Sticking to a diet and exercise routine can be hard! There are so many tempting things all around us, and working out is exhausting. We always say the key to maintaining a healthy weight is to enjoy what you eat and allow yourself small indulgences as long as they are part of a healthy diet. And it’s essential to listen to your body and rest when necessary.
Staying with your plan is even more challenging when your weight loss plateaus. It can be incredibly disheartening if you eat a healthy diet and work out to slim down when you stop seeing results on the scale! However, many signs indicate that your diet and exercise are still paying off even when you aren’t seeing the scale budge. Sometimes, numbers stop falling even when your overall health is improving.
If your overall mood improves and stress levels drop, it’s a good sign that your hard work is paying off! A healthy routine helps your body and mind. It aids your sleep as well. If you have been having more restful nights, you can thank your exercise and the veggies you’ve been eating.
“Physical activity has a direct impact on our mood, and so do the foods we eat,” said sports dietitian Angie Asche. “If you’re noticing your overall mood and even stress levels improve, that’s a huge sign.”
Remember, muscle weighs more than fat. That might mean your weight might not have decreased, but you may have lost fat. You may have gained muscle if you notice that you are getting stronger or that lifting things or performing hard tasks is easier. If you breathe more easily going up the stairs, you may have gained cardio and heart muscle!
It’s important to check how your clothes fit. Your jeans may be looser in the waist and tighter in the legs. That’s a sign you’re losing fat on your waist and gaining muscle in your quads. That’s excellent!
Some people say you should throw away your scale. Scales aren’t meaningless. However, they can be harmful. Weighing yourself too frequently can increase depression and lower self-esteem. But that’s truer for women than men. People who weigh themselves daily also tend to gain more weight than people who don’t.
Registered dietician May Tom said, “Having objective data to look at can help move people toward change.” She recommends that her patients weigh themselves no more than once weekly if they feel it helps keep them on track.
Another sign that your body is doing well is if your cravings are disappearing. Cravings are often a sign of missing micronutrients. When your body has enough protein, fiber and the right vitamins, you are less hungry and less interested in snacks and treats.
And if you have more energy than you used to, that’s a great sign! It shows your body is responding well to the food you’re eating and the exercise you’re performing. Folks who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet experience less daily fatigue.
Overall, you are on the right track if you are feeling better. Numbers on a scale can’t reflect all of the complicated processes in your body. It’s essential to consider your overall health and how you’re feeling before worrying about whether you lost X number of pounds this week. All healthy lifestyles hit plateaus. If you see other healthy signs, the weight loss will come later!