What are the best ways to track your health and fitness progress? Not relying on the numbers on the scale is a great start. The scale offers very few examples of how we progress through this journey because our bodies are very complex. Scales do not tell the entire story because if your nutrition and training are on point, your weight may not drop as fast as you may think.
When working with clients who need to focus on their nutrition, I find that most of the time they are not consuming nearly enough calories, and the calories they are consuming are usually low-calorie, low-fat, pre-packed processed foods that are heavy on sugar and carbs, while being absent of quality nutrients and flavor.
To get the desired results from your nutrition plan, you must learn to recognize the other signs that are much better barometers of your progress. In this article, I will show you 6 signs to know if your nutrition plan is working.
1. Energy Levels Have Increased If you find yourself awake 30 minutes before your alarm is set to go off, that’s an indication that your nutrition plan may be working.
If you find yourself not needing to grab one of those mid-day energy drinks to keep you from falling asleep at your desk, and you are actually getting along with that one annoying co-worker could be another sign your nutrition plan is working.
If you find you have the energy and strength to smash that evening training session without sputtering halfway through, your plan may be working.
A good solid nutrition plan will give you a full day of energy rather than a roller coaster of up and down peppiness.
2. Deep Sleep
There are many factors for not getting enough quality deep sleep, including stress, hormone imbalance, too many distractions (TV, phone, noise, restless bedmate, etc.) along with bad nutrition and training schedules. Caffeine and alcohol consumption can also play roles in erratic sleep patterns as well.
If your nutrition plan is solid, you will get the proper nutrients to produce the brain chemicals you need to get a good night’s sleep. Your body will not be on constant state of chemical nervousness. You find yourself winding down well before your bedtime, and you find that this happens on a nightly basis without having to force yourself to fall asleep.
3. Your Overall Mood Is Consistent Your nutrition can control your overall mood by allowing you to be the best you that you can be. Depriving your body of vital nutrients and calories will not keep you emotionally alert throughout the day.
Improving your nutrition will improve your emotional state by making you feel more confident, happier, positive, clear-minded, mentally alert, and MOTIVATED! Changing your nutritional habits will inspire you to try new things and have a better outlook on life to stay focused and reaching for your health and fitness success.
These changes also come from the nutrition itself because our brains and bodies have the nutrients and chemical tools they need to do their jobs. They are there to regulate our emotions and send those cheery and calming signals where they should go.
4. You Feel “Full”, Not “Stuffed”
With a proper nutrition plan in place, you should be choosing fresh foods that will leave little room for processed and packaged foods that accelerate your appetite and never actually fill you up.
Fresh veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and complex carbs take up the space that processed foods do not, making you feel satisfied but not stuffed. These foods will tell your stomach and brain that you have filled the space and it’s okay to stop eating. Your stomach and brain will be satisfied, so you’re tempted to eat more than you need.
5. You’re Able to Fit In Those Old Clothes Again
If you’re following a proper strength training program, you will build lean muscle mass and get heavier (hence that’s why we don’t pay attention to the scale), but also smaller because muscle and bone are denser than body fat.
For women you will find that your scale weight may only move a few pounds in one direction or the other, but you will also find that your body size (clothes size) will actually go down.
For men you will see your chest, back, shoulders, and arms get bigger but your waist size will get smaller.
This is another reason why I always encourage my clients to take progress pictures and tape measurements so that you can see your progress rather than using the numbers on the scale.
6. Your Nutrition Plan Becomes Your New Normal
When your nutrition is on point, it becomes part of your daily lifestyle and not a “chore” or something you dread. You get into a rhythm, and you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of anything. When you plan your grocery store run, you automatically choose whole foods over processed foods. You choose lean proteins over corndogs without any hesitation. You choose a salad with lean protein, and you actually really crave it. Your meal planning and meal prep becomes part of your weekly routine, and you choose healthy whole foods without blinking an eye.
Other Actions You Can Do To Ensure You Stay On Track Without Using The Scale: 1. Find a fitness coach to help develop the proper nutrition and strength training pans. 2. Focus on short-term goals like eating your caloric goal each day, or resisting the office cupcake temptations. 3. Don’t avoid or restrict the foods you love. Just have them in moderation. 4. Celebrate your progress by treating yourself to dinner or buying a new dress or pair of shoes.
Want To Learn More? It’s difficult to step up your nutrition and exercise programs when you don’t know how or what to do. Experienced fitness coaches know that with proper planning, progress is always present but not always noticed.
With a 6 Fitness Nutrition Blueprint, we show you how to manage your daily caloric intake with the proper foods to help you reach your fitness goals. The blueprint IS NOT a meal plan, but an outline of how to structure your nutrition for maximum results. It will keep your motivated, accountable, and in the best fitness shape of your life.
INTERESTED IN A NUTRITIONAL BLUEPRINT? Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and will be in touch within 24 hours. If you’re ready to create “Your New Normal” and change your mind, body and spirit, this is your chance!