How To Tell If Your Fitness Plan Is Working
You are a few weeks into your new workout routine, you are eating “on plan” and everyone else around you appears to be doing the same thing, or less, and they are getting weight loss results. However, for you, the scale is not moving. As a matter of fact, you have added a few pounds. What in the heck is going on?
First, you are comparing yourself to others, STOP IT.
You, and the people you are comparing yourself to, are uniquely made and therefore your body cannot be compared to others as if somehow their body is the “All Mighty System of Measurement for Success.” Stop putting that pressure on you and stop putting that pressure on them.
Second, take a look at a few other “fitness vital signs” that you can use to see if your body is making progress or possibly fighting underlying health conditions. Here are a few to consider:
Strength: Are you journaling/tracking your workouts? If Yes. That’s a win. Tracking the process is critical to see what is working and what isn’t. If your answer is no, then start tracking. Keep a fitness journal of how much weight you’re lifting, sets, reps, distance, time, and a scale of 1-10 of how hard the workout feels.
Have you noticed a change in how much weight you lift and for how many reps? If you are lifting more weight in good form, that’s a win. If you are lifting the same weight, but it’s getting easier, that’s a win. If you are lifting the same weight, but no improvement in ease or strength, then you may to give it a couple more weeks, or, if it’s been 6 weeks no improvement, you may need to check other “vitals” like sleep, nutrition, or basic health conditions like hormones and nutrient deficiencies.
Energy: Have you noticed a little pep in your step? That’s a win. Have you noticed you are more alert, better memory, less stress? That’s a win. If the answer is no to these, you need to go back to checking “vitals” again, sleep, nutrition, and basic health conditions.
Size: Are your clothes fitting better? That’s a win. Did you take full body measurements when you started your new routine? If yes, that’s a win, you’re tracking the process which leads to progress. Are those measurements changing to reflect your goals? That’s a win. Depending on your goals and starting body composition, an increase could suggest increase in muscle tissue and hydration, and a decrease could indicate decrease in fat and inflammation.
However, If it’s an increase in the waistline, that would indicate nutrition is off, either in too many calories or type of foods. Often new healthy eating can bring on a bit of bloat as your body adjusts to new foods and an increase in proteins and fiber, or possibly new food sensitivities. Track your foods and pay attention to any stomach upset or bloat.
Sleep: Are you sleeping better? That’s a win. Do you feel rested when you wake up? That’s a win. If the answer is no, or it’s gotten worse, you could be overtraining, or drinking to much caffeine. Get back to the basics, work in an additional rest day or reduce your workouts a bit, and check your “vitals” like nutrition and basic health conditions.
Nutrition: Are you craving more nutritious foods, less junk? That’s a win. Are you eating more balanced nutrition according to your goals? That’s a win. You can not out train a bad diet. A bad diet can, however, sabotage a great workout. Are you drinking more water? That’s a win. Have you cut out sugary drinks? That’s a win. Have you cut out or reduced your alcohol? That’s a win.
If you are eating on plan and calories in is less than calories out, you should be losing body fat. In some cases you will see weight gain, due to inflammation and your body adjusting to the new routines. Usually inflammation from sudden onset of new exercise routine will subside around 6 weeks of consistent training and eating on plan.
If after 6 weeks you still show signs of no fat loss you may need to make an appointment with your doctor. Underactive Thyroid levels, underlying health problems, hormone imbalance, and elevated inflammatory markers are all possible causes of inability to lose excess weight. Keep a food journal, your doctor may need to see it. If your doctor acts like you’re crazy, find a new doctor.
Stress: Are you less stressed? That’s a win. Do you find yourself smiling more, with maybe a brighter outlook on things that would normally get you down? That’s a win. Are you intentional about gratitude each day? That’s a win. Do you look forward to your workouts? That’s a win.
The scale is not the only measurement of success. Comparing yourself to others, is NOT a measurement of success. Setting goals, tracking progress, adjusting with failures, and celebrating wins, that’s how success is claimed.
If you need more help, or if you find this information overwhelming or confusing, I would love to help. Choosing healthy, pursuing your best life, achieving your goals, that’s what I coach.
Schedule a free zoom consult at www.leanwellonline.com/services-1 if you’d like to find out more information on how I can help.