You’ve been training really hard and eating clean as a whistle for a while now. Yet, you still aren’t sure if you’re making the gains you should be. Here’s my first tip: Stop checking the scale! Weighing yourself obsessively can become a battlefield of mind games, because body weight naturally fluctuates daily. Besides, it’s not the only indicator of progress. In fact, evaluating how you feel – rather than how you look or how much you weigh – is a more accurate picture of your better-body path.
Here are five ways to confirm that your hard work is not a lost cause:
Junk food cravings are fewer and further between – Making healthy food choices isn’t so hard any more, is it? You’re drinking more water, cutting out sodas, choosing fresh fruits and vegetables instead of fast food. And when your sweet tooth knocks, you answer with a square of rich, dark chocolate instead of a not-so-satisfying candy bar. These are all sure signs that you’ve created new habits. Continue making these little changes daily and it will become a lifestyle, not just a way to lose weight.
You feel more positive and energetic – If you’ve surpassed the afternoon slump and can forgo an extra cup of coffee, you’re on the right track. Your body is naturally releasing those feel-good hormones, which helps with energy and an overall more positive outlook on life. Making efforts to take care of your body, makes you feel better about yourself which leads to an instantly better mood. Keep at it.
You last longer and lift heavier – You can finally make it through an entire Zumba class without panting like a dog. Congrats! Being able to go the distance in your heart-pumping workouts means your cardiovascular system is getting stronger. Use a pedometer, such as the Sportline 345 Calorie Step and Distance Pedometer, to help keep track of all the calories you’re burning, so you can more accurately see your gains (or losses). Also, if you’ve noticed your last rep on the bench press is now as easy as your first, that’s a testament to muscular improvement…even if you aren’t seeing the definition you want just yet. Continue to challenge yourself by adding minutes to your cardio sessions or resistance to your strength routines. A toned bod is well on its way.
Working out feels less like a chore and more like a fun reprieve – Perhaps the best way to tell if you’re on the right track is realizing that you actually want to exercise; you look forward to that one hour of sweating and breathing heavy.Why the change in perspective? You’ve created a new addiction of sorts, making you crave the physical and mental boost that comes post-workout. As long as your good habits don’t wane, neither will your desire to move more and eat well. It’s effortless motivation!
Clothes fit differently – Does your favorite pair of jeans feel a little loose (finally!)?This could mean you’ve lost inches and are starting to change your body composition. Verify your leaner figure by taking a few measurements. Wrap the AccuFitness MyoTape around your thighs, hips, waist and biceps and record each number. Measuring inches is a much better gauge than the scale, because this is how you reveal fat loss and muscle gains. Reward yourself with a new, body-flattering outfit that accentuates your better body. You’ve earned it!