How to measure your weight loss success
Research proves that happier people make healthier food choices, so we encourage you to take care of yourself and your mood, by making getting a regular dose of ‘me time’ a priority. We know it’s not always easy – you’re busy and already have enough on your ‘to do’ list. But trust us, it’s worth it. And it doesn’t even have to involve hours of your time. Grabbing the odd bath, heading to a yoga class occasionally or setting aside 30 minutes now and then to read your favourite book, all counts.
Measure it: Keep a diary. You might also like to track how your mood affects decisions around food and exercise, so you can spot any patterns.
Getting enough good-quality sleep can also have a big impact on how you feel about yourself and the lifestyle choices you make. Plus, research published in The American Journal of Human Biology reveals a link between lack of sleep and obesity. The study results show that not getting enough sleep can impact appetite regulation, impair glucose metabolism and increase blood pressure. The message? Make sleep a priority.
Measure it: Aim for 7–8 hours a night, and track your sleep in your diary. Try to match it with how you feel, how well you stick to your SmartPoints® Budget and your weight-loss results, to see what a difference it makes.
Your stress levels
Sure, a little bit of stress can motivate us to get things done, but too much stress is unhealthy for a whole range of reasons. In fact, research proves it even makes achieving your weight-loss goals more difficult. How? Stress tends to increase levels of the hormone cortisol, which has been shown to increase belly fat and can also wreak havoc with appetite. A study done in Finland found people who responded to stress by eating had the highest body weights. More specifically, the study’s ‘stress eaters’ consumed more sausages, hamburgers, pizza, chocolate and alcohol than those who didn’t respond to stress by eating. And, according to a recent study, stress can even lead to medical problems and accelerate some of the effects of ageing. Yikes!
Measure it: Rate your stress level each day by giving it a number between 1 and 10 (1 being calm and 10 being frazzled) in your diary. Trial stress-busting techniques like meditation or exercise, and track how they affect your mood, behaviour and weight.
Your food choices
If you’ve managed to make changes to your eating patterns and transition to eating mostly unprocessed whole foods, you deserve a pat on the back for that. Eating a wholesome diet means you’re building the foundation of a healthy lifestyle that’ll last for the long haul. And it pays to celebrate even small food decisions, because they all count.
Measure it: Track everything you eat honestly using the Weight Watchers app. Review each day or week for the small triumphs, then try to repeat the behaviour in the days that follow.
Ever had a disappointing week on the scales but your clothes are telling a different story? The tape measure is an underrated tool when it comes to providing motivation. Because muscle occupies less space than fat, your circumference becomes smaller when your fitness increases. Of course, better-fitting clothes can be a good indication that you lost centimetres from places like your upper arms, waist and thighs, but the tape measure tells you exactly how many.
Measure it: Use a tape measure to take measurements of the key areas where you’re looking to lose weight – waist, hips, thighs and upper arms. Just make sure you measure the exact same places each time and wear tight-fitting clothes so you can get an accurate measurement.