12 Ways To Measure Weight Loss Success: Beyond the Scale

4 years ago

Just when I thought I'd run out out of reasons why I love that my husband has joined me on my journey, he proves there is one more.

We were in bed, drooling over my iPad while browsing Mizuno's website (because everyone knows we're suckers for a great running shoe), and I, out loud, started feeling bad for myself. Basically, I was throwing a mini pity party. (Yep. I have those.)

Why can't I lose weight!?!

I knew it was stupid the moment I said it.

I sat there, looking at my husband, mopey look on my face, frustrated with the fact that I'd see a gain on the scale last week...after not weighing in for a month. For those of you about ready to smack me because you saw this on Facebook the other day:


Don't worry - I've done it for you. (I lost 7", what more do I want?)

I'm not sure what possessed me at the moment my mouth was forced open and stupid was allowed to flow, but it took me over - and my husband's response was perfect.

Then stop trying to lose weight.

That was just what I needed to hear. He's right. I need to stop focusing on losing weight. I'm strong. I can run. I eat healthy. I move throughout the day. I educate myself in all things health & fitness. I'm healthier than I've ever been, honestly. The scale doesn't tell me that!!! So this got me thinking: it's time to re-evaluate my approach, step back and re-focus, and it's time to find a different measure of success.

So here I am, admitting to you that I have moments of weakness where I place too much emphasis on the scale. It's hard to break away from the "norm" of judging success by a number on the scale, because unfortunately, the diet industry has created a broken

So here are ways you can measure your success without stepping on the digital devil:

12 Ways To Measure Weight Loss Success Beyond the Scale

Measurements. Measure the follow every month to determine the loss of inches, rather than the loss of weight.

  • Chest: Run the measuring tape directly under the breast or pectoral muscle, and measure around the smallest part of the chest.
  • Bust: Run the measuring tape across the nipple line, and measure around the largest part of your chest.
  • Waist: About 0.5” above the navel, where the narrowest part of the waist is, run the measuring tape around the torso.
  • Hips: Run the measuring tape around the widest part of the hips and glutes.
  •  Thigh: Run the tape around the largest part of each thigh.
  • Calves: Run the tape around the largest part of each calf.
  • Upper arm: Run the tape around the largest part of each bicep.

Waist to hip ratio. If measuring all of the above is a bit much for you and if you want to get an idea of your loss in inches in abdominal fat and determine your risk of weight-related health concerns, try this equation:

  • Waist (in inches) / Hips (in inches)
  • Then compare the number to this chart:
    • In Women:
    • 0.80 or below: low
    • 0.81-0.85: moderate
    • 0.85 or above: high
    • In Men:
    • 0.95 or below: low
    • 0.96-1.0: moderate
    • 1.0 or above: high


Clothing size.This is an obvious choice! As your clothes begin to loosen, reward yourself with a new pair of pants or a new dress...in a smaller size!

Increase in weight while strength training. An increase in weight equates to muscle growth. Muscle growth increases your metabolism! (And we all know what that means!!!)

Increase in running pace. I've found that as I lose weight, running becomes easier for me...and I become faster. Less drag. You get the idea. ;)

Ease of everyday movement. This is big. Far too many people complain about getting winded climbing a small set of stairs or after walking 100 feet. As you lose weight and improve your health, you'll find that you'll have an easier time performing everyday physical activity.

Decrease in depression and anxiety. Increase in exercise and physical activity has been proven to decrease the instance of depression and anxiety. If you're finding yourself happier and calmer, it may just be because you've gotten a hang of a healthier lifestyle!

Decrease in resting heart rate. This means your heart doesn't need to work as hard to keep you alive! This is huge and is one benefit I continue to see as I get further into my "addiction" to healthy living.

Decrease in frequency of breakouts/acne. Your complexion will improve greatly. If you find yourself continuing to break out, try food elimination to find what triggers breakouts.

Decrease in frequency of headaches. Headaches can be weight-related. Even (lack of) activity-related. I find that my headaches decrease tremendously when I'm exercising and eating healthy...and losing weight.

And not to mention all the improvements you see when it comes to bathroom activities...

And to round out the list, the always popular...public recognition!! Who doesn't like to hear "you're losing weight" or "you look great!!"

How's that for a big ol' reminder of why the scale isn't the end all, be all?

Tell me: how do you measure your success?

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

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