If you're just starting out your weight loss journey, chances are you are going gung-ho and making a complete change in your life, right?
Fortunately, losing weight doesn't take drastic changes to start changing your physique and overall quality of life.
One thing that I've personally battled is looking at the scale. You dread getting on the scale but day in and day out you get on it.
Before we jump into seven other signs that your hard work is paying off, one main thing I really need you do is to not get on the scale so often.
Seriously, your weight fluctuates hourly and even weekly.
Are you feeling bloated today? When you are bloated, you are holding onto water and waste that otherwise wouldn't be there.
Check out this article on fighting bloating after you read through these seven signs.
Not Losing Weight? Don't Fret...
Sign #1 - Your Energy Levels Are Higher
First thing's first... Are you starting to wake up before your alarm, becoming more physically active, and have an overall higher energy level?
Do you notice how you now come home after a long day of work and somehow want to do more than sit on the couch?
It's pretty awesome, isn't it? A huge sign that your hard work to lose weight is paying off is an increased level of energy.
I'm not saying you crawling up walls and doing random burpees in your cubicle, but those extra hours you've gained back at night are nice, right? Even if the scale is not budging, research shows that you will have higher overall levels of energy when you continuously exercise.
Exercise actually fights fatigue more than any drug or stimulant, so if you no longer have those 3 o'clock crashes, you're improving your health.
Sign #2 - Your Stamina Has Improved
Improved stamina is always a great thing. Who actually likes being winded by simply going and getting the mail?
What about when you have to take the stairs to your class and you stand outside until you stop breathing so hard that you can't swallow?
Trust me, I have been there and it sucks. The great thing is that your stamina, or conditioning as I refer to it, increases with exercise and lifting weights.
If you notice that you are able to do things effortlessly compared to 6 months ago, your heart has gotten stronger.
So next time if the scale hasn't gone down a pound but you are able to be more physically active without thinking about it, you're winning.
Sign #3 - You Feel Smarter
The more you exercise and get the toxins and crappy food out of your body, the more efficient it will run. People who regularly exercise get to enjoy more mental clarity, they can remember things much easier, and they feel sharper.
There is plenty of research out there on how exercising boost cognition.
Next time you talk to that annoying coworker and actually remember their name, all of those sweat and tears are paying off.
Sign #4 - You Feel Happier
Aside from feeling better about your body and lifestyle choices, research shows that happiness and exercise go hand in hand.
Research also shows that older adults that stick to an exercise program have shown improved happiness after just eight weeks.
If you are able to maintain a positive mindset and have a general feeling of happiness, don't harp on yourself if the scale isn't moving this week.
Sign #5 - Your Lifts Have Gone Up
It's well-known that muscle is more dense than fat. Your body goes through anabolic and catabolic phases; weighing yourself too often may make your progress seem like it's going nowhere.
So if you've been hitting the weights and you are adding weight to that bar, don't panic if the scale doesn't indicate a loss of weight. Enjoy the PRs and building muscle.
Sign #6 - You Don't Feel Like You Need as Much Food
I remember first starting out that I spent an hour on the stepmill. I burned 1200 something calories and it was the ultimate sweat fest.
I felt so good about myself, other than the amount of pain I was in, and I thought I would reward myself. $12 dollars later I have about 2300 calories in Taco Bell... Oops.
The more I exercised, the less of an urge I wanted to eat. In fact, research shows that individuals who consistently exercise have decreased hunger hormones and would consume about 30% fewer calories than those who just diet.
If you no longer struggle to stick to your diet, keep it up. Being able to control how many calories you eat is one of the hardest battles to win.
Sign #7 - You Are Setting Personal Records
Whether you just beat your squat PR or you just ran your fastest 5k ever, setting personal records means you are improving your health.
Learning to listen to your body and pay attention to what it is telling you is a necessity if you want long-term success.
Next time you hop on the scale and it doesn't read what you think it should, stop and think about how much better you feel.
Consistently exercising and eating right will get you the weight loss that you've been working for; weight loss isn't always a linear process.