People think the only way to know if a “diet” is working is by the number on the scale. But there are in fact some things that are just as important. It is definitely my job to help people lose weight, but it’s not actually my #1 focus. I want to get people in the best HEALTH of their life. In that process, they generally lose weight. But these 11 things are even more important to me and should be important to you.
(This blog is also a podcast. CLICK HERE to listen).
If you are trying to change your health and lose weight, ask yourself if the following 11 Non-Scale-Victories are happening to you:
Want more information about that? CLICK HERE to check out my podcast episode on Sleep & Weight Loss!
2. LESS BLOATED: Another statement I hear from my clients within the first couple weeks of the program is “I don’t really feel bloated anymore.” Hallelujah! Because no one loves it when their belly is hanging over their jeans and the waistline feels tighter and tighter with a gurgle in that stomach. It’s a terrible feeling. For some people bloating is a food allergy or sensitivity. But I think when we start removing the processed foods, increasing the fruit, vegetables, whole grains and hydration– our body responds better and you start to feel less bloated. Now that being said, for those clients who have not been eating vegetables in a long time, that can create a bit of gassy, bloating at first. So, for them, we sometimes have to back down on certain veggies like broccoli. BUT in time, it normalizes.
3. BOWEL MOVEMENTS GET MORE REGULAR: Can I get another hallelujah! I have done an entire podcast episode on pooping! So, I will try not to get on my soapbox about going #2! But as I always say, “having a BM will MAKE or BREAK a day!” And I know you are laughing and agreeing right now. As we get rid of processed foods in our diet and increase the amount of REAL food, an amazing thing happens…. the BMs often get regular again. And not just in how often, but also in consistency. Again, without going into too much detail (but feel free to check out Podcast Episode The Scoop on Poop/ #53:CLICK HERE); I went through a time when I first started really changing my diet and health (14 years ago), when my stools were loose every day. They were daily and it was not anything I was concerned about, but I did think it was weird that my BMs were never firm. Well, years later in my journey of fitness & nutrition, I stopped taking protein powder (another podcast episode you can catch #91: CLICK HERE) & guess what happened almost immediately? My stool returned to NORMAL consistency. And trust me, the brand was healthy and organic which has nothing to do with anything in the world of supplements. I think my body was happier getting rid of that supplement and could digest real food better. Something to think about if your stool is hard, too soft or not daily…perhaps it is your nutrition and what you are putting in your body. And, I would also like to mention that daily activity and exercise helps my clients get more regular. The body wants to move! Moving helps your MOVEMENTS.
4. SKIN CLEARS UP: Yep. It’s happening to so many of my clients. I not only hear “less blemishes” but even “my skin has more of a glow again”. WOO HOO! Let’s face it, as we get older we need all the help we can get for our skin! Am I right!? Nutrition and hydration are essential for your skin. And it will show quicker than you think.
5. SUGAR CRAVINGS DECREASE: That sweet tooth my client told me is holding them back from weight loss is finally subsiding. This usually happens within a few weeks of greatly reducing the processed sweets and swapping them for fruit. We swap the cookie at night for the Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries or simply find healthy swaps for the processed sweet. We eliminate the smoothies that are loaded in sugar (but you thought were healthy because it has only fruit and veggies.) And after time off from so much sugar, you stop craving so much sugar! I mean let’s face it, eat a little piece of chocolate every night, and I can almost assure you, you will crave chocolate every night! I help my clients start changing those habits for new ones and before you know it, the sugar cravings subside. A HUGE victory!
6. MORE ENERGY & INCREASED MENTAL CLARITY: This one really does not take long at all and starts to be the sum of all the pieces or shall I say results. As my clients eat better…. they sleep better…. they feel better and guess what, they start to have their energy back. They stop having the crashes at 3-4pm. Why? Because I help my clients keep that metabolism fired up ALL day instead of part of the day. How? Usually through determining if my clients are eating too much or more than not, too little! Eating too little leads to a slower metabolism and a ton of exhaustion! So, let me ask you this, would you rather starve and feel awful with exhaustion all day (and a plateau in weight loss) OR eat more (obviously of the right foods), feel great and have energy throughout the day? Hmmmm…. and yet so many people keep thinking that the fad diet of starvation is the way to go. But trust me, I’ve been helping people lose weight for 10 years! Starvation and extreme fad diets won’t work or at least can’t be sustained; but healthy, balanced nutrition lasts forever.
With increased energy often comes mental clarity. When you are starving yourself, the brain gets foggy. You feel mentally exhausted and often find it hard to concentrate. But again, as we start down the path of healthy eating & consistent exercise, that mental fatigue diminishes.
7. PMS REDUCES: This one is quite important for the ladies. I see it all the time. In the questionnaire, my clients fill out before our session, I ask a lot about a woman’s menstrual cycle. With my background in Eastern Medicine, I know that for a woman, the menstrual cycle can tell us a lot about their health. And PMS is often a big symptom, which often gets worse with age. But, then I also see it get better for my clients by the end of the Earn That Body program! Once again, healthy nutrition and consistent exercise lead to increased sleep, increased energy, better BMs, and it all adds up to greater health which helps the body handle the monthly cycle better. A decrease in PMS is a non-scale victory I often hear from the ladies in my programs.
(Side Note: if you do a lot of emotional eating around your cycle, you might like this FREEBIE checklist I made to help people through the tough times. CLICK HERE to download).
8. STRONGER, FASTER & INCREASED ENDURANCE: Fairly simple, yet fantastic NON-scale victory! By the end of our ETB session, my clients do a physical assessment. We compare it to their day 1 assessment, and I have yet to see any client NOT get increased strength, speed and/or endurance! It’s awesome.
(If you are interested in one of the workout programs my clients do, check out Earn That Muscle for strength and cardio workouts: CLICK HERE)
9. BLOOD WORK: One of my favorite things is when a client sees their doctor after ETB and the doctor sees weight loss, lower blood pressure and a blood panel that is better than the client has had in years! THESE are the numbers that bring me joy. This is so much more than JUST how much you weigh. I mean isn’t it empowering to see that it’s the PERSON that controls their blood work numbers? They make health changes and their body responds with a high five on their blood panel! BOOM! Of course, this is not to say that we can always control illness/disease, but I can assure you that a healthy, fit body will always manage those situations better than being unhealthy/unfit.
10. MY CLOTHES FIT BETTER: Some clients do not see the number on the scale go down much but keep telling me their clothes fit better! This is usually because they are losing inches and likely putting on muscle. Increased muscle means you might not see the number on the scale go down as much. But the reality is, you put on muscle, got toned and lost inches! And trust me, you would rather be STRONG and healthy vs. just skinny. So, this is a WIN even if that number on the scale is not the one you were shooting for.
11. HAPPIER & I FEEL GOOD: At the end of the day, no matter what the number on the scale says…if you made healthy nutritional changes and are exercising consistently, then you likely FEEL BETTER. Far too often clients come to me AFTER they tried a fad diet and say “I was so exhausted all the time” or “I was hungry and crying most of the day”. This is not a way to shed weight nor a way to live. Especially because life is too short and you don’t have to do those things to lose weight. A really good way to know if your diet plan is working is by simply asking yourself, “do you feel better now?” If their answer is “NO” then, likely something needs to change.
The next time you WEIGH IN and don’t see that number you are hoping for, ask yourself this: do you feel better? Do you sleep better? Do you have a BM better (ha), do you have more energy? Is your skin glowing? Are you less bloated? Are you stronger? Faster? Do your clothes fit better? If the answer is YES to many of these, then it sounds like you are on the right track to the best health of your life! Keep it going and you will hit that number eventually. In the meantime, be grateful for what you have achieved so far. And then, thank your body for being so awesome.
And I have recently updated my FAVORITE THINGS I personally use & love for health/fitness (including books, foods, workout items and more!) CLICK HERE to check them out!