It’s a basic tool in tracking progress when starting a new fitness regime, you jump on the scale every morning with the eagerness of improvement.
Hopefully your body has made an exception for that extra glass of wine last night, after all you have been running on asparagus all week and you are fully detoxified on green tea.
- But what’s this, the number hasn’t changed!
- Maybe it crept back up!
- Perhaps your body gave you a pass and you are down a kilogram!
The perpetual cycle of stepping on a scale daily whilst hoping and wishing for improvement, reminds me of the time I sat a maths exam having done zero revision – I was praying for the best and I was left to retake again and again until I had put my efforts in the right place!
This can be said for a lot of us that start a weight loss or transformation we either:
A) Fail to do the right type of work and focus on what we know – (Cut more calories – do more exercise)
B) We give ourselves way too much to do without the fundamental skillset – (unrealistic time frame, counting macros)
If that scale isn’t budging isn’t the obvious answer to cut more calories and up the workout frequency?
I suppose it is, after all everything comes down to calories in vs energy out - but your life isn’t that simple is it. You have a busy workload, you have a family, you have social events and your knee is beginning to hurt from all the spin classes.
Perhaps you are missing the bigger picture and are concentrating on the wrong type of improvement. After all There are a multitude of factors that will affect your weight loss that you could be improving upon.
Identify the problems in your lifestyle and begin to replace them with simple yet effective habits.
Here are three alternatives you should be tracking to help your weight loss -
If you are always tired for your workouts and lack energy throughout the day
you should adopt a better night time regime, opposed to relying on an extra coffee to get you through the day!
Create a check list that you run through nightly –
1) No phones 30mins before bed
2) Blackout the room
3) Go to bed at the same time.
You could make it even easier and automate your new habit by using a sleep tracking app which monitors the quality of your sleep.
Improving the hours you sleep and quality of your sleep will help regulate your growth hormones, hunger hormones and allow your body to recover from the stress of the day creating a greater state of homeostasis. This will aid in weight loss in the long run and make you all round a nicer smilier person.
The busier we are the more stress we exert on our bodies. We all deal with stress differently, how we process stress can change us physically and mentally.
Living a life of stressful deadlines, eating on the run and tough social encounters keeps us in a fight or flight sympathetic nervous state. Although this is good for exercise it is not great at 9am when you are late for a meeting and then again at noon when you have all that paper work.
Using a Stress tracking app is a great way to build an accurate reading of how well your body is recovering.
Taking a morning stress reading via a heart rate sensor and accumulating the data will illuminate whether you need to start taking it a little easier and making time for the things that matter to you in life.
Here a few ways improve on stress –
1) Meditate – Headspace is a great app.
2) Spend more time in nature – long walks
3) Make time for personal growth less on social growth
Improving your Parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system will help regulate your cortisol levels which can optimise digestion, recovery and energy levels. Working towards a balance between the two will help contribute to your weight loss.
It’s important we pick activities we enjoy, they need to be motivating and easy enough but not too hard. We tend find peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of our current abilities
'To enjoy a challenge our brain loves an optimal zone of difficulty. Picking something you are good at will further spur you to relish the process'.
This is also apparent when building a network of likeminded people around you – Joining a sport team or gathering a group of friends for a weekly kick about can help mould an environment that benefits everyone and holds you all accountable to your goals.
This enjoyment for the process will keep you exercising longer and make you more dedicated towards the cause. Making progress in this manner gives your weight loss goal further purpose as you may notice that working on your nutrition will improve your fitness and your fitness will improve your weight loss, thus creating greater intrinsic value.
Tracking weight loss is a fantastic indication of progress and should be used. However,
for some of us it can seem like a long dark tunnel to no avail.
If your weight loss stalls, try not to fall into the trap of constantly cutting more calories and creating more restrictions, instead improve on the other pillars of health that I have mentioned, you will soon notice they all align.
Have a great day,