Women are almost pre-programmed to judge themselves based on what the scale says. It makes me want to pull my hair out.
I talk to women almost daily about this topic. Typically, when women start some type of health or weight loss plan they set a goal for themselves…and it’s usually something like “I want to lose 10 pounds.”
Ok first off…hearing the phrase “weight loss program” makes me cringe too. And I know what you’re thinking, “What is she talking about she uses it too?” Right, I have to, because that’s what women are searching for! In reality I wish I could call it a “Feel Good, Have More Energy, Lose Inches Program” but let’s be real that’s not as sexy.
But anyways back to the REAL issue. Don’t get me wrong you always want to set goals, and goals that are specific and measurable. But here’s where I’m going to challenge this thought of setting a goal of a specific number of pounds lost.
Are you REALLY wanting to lose 10 pounds? Because in the process you may gain lean muscle, start feeling really good, have a lot more energy, be able to increase the intensity of your workouts, and on and on.
When your mindset is framed around the scale, it can be super defeating. Especially if over the course of say 30 days you are seeing it go up and down. BUT when you are increasing the amount of protein you are eating and changing the type of nutrient dense foods you are eating your body composition is going to change.
Have you heard the phrase “muscle weighs more than fat?” It might seem crazy, but it’s true! Lean muscle weighs more than fat. So what does that mean? While you are increasing your lean muscle, and women you WANT to do this! (HINT More lean muscle burns more fat!).
So how are we, as women, supposed to gauge success when it comes to a new nutrition program?
Easy! Start by tracking energy, mental focus, how well you’re sleeping, how you’re feeling! If you take a minute and get in tune with your body to determine how you are feeling, that will tell you how well the program you are on is working!
If you don’t feel lit up with energy, your sleep hasn’t changed, or you haven’t noticed a change in your focus. You probably are on the wrong plan!
Ever been on a diet and been so crabby, irritable and HUNGRY all of the time?? This is what I’m talking about!
It’s not SUPPOSED to be that way! You should have more energy, be sleeping better, and notice the brain fog lifting!
People might even start noticing that you look different. Maybe you have a little bit more pep in your step, and you are able to handle stressful situations better. All signs pointing in the right direction.
I know, I know you are thinking this is great, but you start a weight loss plan to look different. I get it! So here’s where that part comes in. I want to shift the tide a little bit on this.
What if instead of setting goals based on pounds lost, we shifted it to inches lost?
Again when you increase lean muscle you are going to look different. Your clothes are going to fit different, and most of all you are going to FEEL different.
PLUS this is typically one of the first things women notice when they get on a weight loss plan. You might lose a few pounds here and there but I encourage you to keep your sights set on your measurements!
If you want the confidence to continue with a program focus on your energy, how you feel and your measurements. These are the BEST and most REALISTIC goals for women to set for themselves when they start a “weight loss” program.
So here is my challenge to you, throw away the damn scale. Listen to your body. Judge your results off of that. I can bet you will be much more likely to stick to something that makes you feel amazing and lit up with energy.
Originally published at medium.com