Part 3 – Judging Your Results
Checkmark Your Victories
Something I’ve recommended over the last several years is for people to get a paper calendar (a large desk or hang up calendar) to keep track of good days and not-so-good days. I suggest you put a big green checkmark when you have a great day in which you worked out, ate well, etc. On days you don’t do so well (missed working out, didn’t eat as well as you planned, etc.), put a red “X” to signal a subpar effort and then do better to get back on track the next day.
Keeping track of good days and bad days this way will go a long way in helping you know just how well your applying your fitness plan. You should have a lot more positive marks than negative marks each week and by the end of the month. You can also use this strategy to identify trends. If you tend to see that you’re doing well the first few days of the week with positive days, but then lagging later in the week and through the weekend with negative days then you know where you need to pick it up and do better. The aim is to have green checkmarks for everyday of each week and for the whole month.
Use the Scale, But Only Sparingly
As you know by now, I’m not big on the scales as a measurement of overall fat loss progress. Scales don’t tell any major details of your health story. If you’re going to use the scales as a part of your measurement process (not all of it) then weigh yourself just once a week under the same conditions, and this weekly assessment will give you a better idea of how things are going. For example, weigh yourself every Saturday morning after going to the bathroom. Under no circumstances ever should you weigh yourself later in the day after you begin consuming your meals.
Put on a Pair of Pants
One of the easiest to measure your fitness and fat loss progress is to put on a pair of dress pants or jeans weekly to feel how much they’ve loosened up on you. Pick a pair of dress pants or jeans that you can just barely get into. From there you should feel those pants getting more and more loose on you as each week passes to signify that you’re losing fat and toning up the right way.
I’m as big on taking selfies as I am on the scales. It rarely happens! But in this case I suggest you take a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly selfie to visually keep track of your body changes. Pictures are a great way to see how much progress your body is making and they can be kept private. I also recommend you treat your selfies the say way you treat the scales. Take your pictures under the same conditions each time with the same clothing (or lack of clothing), in the same lighting, and the same time of the day.
Get Your Flex On
You strength train to help boost your metabolism, burn more calories, and firm up your muscles. So, it only makes sense to see and feel how much your body is toning and sculpting up on a regular basis. Take some time each week to flex your muscles in the mirror or feel your arms, shoulders, abs, and legs. You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy seeing and feeling your hard work outside of the gym.
Ask Yourself Some Honest Questions
One last area you can use to assess your fitness results is to honestly ask yourself (and honestly answer yourself) some questions. Do I feel better now than I did a week ago? A month ago? Am I sleeping better? Are my taste buds changing? Do I really enjoy healthier foods over processed choices?
I could go on and on with examples. But my point is to honestly ask yourself some questions that really can’t be measured with a scale or pants. You can also ask yourself about where you can get better to continually evaluate how far you’ve come on your fitness journey and what adjustments can be made for better results.