When we think of our health and wellness journeys, sometimes we put too much of a focus on the weight loss and not on other key components of our health. Although we all want the number on the scale to be lower each week on our weigh-in day, the scale is not always the best determinant in how we’re actually doing in our weight loss and health journeys.
Being at a healthy weight does correlate with decreased risk for disease. But it is just as important, if not more, to focus on our body composition.
Body Composition Versus Weight Loss
A healthy body composition is not just about the amount of weight you lose. Your body composition is an analysis that measures the percentage of fat in your body compared to the muscle, bone and water in the body, and is a strong determinant of fit and health level. Having a healthy ratio of fat to muscle is key to being healthy as you need skeletal muscle and proper bone density to help you perform normal daily activities and prevent the risk for diseases such as osteoporosis in the future.
More Than the Scale
As you continue on your journey, you will find that some weeks you step on the scale and it goes down. But other weeks, despite feeling like you’ve done everything right, the scale won’t move or will go up. This should not determine how you feel about your journey and the steps you’ve made to improve your health.
There are many other things to pay attention to in your journey that will tell you if you are making progress or not.
How your clothes fit:
You may find that the pair of jeans you couldn’t fit into last summer are now zipping up just right, even with the scale staying stagnant for multiple weeks in a row (Hello body composition!)
Increased Energy Levels:
You will find that once you begin to change your eating habits and increase your fluid intake, you will have more of a steady level of energy throughout the day and increased energy during times you used to feel sluggish. Make no mistake, this is due to the hard work you’re putting into your journey.
Increased ability to move freely and perform day-to-day activities:
Even during those weeks where the scale won’t budge, you will begin to notice things in your day-to-day life get easier! Maybe you find it easier to walk up those flights of stairs, you’re able to increase the time spent at the gym by ten minutes, or you may be able to move your body in ways that you weren’t able to before. All of these changes are ways to measure how you’re doing in your journey and whether or not you’re making progress beyond the scale.
Taking measurements and photos are both great ways to see progress and are other ways to measure success in your journey. It is important to keep all of these things in mind when feeling stuck with the scale. Your journey is not always going to be linear and having different types of milestones to celebrate during the ups and downs will keep you going and remind you of how far you’ve already come!