Non-Scale Victories: Why They Matter For Weight LossBy Stephanie Eng-Aponte Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, R.D. Science-Backed
Some of the best things about weight loss aren’t measured by a scale. Non-scale victories (or NSVs) are something you can look forward to, no matter where you are in your weight loss journey. Weighing in daily can be a useful tool to track your progress, but you might have noticed other positive changes to your health and lifestyle besides your weight — these are non-scale victories. Use NSVs to set exciting new goals and then celebrate all the hard work you’ve done so far — you deserve it! Check out this inspiring list of nine non-scale victories, see which ones you’ve accomplished and choose a few to work toward this year.
9 non-scale victories to celebrate
Non-scale victories are the everyday changes you’ll experience throughout your weight loss journey. They’re milestones that help you to recognize your successes, no matter how big or small. Here’s our list of nine non-scale victories that are certainly worth celebrating.
1. Your clothes fit better.
You’re putting on your favorite clothes without a second thought. You look great, and you know it! Feeling comfortable in your clothes is an incredible non-scale victory. Focus on looking in the mirror and loving who you see — clothing is just one part of your journey, and there’s more to come!
2. You’re exercising — and enjoying it!
Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash
You’ve noticed walking has gotten easier. Stairs are a welcome challenge, and you’re spending more time running around with your kids. You’ve started looking forward to physical activity — use that motivation to make your next workout the best one yet.
It’s no coincidence — if you’ve experienced joint pain before, weight loss can help to make physical activity less painful. In fact, for every pound of weight you lose, you could remove four pounds of pressure from your knees.1
3. You feel stronger.
Whether you’ve been keeping up with daily walks or even staying active at home, you’re feeling more capable than ever. Carrying grocery bags up the stairs doesn’t feel like a struggle. And it’s easier to squat down when you’re gardening.
Keep burning calories and building muscle by striking a balance between cardio and strength training: They’re both helpful for weight maintenance in the long run. Not quite sure where to start? Our Beginner’s Guide to Exercise can help.
4. You’re sleeping well.
Photo by Mladen Zivkovic on iStock
Deep, restful sleep is another welcome change you’ve experienced. Instead of tossing and turning all night, you wake up feeling refreshed. You’ve stopped taking naps in the middle of the day and feel energized more often.
There’s a reason for that: Exercise and weight loss are both linked to better sleep.2 A recent study compared participants’ risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day versus never feeling tired during the day.3 During the study, participants who met physical activity guidelines reduced their feelings of tiredness during the day, and those who were more active than others reported falling asleep faster. And research shows that weight loss may help to improve obstructive sleep apnea,4 a condition that results in a blocked airway. Sleep apnea makes it difficult to breathe while sleeping, and can result in fatigue, sleeplessness and irritability.5
5. Your numbers have improved.
At your last physical, your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels were better than before. That’s great news!
Losing weight, exercising and eating healthier meals could all contribute to improved cholesterol levels.6 A healthy and balanced eating plan, in particular, could help you to manage your weight and help you to avoid eating excess saturated and trans fats, which are linked to higher LDL cholesterol and heart disease.7 The same goes for your blood pressure and blood sugar levels: a healthy diet and lifestyle could help you to get those numbers under control, too.
6. You’re excited to try new things.
Photo by vgajic on iStock
Going for a hike? Check. Whipping up a new veggie side dish for dinner? Check. Trying on new workout clothes you love? Check.
You’ve been feeling positive and confident. The things that might have intimidated you before don’t seem so out of reach now. Since you’ve started incorporating healthier habits into your lifestyle, new and exciting things are falling into place. Confidence looks great on you — keep it up!
7. You have more endurance.
Daily activities aren’t overwhelming anymore. Vacuuming the house, playing catch with the kids and teeing off at the golf course used to leave you out of breath. Now, you’re powering through your day — without even needing a nap to recharge. You find that you have more time and energy to do what you love, and you’re discovering new hobbies. With more endurance comes more productivity: You’re doing more with your day without being held back by fatigue.
8. You’re becoming more mindful.
You’re living life in the moment, fully present. You’re starting to approach difficult situations in positive and productive ways. These are amazing achievements, and they’re also key ways to introduce mindfulness principles into your life.
Mindfulness is a meditative practice that allows you to acknowledge your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. And if you practice mindful eating, it can be a helpful technique to continue supporting your weight loss efforts.
9. You’re looking forward to the future.
Now, living a healthier lifestyle feels more like second nature. Your loved ones notice the positive changes you’ve made, and you’ve inspired them to join in. Soak up their support and share what you’ve learned. Look back on what you’ve achieved and take a moment to appreciate all the hard work you’ve done!
If you’ve already started to experience these non-scale victories, you don’t have to stop there — keep future NSVs front and center with these creative ways to track your progress.
Tracking your non-scale victories
Creating a record of your non-scale victories keeps your current achievements and future goals in perspective. Try these tools and strategies that’ll help you to recognize NSVs:
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash
Ready, set, write! A bullet journal is a great place to write down your NSVs and can help you stay organized and accountable. Plus, bullet journaling may help you stick to your weight loss goals!
Snap some photos. Taking pictures throughout your journey is a helpful way to visually track your progress. Try taking them in the same outfit at the same time of day for consistent photos.
Treat yourself to a fitness tracker. This sleek activity tracker logs the calories you’ve burned, your heart rate, the type of exercise you’re doing, and even measures time you’ve spent in deep sleep.
Try a 30-day challenge. Whether it’s drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day or testing out a 30-day workout plan for beginners, putting a time limit on a healthy challenge can help motivate you to succeed (and get you out of your comfort zone!).
There’s an app for that. Want to log your meals and activity on your phone instead? There are tons of options to choose from. If you’re following the Jenny Craig program, try the Jenny Craig mobile app.
Non-scale victories are a helpful way to chart your progress throughout your weight loss journey, and they’re excellent reminders to celebrate each and every one of your wins along the way.
If you’re continuing to work toward your goals, that’s OK! Weight loss has its challenges, and we’re here to help. Connect with a Jenny Craig coach today for a free 15-minute phone consultation and learn how our science-backed weight loss program can fit your lifestyle.
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig and has written for the health and wellness, tech, and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. They employ an “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoy the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find them photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.
Favorite healthy snack: green apple slices with sunflower butter
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and reviewed by certified professionals.
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