The most common goal when it comes to fitness is weight loss. 90% of the people than come to work with me have weight loss as their primary goal.
When it comes to tracking changes there is usually an intense focus on the scales. Although the number on the scales should drop on the scales if you are losing fat, that's not always the case.
It could be that someone isn't losing weight, or that they are actually gaining small amounts of lean mass (muscle, water, glycogen etc.) whilst losing fat.
Either way, it can be frustrating as you are not seeing progress on the scale. There is a step that can be taken to reduce the reliance on the scales.
You can improve the accuracy of your results by using other objective markers, like progress photos, skinfolds and girth measurements that become useful when tracking body composition changes. There will be times that you are losing inches or fat without the scale dropping too much.
Using other objective markers is a great start.
But, there is a big place for another type of tracking;
Subjective progress is anything that cannot be measured by someone else. It is a measurement that is personal to you.
Subjective markers might include:
- Your confidence in the gym or in your ability to stick to your nutrition plan in social settings.
- Improved energy
- Improved mood
- Jumping back on your plan more quickly after an inactive/food heavy weekend.
- Improved mindset; enjoying the process and not beating yourself up so much.
- Your training may feel easier (rather than focusing on actual weight lifted)
By focusing on these markers and celebrating these little wins more often, you are creating a better internal environment for yourself. When you feel more positive inside and congratulate yourself on these internal improvements, you are more likely to keep going when the objective changes do not go as expected.
As well as improving the likelihood that you keep going during the inevitable tough periods, you are also creating a more engaging and enriching experience for yourself.
The question this week is; do you want to keep being a slave to the numbers on the scale, tape measure or body fat machine? As important as these measurements are, they are never going to change exactly as you expect.
Or do you want to create a better experience by focusing on your subjective markers as well? Can you see how things like improved mood, energy and confidence are such an important part of your long term progress?