One of, if not the most, common fitness goals is to lose weight. It gives you a target to achieve and something to work towards when you start a fitness routine. As a result, you weigh yourself every day and meticulously keep track of your progress. However, as your weight fluctuates, so does your mood. When you don’t see the changes you want on the scales, you can become frustrated, depressed, demotivated, and that leads to you giving up.
But does this mean that you were not on track in the first place? Progress is measured in lots of different forms and while scale weight should be tracked, it does not tell you the whole story. For example, if your goal is to improve your body shape through fat loss and toning, you may not see drastic changes in weight due to the fact that you are adding muscle, given the fact that muscle weighs more than fat. However, by dropping body fat and toning up, you are well on the way to achieving your fitness goal. So, rather than obsessing over scale weight, it’s important to focus on other areas in which you are improving.
When you start the process of losing body fat, it takes time to see big visual changes. However, in the first few weeks, you will start to notice some differences. For example, you will feel slimmer, you start to fit into clothes easier and you have more energy, as well as weighing lighter on the scales, too. Furthermore, you will have introduced a better structure and balance to your lifestyle – for example, you are not starving yourself and are instead eating more, meaning that you are doing more during the day due to higher energy levels.
All these initial changes are great signs of progress and point to the fact that you are heading in the right direction in the first few weeks, even if your scale weight is not dropping as drastically as you would like it. It is important to be patient and consistent but once you are aware of these first few improvements, it will encourage you to keep going and trust the process.
The exact time it takes to see great changes in your body can depend on the individual, but on most occasions, you will start to see progress with your physique after eight weeks of consistently being in a calorie deficit. This is why it is very important to take weekly progress pictures of yourself and your physique, including when you first start. That way, you can see visual changes when it comes to body fat levels, toning and overall structure of your body.
At the end of the day, people want to look good – your scale weight is not going to determine how you look in front of the mirror and in front of other people, but a change in body shape will. Once you start to see visual changes, the real excitement kicks in, and you will want to continue to see how much more you can improve your body shape by dropping body fat levels further and even adding some more muscle.
Other Positive Changes
Visual changes are very important when you are deep into a fat loss phase, but it is not the only benefit. You will notice that your energy levels are higher, your strength during your training sessions has increased, your flexibility and balance has improved, your posture is better, you develop a stronger core, you have more self-confidence, and you are living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. All of these changes matter and positively affect other areas of your life, such as your mood, your relationships with people, your performance at work, and your overall outlook on life.
So, the important point to take away is that scale weight does not tell you the whole story. There are other ways to determine progress, the most important being visual changes. You may not be losing weight as fast or as dramatically as you would like, but are improving the overall look of your body by dropping fat and adding some muscle. Keep taking pictures of your physique each week and over time, as long as you are consistently doing the right things, you will notice great visual changes. Combine that with all the other aforementioned benefits of dropping body fat, and you will realise that you are making excellent progress throughout your journey.
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