able to help you with what these are) at the start of your new training program and then retake them after 2-3 months. A side-by-side comparison of both results will tell you accurately what impact your fitness journey is having on you.
Listen to your heart(beat)
Your heart knows everything. Listen to it!
Keeping track of your heart rate can give you a glimpse into your health. It tells you whether or not everything’s good on the cardiovascular front.
You have a slow heart rate when resting (not performing any physical activity). But when you set out to lift those kettlebells or run on a treadmill, your heart rate goes up (no, not in a bad way!). This is because your heart pumps more blood to your organs to compensate for the physical activity.
When you measure your heartbeats, you can get a fair idea about the intensity of your workout.
If your heart rate is going up drastically, you probably need to slow down a bit. Take a break, let your mind and body come to ease, and start again.
You can go old school and measure your heartbeat. Or, go high tech – you can easily track your heart rate by wearing a spiffy wearable device or a tracker watch.
Catch those Z’s
Your sleep can have a great impact on your fitness and your health.
Working out consistently has long-term effects on your sleep quality. You work out better, you sleep better. You also tend to sleep for the recommended number of hours per night (6 – 8 hours) for a healthy lifestyle.
But how do you know how much sleep you’re getting? First, keep track of when you go to bed and when you wake up. A sleep journal where you can log in all the information about your sleep hours and sleep quality can help you with this.
Smart watches these days come with sleep-tracking devices that track essential details like how long it takes you to drift off, how much time you spend sleeping, how much REM sleep you got etc.
And shoot the data straight to your phone, so you can stay on top of it.
Better diet and lifestyle changes
Have you been conscious about what you put into your body? For example, do you drink plenty of water, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet, and don’t indulge in unhealthy practices like excessive drinking or smoking?
If yes, then congratulations, you’re on the right track!
The fact that you are making healthier food choices instead of resorting to greasy takeout indicates that you’re paying more attention to your health. Eating more protein will help fuel your workouts better, while adding more fibre to your diet will have a positive impact on your gut health.
Once you start dialing in, it becomes easy to make better choices. You have more energy now, so you decide to start playing badminton again with your old friends. Or go for weekend hikes instead of hitting snooze till midday. Learn a new sport.
Talk about a domino effect!
Keep on moving!
Walking up a flight of stairs without getting breathless;
Lifting heavy weights, you once dreaded, with complete ease.
Or running in your nearby park for 30 minutes without feeling like you are going to cough up your lung.
What are these signs of? That you’re in the pink of health! #result!
Just tuning in to your body will speak volumes about your health, much more than your weighing scale ever will.
Start paying attention to how you feel after your workout. Low, depressed, sad or uplifted and happy? Don’t underestimate the power of a positive and happy mind. You’re more likely to take your fitness goals seriously if working out makes you feel awesome!
The Final Word
Stop taking your weighing scale seriously: It’s time to kick it to the curb.
Don’t let your weight weigh you down. It’s not about the numbers that appear on those scales; it’s about how you feel. As long as you are sleeping well, feel good after working out, and have more energy throughout the day, there’s nothing to worry about.
Want to know more? Why not get in touch with our coaches and they will tell you how you can safely get started on your own fitness journey ASAP!