4 Signs of weight-loss success
If you’re too focused on the scales, you could miss other important signs you’re on the right track for weight-loss success.
Oh, the dreaded scales. One day you seem to be losing weight and the next, there it is again – that missing kilo.
You’re putting in the effort and are definitely feeling better, so what gives?
Maybe it’s time to avert your eyes from the scales and pay attention to these four other signs of weight-loss success.
1. Check your vitals
Accredited Bupa dietitian Gemma Cosgriff says signs you are on track for weight loss can differ depending on why you are trying to shed kilos in the first place.
“For example, if you’re reducing weight to help manage your diabetes, then look at your blood sugar levels and the fact you are controlling them is a measure of success,” Cosgriff explains.
Talk to your doctor about checking other important measures such as your cholesterol levels and blood pressure too.
2. Clothes fit better
Losing centimetres and just feeling better in your clothes is another important sign of being on track, especially if you are losing it around your waist, where carrying excess fat may mean that you have an increased risk of developing long-term health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
“It could be worth getting someone like a dietitian to show you how to measure yourself correctly in the right places to see if you are losing body fat ,” Cosgriff says.
3. You’re building muscle
While fat and lean muscle weigh the same kilo for kilo, their composition is different.
Muscle has a leaner appearance than fat, so if you’ve been exercising – particularly if you’ve been doing weight resistance workouts – then you could look trimmer while not seeing a change on the scales.
If your skinny jeans fit, or your favourite shirt falls so much more neatly, chances are your weight ratio is shifting from fat mass to more lean muscle.
Cosgriff says building more muscle also helps to burn energy more efficiently and is good for your bone density as you age – a positive thing when it comes to preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
4. You’re keeping well hydrated
“Often your weight can fluctuate depending on how well hydrated you are,” Cosgriff points out.
“You could drink an extra litre of water and if you haven’t passed any water, you could weigh a kilo more,” she says.
Keeping well hydrated is important though, especially if you are doing lots of exercise, so be patient.
Keeping it off
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Cosgriff says that if you are overweight, losing that excess weight is good, but keeping it off should be your main goal.
She says weighing yourself no more than once a week, eating a healthy balanced diet, and aiming for a steady loss of 500 grams to 1 kilo per week is the way to go.
“It is not about losing weight and feeling great now, and then feeling bad down the track because you have not sustained your great results.”
Cosgriff also reminds us that we are all individuals with different energy and nutrient needs, so we’ll experience weight loss in different ways.
While it’s great “to get ideas from friends and family to tweak our efforts” she says, “don’t compare yourself to others. It’s important to run your own race when it comes to weight loss.”