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From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

Why You Should Make Non-Scale Victories (& NSV Ideas!)

Measuring success based on a scale weight? While noticing pounds lost is motivating, celebrating non-scale victories might just be more so - here’s everything to know to get started!

Why You Should Make Non-Scale Victories (& NSV Ideas!)


Do you step on the scale each morning wondering, "How much do I weigh?" What about after each meal, before bed, and any other chance you can throughout the day? While the scale can be a tool for gauging weight loss, there are many non-scale victories (NSV) that may be lost if just focusing on the scale number. 

True, the scale can offer accountability and motivation during your weight loss journey. However, it is just one tool to use to gauge health. There are so many other factors that can assess health gains that may not show up on the scale.

Curious about what non-scale victories you should be paying attention to? Discover how to celebrate weight loss milestones that don't include looking down at a number on a scale.

Why Non-Scale Victories Make Sense for Weight Loss

First off, weight naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day based on many factors such as hydration status and bathroom patterns. That being said, the scale does not always show actual changes in body fat percentage. You may be gaining muscle mass while losing body fat, and that is not always reflected on the scale number.

Besides, health is much more than the number on the scale. Health is a dynamic measurement that can be sized by looking at:

• Blood lipid levels
• Blood sugar levels
• Exercise gains
• Inches lost
• Reduced pain
• Improved energy
• Simply a sense of overall well-being
• …and so much more!

Therefore, it is important to notice these senses of health that go well beyond just a number on the scale. 

9 Non-Scale Victories to Celebrate Health and Fitness Goals

Besides a goal weight, focus on these NSVs that are just as important for gauging health gains. These NSVs are worth noting and celebrating along your health journey!

Your Clothes Feel Looser

Eating healthier and/or stepping up your exercise habits? Your clothes may be fitting a little differently but all for the better.

Take notice and embrace the ways your favorite pair of jeans feel, relishing the progress and igniting your inner confidence. Regardless of what a scale says, this NSV means things are changing in your body that aligns with health goals.

You are Losing Inches

Taking body measurements, including waist circumference, is helpful for knowing "How much should I weigh?" without even looking at the scale. 

These measurements can also be a more accurate depiction of overall health than scale weight and body mass index (BMI). In fact, waist circumference is a stronger predictor of heart disease and diabetes than BMI, according to a 2018 study.

Other measurements for NSV may include neck, biceps, hips, and thigh circumferences. Take these measurements monthly for tracking purposes and to celebrate any progress toward health and weight loss goals.

You Have More Energy

Having more energy throughout your health journey is a big NSV win. Maybe you notice you have more energy to get things done throughout the day or are able to concentrate better. This can be a result of:

• Increasing stamina from regular exercise
• Losing body fat
• Getting more (and better) sleep
• Drinking more water
• Eating a healthy diet that provides nutrients for sustained energy

The combination of all can further improve sleep cycles and lower fatigue throughout the day.

You Have Less Pain

Whether or not you are looking at the scale, losing weight slowly and steadily weight can ease joint pain. Similar to having more energy, less pain can also be impacted by a shift in strengthening muscles around joints, increasing stamina, and providing nutrients that help fight inflammation.

People are Noticing Differences

NSVs can include changes you may not notice, but others definitely are! People may mention they notice you look different, slimmer, more energized, or even younger. They may wonder what you have been doing to have a change in how you look or carry yourself.

You are Able to Do More Exercise

Whether it is to run further, faster, lift more, improve flexibility, dance more, or get in more steps, an increase in the amount of physical activity you can do will pay off dividends in health regardless of looking at the scale. 

You Have Increased Confidence and Self Worth

Instead of basing worth on physical body weight, learn to love yourself and all the things you are capable of doing. Start relishing the process and moments, overcoming hurdles with strength, and celebrating victories of all sizes. Besides, confidence never goes out of style!

You Find Progress in Pictures

Rather than allowing numbers to dictate the perception of progress, let a picture tell a thousand words. Taking progress pictures allows you to visualize body changes throughout the entire process.

When taking pictures, stay consistent with the lighting, what you wear, and the timings of the day. Also, write down how you feel about the pictures and reflect on just how far you have come!

You See Improvements in Health Markers

Last but not least, improved blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other health markers are all NSV worth celebrating. These health markers help give a picture of what is going on in the body and in ways we cannot see or often feel. 

A positive shift in health markers is arguably one of the most important NSVs to celebrate!

Non-Scale Victories In Summary

Stepping on the scale can be a helpful tool to measure progress toward a health goal. However, it is by no means the only way to track progress. In fact, sometimes just tracking weight can miss other changes in the body worth noting. 

It is important to not get too wrapped up in just focusing on the scale for tracking fitness and health. Many non-scale victories may be missed as a result. 

NSVs can include changes in how you feel like improved energy, pain, self-confidence, health markers, and exercise gains. Body composition and health improvements, including improvements in waist circumference, are also NSVs to write home about!

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on August 10, 2022. Updated on August 18, 2022.

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