By Karen Kwan
Are you working at losing those last 10 pounds, and you’re frustrated because you’ve been exercising and eating a healthy diet and the number on the scale hasn’t budged (or the number’s increased!). Here’s the thing: the scale is not necessarily the best measure to track your progress. It is a helpful tool, however, muscle is more dense than fat–so it takes up less space, yet weighs more, which is why your weight may increase when you’ve been so focused on getting that number to decrease.
So how can you make sure you’re shaping up? Here are three ways you can use in addition to your scale. (Bonus: Having a record of your slow but steady progress using these various methods is sure to keep you motivated.)
Track your fitness data: Rather than placing so much emphasis on your weight, look at the numbers you’ve been able to achieve and improve. If you were able to hold plank for only 30 seconds in your bootcamp at the start of the year, but now can hold it for one minute, pat yourself on the back. If you run with a GPS that calculates your pace, take note if you’ve been able to shave time off your average pace from month to month. Be proud of what you’ve been able to push your body to do rather than fretting about pounds.
Check how your clothing fits: As long as your laundering skills are up to snuff, your clothing isn’t getting smaller or expanding. So if your muffin top is more prominent over that waistband, it’s time to hit the gym a little harder and watch what you’re eating. On the other hand, if those unforgiving skinny jeans are now buttoning up with ease, you know you’re heading in the right direction.
Monitor your measurements: Pull that tape measure out of your sewing kit and measure at your chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves, forearm and upper arm. Ensure you’re getting accurate numbers by wearing a slim-fitting outfit (and better yet, wear the same thing each time you take your measurements). Jot your measurements down in a journal so you can track how many inches you’re shrinking from week to week.