For those who are in the process of losing weight, watching the scale can lead to frustration and hopelessness. This is because the average weight loss experienced while using a healthy diet and exercise plan may only lead to two or three pounds of weight loss each week. And to confuse matters, our bodies may naturally fluctuate a couple of pounds according to what was eaten the day before and water weight.
Because of this, fitness experts warn people to skip the daily scale check and instead focus on non-scale victories. These are benefits that come with health and fitness aside from the number on a scale. Doing so can help you bust through plateaus and stay motivated while you continue your path to a healthier you.
The Problem with Weight Fluctuations
Beginning weight loss is a time when many people lose the most weight. Initially, water weight is lost as one embarks on a healthier diet with less sodium. While most people drink more water on their weight loss journey, water weight diminishes because the body has no need to hoard it. Along with physical activity, this can make a pretty exciting first week of a new weight loss program.
Then reality sets in and it can become discouraging to watch the scale seem to not move after the initial week. But the scale is not an actual reflection of what is truly taking place. Here’s why:
· As mentioned, if you are eating healthier with less sodium, you may experience a loss of water weight, which can look impressive on the scale at first
· One high-sodium meal can temporarily increase water weight
· Hormonal cycles can affect weight
· Exercising builds muscle, which weighs more than fat
· Constipation may lead to temporary weight gain
Non-Scale Victories are Real
Non-scale victories are the real reason one embarks on a health program. For example, most people don’t lose weight to see a different number on a scale. The goals for beginning a weight loss program often include the following:
· To be happier with appearance and self
· Better health
· More energy and vitality
· Less fatigue and bloating
· To feel stronger
· Better moods and more positivity
· Better sex
· Sleep better
· Live longer
These are just some of the perks of embarking on a weight loss journey that includes a healthy diet and physical activity. And of those listed above, there are even more benefits within the benefits of healthy lifestyle changes. Let’s explore some of these in-depth. and celebrate the non-scale victories.
Junk foods and many processed foods include too much sugar, unhealthy fats, and other unnatural chemicals. These foods are often difficult to digest, leaving you feeling fatigued during the day and restless at night. But eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh produce, lean proteins and whole grains aids digestion, improves metabolism and won’t keep you up at night. Adding physical activity to your weight loss program improves sleep even more as it helps balance brain chemicals that support your natural sleep cycle.
Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem
Those who eat healthier enjoy a better metabolism that burns up calories instead of storing them. This leads to less stomach bloat and water weight; both of which can be a source of frustration if left unchecked. But a healthy diet with regular exercise helps your appearance shift as fat diminishes and muscle size increases, which leads to an overall more fit appearance and helps clothes fit better. And many people agree that this leads to greater self-esteem and confidence.
Better Overall Health
There are numerous reasons why weight loss, a healthy diet, and physical activity leads to improved overall health.
· Excess weight can be a source of more stress to joints, leading to more pain. But losing weight can counter this effect.
· Excess weight and a diet of too many processed foods and unhealthy food choices can lead to internal inflammation; a state associated with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic ailments.
· Excess weight can stress your adrenal glands and respiratory system, which can lead to worsened allergies or symptoms of asthma. But losing weight can counter this and help you stop and smell the roses without sneezing on them.
Women who carry extra abdominal fat also have elevated amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can interfere with or suppress sex drive. Men who are overweight or obese experience decreased testosterone levels and increased estradiol; both of which can lead to lowered sex drive. In both cases, the diet seems to play a major role in libido.
To reverse this unhealthy trend, cut out alcohol, sugar, fried foods, and overeating; all of which are unhealthy and can interfere with sex drive. This is because they lead to fatigue and hormonal imbalances that interfere with health; and it just so happens that all of these diet choices are detrimental to weight loss, as well.
Instead, consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for energy and vibrant sex life. Also be sure to include lean healthy proteins, like salmon and tuna, that contain lots of vitamin D, because low vitamin D can lead to erectile dysfunction. As your diet gets healthier, you will naturally enjoy this famously popular non-scale victory, too!
Terms like “sugar blues” have been around for decades to describe the crash one experiences after consuming an influx of sugar. But worse yet, those who regularly consume high amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats can experience constant mood swings and even depression as fatigue replaces your natural energy levels. Other foods that can cause lowered moods to include unhealthy fats as they interfere with your natural hormonal balance.
When beginning a weight loss program with a healthy diet and exercise, you will naturally cut out these foods and replace them with wholesome, real foods. These supply the necessary nutrients for brain and hormonal health, helping your mood gravitate to a more positive disposition. At the same time, exercise can help balance your mood and increase endorphins, which also elevate mood. Put together, this is a winning combination to help you enjoy life to the fullest.
These are just some of the non-scale victories that come with a healthy weight loss and physical activity plan. Focusing on these types of “wins” can help you see the whole picture that good health has to offer and measure your success while still focusing on your fitness goals without getting discouraged. Try making your own list of your own non-scale victories, and see the many ways that a healthier lifestyle will benefit your life. Not to mention getting some pretty amazing rewards after logging your workouts with Yes.Fit will keep you motivated and feeling great.