Your Scale Doesn’t Decide You Are Fit. If you are doing your workouts 3 times a week, eating healthy diet and you are shaping up without actually dropping weight. That’s perfectly alright!
You’ve been doing everything right:loading up on the greens, fruits, lifting weights, and going easy on the wine and late-night snacks. No worries to get too worked up, if the scale doesn’t tell the story you want to see! As you get healthier, a few subtle mind-body clues will tell you that you are getting fit. Read on to learn what to look for.
Your Junk Food Cravings have Mellowed Out
Once you’ve adapted to a cleaner nutritious diet, your hankerings for sugar and processed foods should get less intense (and may even go away completely). You are heading right!
Test your taste buds: Make a list of five foods you once craved; then after two weeks, note whether you crave them anymore. The shift can happen very quickly. “If you load up on plant foods, healthy fats, and protein with every meal, you will find that eventually you won’t want the junk.”
Read: 11 Ways to Stop Cravings for Unhealthy Foods and Sugar
You’re Reaching for more Extensive Workouts
So you finally find improvement in your stamina, energy levels. Now you are able to stretch your limits at cardio as well as doing body-weight workouts—to build fat-burning muscle.
Track your gains: As a general rule, if your regimen includes progressive overload (meaning you gradually make your muscles work harder over time, by adding weight or tension) you should be able to lift weight that is 7 to 10 percent heavier—or do endurance strength moves (such as planks) for longer—after every 14 days or so. Try using specific exercises (think bicep curls and a squat hold) as “benchmarks,” and testing yourself every two weeks or so. But keep in mind that fitness progress isn’t always linear. “Other general clues like having more energy for workouts, and better balance and coordination are valuable indicators too.
Try the 14 Day Free Plank Challenge
You’ve Never Felt More Rested
“Exercise has been proven to not only boost your daytime energy, but your sleep quality, too. Researchers have found that when people with insomnia get on a long-term exercise program, they tend to doze off quicker, snooze longer, and sleep more deeply than before they started working out.
Read: Breakthrough Insomnia with Quick Natural Remedies
Your Appetite has Changed
If your get-fit plan has you turned you into a gym rat, you may not be as hungry as usual—or, you may be famished. Exercise can actually have both effects: Some people experience a drop in appetite, while others crave more food.
If your end goal is a slimmer waist, feeling ravenous can be frustrating. But you may actually need more food to keep burning calories. “You might have to increase what you are eating to fuel your body through your exercise routine.”
Assess your eating habits: In a notebook or with voice recordings in your smartphone, keep tabs on your hunger levels and rough calorie intake. If you do notice you’re eating more since you’ve started crushing your workouts in full-on beast mode, that’s okay. “Just make sure you’re adding real, whole foods. “Eight hundred calories from a healthy protein source is going to do dramatically different things to your body than 800 calories coming from processed foods like pastries, breads, pastas, candies etc…”
Checkout: 5 Food Diary Apps to Track What You Eat and How It Affects You
Your jeans fit differently
“Focusing on how your clothing feels is a good gauge for most people,” “as long as you recognize that sizing is a messed up mind game and are able to not worry about that.” But don’t expect your pants to get looser necessarily; you may actually fill them out a bit better. This is what happens when you start a new workout, all of a sudden you start to notice your pants feel a bit tighter as you are building quads. It’s not because you’re gaining weight, you putting on muscle.”
Do a mirror check: If you want visual evidence of how your body is changing, consider snapping pics of yourself wearing the same outfit (and at the same time of day) every so often. (Note: If this habit becomes obsessive or makes you feel discouraged, it’s not worth doing.) Even just taking a mental note of how you feel physically in your clothes when you get dressed in the morning is fine.
Should you toss your scale?
The number on the scale is not worth fixating on—but that doesn’t mean weighing yourself is a complete waste. Two recent studies have reaffirmed that people who step on the scale regularly tend to lose more weight than those who weigh themselves less frequently or not at all.
So how often should you weigh in? Once a week at most. “That’s usual recommendation if people feel like [the scale] keeps them on track and accountable. “Any more than that and you can become frustrated if you don’t see progress.”
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