10 Non-Scale Victories: Fuel Your Weight Loss Journey With a More Holistic Approach

Discover the power of non-scale victories in health and weight loss that celebrate holistic achievements beyond numbers on the scale.

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by
Sarah Zimmer, PT, DPT
— Signos
PT, DPT
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
July 18, 2024
December 27, 2023
— Updated:

Table of Contents

In pursuing weight loss, fitness, and better health, the focus on numbers often dominates the landscape. Weight, body measurements, and numerical goals take center stage. “Did I reach my goal weight this month?” “Is my BMI still putting me in the obese category?” This hyperfocus on numbers leads to an unhealthy relationship with weight loss and often instills more frustration than is necessary along the way. 

As we start our voyage towards improved health and wellness, there's an often-overlooked aspect that carries immense physical and mental importance: the non-scale victories. Non-scale victories (NSVs) encapsulate the myriad of achievements and improvements in your health that extend beyond just numbers. Although not reflected by digits on a scale, these victories play a pivotal role in achieving overall well-being while fostering a positive relationship with one's body and wellness journey.1 

This article reflects on what non-scale victories are, why they are worth celebrating, and ways you can start tracking these simple but meaningful victories every day.

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What Exactly Are Non-Scale Victories?

Non-scale victories represent the achievements and progress made in one's health and wellness journey that extend beyond numerical-based measurements like weight, BMI, or body size. These victories encompass a diverse range of positive changes and improvements in physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Unlike the conventional metrics often associated with health goals, NSVs focus on the qualitative aspects of progress, acknowledging accomplishments that contribute significantly to an individual's overall sense of wellness. They include increased energy levels, improved stamina, better fitting clothes, lifting heavier weights in the gym, sleeping better, or even feeling proud of maintaining consistent healthy habits. This hard work deserves celebrating!

Non-scale victories reflect the plethora of ways an individual's health and wellness journey positively impacts their life. These victories are powerful motivators; encouraging individuals to celebrate and acknowledge the diverse array of improvements, promoting a more sustainable and balanced approach to weight loss and health goals.

Why Celebrating Non-Scale Victories Is Important

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Celebrating non-scale victories shifts the focus from purely numerical achievements to a more holistic view of health and wellness. By acknowledging these victories, individuals may find a boost in their motivation, confidence, and commitment to their health journey. Ultimately, this will foster a balanced perspective that encourages long-term lifestyle changes rather than short-term, potentially unsustainable goals. 

Here are a few reasons why celebrating non-scale victories speaks louder than the numbers: 

  • Boosting Motivation Levels <p style="margin: 0;">Acknowledging achievements, such as increased stamina or improved mood, boosts motivation and reinforces the belief that progress is being mad<p>
  • Maintaining Emotional Resilience Amidst Scale Changes<p style="margin: 0;"> Obsessing over the numbers on a scale can lead to frustration and demotivation. Celebrating NSVs shifts the focus from just numbers to overall health improvements, fostering a more balanced perspective and improved satisfaction with your progress<p>
  • Adding Depth to Your Weight Loss Journey and Holistic Health Goals<p style="margin: 0;"> These victories offer a multifaceted view of progress, emphasizing improvements in energy levels, mood, strength, and overall well-being. This view enhances the understanding of one’s health beyond a focus on weight, BMI, or body size<p>
  • Sustains Long-Term Commitment<p style="margin: 0;"> While rapid changes on the scale can be temporary, NSVs represent sustainable lifestyle changes. Recognizing these victories helps in maintaining a consistent approach toward health and wellness<p>
  • Boosts Self-Confidence: <p style="margin: 0;">Acknowledging and celebrating NSVs enhances one’s belief in their ability to make positive changes, boosting self-confidence and the belief that continued progress is achievable<p>

Making time to praise non-scale victories is incredibly important for maintaining a holistic view of progress with a balanced approach to health, weight loss, and wellness. So, how can you start tracking your NSVs, and which ones should you track?

Start Tracking Your NSVs

Transitioning from a scale-centric approach to a more holistic view of health involves tracking your non-scale victories regularly. 

Follow these steps to help you monitor and celebrate progress that extends beyond the number on the scale:

  • Set Clear Goals<p style="margin: 0;"> Identify specific non-scale victories you want to achieve. These could range from improved energy levels and better sleep quality to enhanced physical strength or mood stability. Defining clear objectives allows you to focus on various aspects of your health journey beyond weight-related goals<p>
  • Identify Meaningful NSVs<p style="margin: 0;">Find NSVs that resonate with you personally. These could encompass improved sleep, better stress management, increased flexibility, or feeling more confident in social settings. Tailoring your NSVs to what matters most to you ensures a more fulfilling and motivating journey<p>
  • Track Your Progress<p style="margin: 0;"> Maintain a journal dedicated to recording your NSVs. Note the positive changes you experience, such as increased endurance during workouts, feeling more agile, or noticing improved mental clarity. Documenting these victories provides a tangible way to track progress and stay motivated<p>
  • Celebrate Along the Way<p style="margin: 0;"> Set aside time regularly to reflect on your journey and celebrate your achievements. This could be buying yourself a new outfit that makes your body feel great or treating yourself to a massage after all your hard work<p>

<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Also Read: </strong><a href="/blog/portion-control-for-weight-loss">Portion Control for Weight Loss: 10 Tips for Success</a>.</p>

10 Non-scale Victories to Celebrate

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In the pursuit of weight loss and overall wellness, acknowledging non-scale victories should be a non-negotiable. Outside of what it says on your bathroom scale, these victories represent significant milestones in various facets of who you are and the accomplishments you’ve made along this journey. 

Check out these simple yet meaningful non-scale victories that are worthy of celebration.

  1. Enhanced Wardrobe Comfort: Noticing clothes feeling looser or fitting better, regardless of weight change. It is common for the number on the scale to not budge but our body composition to change.
  2. Increased Physical Strength: Celebrate lifting heavier weights or doing more reps during workouts, as it easily demonstrates your progress in muscular strength and endurance.
  3. Increased Enjoyment in Activities: Celebrate feeling happier, less stressed, or more emotionally balanced, especially during social interactions, at work, or during your workouts!
  4. Elevated Energy Levels: Feeling more energetic throughout the day or not experiencing midday slumps. Maybe you have more energy in the morning for your workouts!
  5. Improved Sleep Quality: Noticing improved sleep duration or waking up feeling more rested.
  6. Attainment of Fitness Milestone: Maybe you’ve been trying to run continuously for 30 minutes, or you’ve been craving that PR in your deadlift. These are huge fitness milestones worth celebrating.
  7. Increased Stamina: Exercising for longer durations or performing physical activities without getting winded.
  8. Heightened Mental Acuity: Recognize improved concentration or cognitive function at work or in general. Consistent exercise and healthy eating habits have a large effect on mental sharpness.
  9. Radiant Skin Appearance: You may find improvements in skin health, such as a clearer complexion or a healthier glow, often a reflection of improved hydration, diet, and overall wellness.
  10. Reduced Pain or Discomfort: Celebrate experiencing fewer aches or pains during daily activities or workouts, which may indicate improved physical well-being and reduced inflammation.

While the scale provides a numerical snapshot of progress, non-scale victories offer a richer, more comprehensive view of health and wellness. Celebrating these victories empowers individuals on their journey towards better health, fostering a positive mindset and sustainable habits. By focusing on holistic improvements, you can embrace a more fulfilling and balanced approach to well-being, ultimately leading to a healthier and happier life.

Sculpting Success With Signos

Focusing on improved insulin levels and blood sugar control are other non-scale victories you could celebrate in your pursuit of shedding extra pounds and obtaining a healthier lifestyle, including an impact on medical markers like blood pressure. If you are ready to achieve these goals and finally lose weight, seek the expert advice of the Signos continuous glucose monitor and Signos team. 

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can give you the insights to make smarter nutrition and exercise choices while the experts at Signos can help you celebrate both the non-scale victories and improved numerical results in your health. In addition, the Signos app provides a unique, personalized program to help you lose weight and reach your health goals. Take this quiz to see if Signos is a good fit for you and reach your goals faster than ever before.

<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Learn More: </strong><a href="sustainable-weight-loss">Benefits of Sustainable Weight Loss</a>.</p>

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References

  1. Hartmann-Boyce, J., Boylan, A. M., Jebb, S. A., & Aveyard, P. (2019). Experiences of self-monitoring in self-directed weight loss and weight loss maintenance: systematic review of qualitative studies. Qualitative health research, 29(1), 124-134.

About the author

Sarah is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2017.

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