Tip #14….Take Progress Pictures
If you are on a quest to change your body in some shape or form, then you 100% should be tracking your progress through pictures. Just like you track your food through a food diary, and you track your training via a programme, you should keep track of how your body is changing as well.
A lot of men and women become a bit obsessed when they start their fitness/fat loss journey, and use the scales as a measure to define how well they are doing. I am sure we have all been there.
It doesn’t matter if you achieved a personal best in your training that week, you ate well and trained even better, if you are on a fat loss journey and you don’t see the scales go down, it’s de-motivating.
It makes it hard to find the motivation to push past that as you think you have done your best, yet you haven’t lost anything, so what else can you do?
Well, you can be consistent.
Get the scales and all the numbers that go along with them out of your head. How about you put more focus on the numbers in your training.
How fast you ran that 5k, how heavy your squat was, how much better they were in comparison to last week’s attempts.
That’s where you will find the motivation to keep going, and be better. At this stage you will have noticed your body is changing, never mind the number on the scales.
So, track it. Take a progress picture every week. In the same clothes, in the same place, at the same time.
Compare these pictures on a monthly basis, then on a bi-monthly basis. Compare month 1 & 6, which will soon turn into month 6 & 12, then year 1 and 2. Soon you will have transformed parts of your body you are proud of, without even caring what the scales say.
Weighing scales come with too many variables that can affect the result they give you, which in turn messes with your head, and puts you down.
First of all the scales can’t differentiate between muscle and fat. Have you started weight training? I’m guessing you are trying to lose fat, in which case I hope you are weight training. If you are, your body can look totally different, yet still be the same weight.
Muscle does not weigh any heavier than fat, that’s just ridiculous, however, it is more dense & compact than fat, therefore it takes up less room. Now that makes more sense. So you can have a lot more muscle on your body, yet be smaller than having the same amount of fat & how that would make you look.
Maybe you have some water retention, possibly caused by your menstruation cycle if you are female. Maybe you ate some food that had quite a lot of sodium in it, maybe you weighed yourself at a different time than last week, and wore different clothes.
These are just some of the many reasons your weight can fluctuate on the scales so please, DO NOT be discouraged if you have worked hard consistently and the scales are not showing it.
Find it in measurements and pictures instead. Of course, if you don’t see any difference on the scales, in your measurements, in pictures OR in your energy levels then, yes, you may have to tweak things a little.
For those of you who are trying really hard, training well, sleeping well and eating good food, do not let the scales define you.
I urge you start taking progress pictures of your journey, save them, you don’t have to look at them every day.
Put them away and take them out every month, like I said. In time, you will have a bigger ‘before’ and ‘after’ timeframe that hopefully shows some positive changes.
Things take time, but remember, it’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle choice you have made to be healthier in the long run. Sticking to it will just cause you to look better along the way ;)