Look Beyond the Scale: How to Track Your Fitness Progress
Are you relying on the scales as your only measure of progress on your fitness journey? Consider these alternative methods to gain a more comprehensive view of your progress:
Take into account improvements such as increased energy and strength levels, better sleep quality, improved mood and overall performance. In terms of physical changes pay attention to how your clothes fit, measurements and progress photos. It is essential to remember that weight can fluctuate for many reasons. Therefore, relying solely on the scale may not provide an accurate depiction of your progress.
Here are a few common reasons why you may experience weight fluctuations:
1. Water retention: The amount of water retained in your body can vary day by day. Several factors can affect water retention such as hormonal fluctuations, exercise and sodium intake.
2. Muscle mass: Muscle is dense and therefore building additional muscle through resistance training may cause weight gain (note: this is not fat gain). Although your physique has in fact become leaner and more defined due to the additional muscle gain, the number on the scales may increase.
3. Digestive issues: An accumulation of waste in the body due to constipation or bloating may cause temporary weight gain.
4. Hormonal fluctuations: Hormonal changes such as stress levels, menstrual cycle, menopause, and sleep patterns can cause weight fluctuations.
5. Food intake: Consuming more food or eating heavy meals can temporarily increase your weight. If your food intake varies from day to day, your weight may fluctuate accordingly.
It's completely normal for weight to fluctuate, which is why scales aren't always a reliable measurement of progress. There are many other ways to measure progress, and it's important to keep in mind that the benefits of your fitness journey far outweigh (no pun intended) the ever changing number on the scale.