Non-scale Victories List: Stop Focusing on the Scale

"Non-scale victories list" on top of scale picture

If your relationship with the scale feels complicated, I get it. Non-scale victories can help you overcome your negative relationship with the scale, and see all the amazing ways you have progressed. Use this list of non-scale victories (NSVs) to actually celebrate your small wins along the way.

Sometimes we need to focus less on numbers, and more on the habits and behaviors that help us feel successful. And that is precisely how using non-scale victories works: stop focusing on numbers, start focusing on your behaviors. 

Body image and disordered eating behaviors can be impacted by constantly stepping on the scale. Research shows that a fixation with numbers (the scale, calories, macros) can lead you to more disordered eating habits and behaviors. 

The reality is that our weight is always fluctuating — just one of the many reasons you may have such a hard relationship with it! On a day-to-day basis, it is actually quite unpredictable and hard to control your weight. 

Sometimes, you just need a break from the scale for a while to gain perspective. 

The scale fluctuates for a variety of reasons, and many of them are not always in your control. The scale fluctuates most often due to changes in our body that can’t always be controlled or predicted. 

Here are the most common reasons your weight is changing day-to-day:

  • Sodium
  • Dehydration
  • Travel
  • Change in meal times
  • Sleep quality
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Sweat
  • Bowel movements
  • Stress levels
  • Amount of fruits/vegetables
  • Bloating 
  • Activity levels
  • Total calories consumed

Notice that exercise and calories consumed are certainly on the list, but they only make up two out of the dozens of reasons why our weight might fluctuate. 

Let’s look at this phenomenon like a math equation. 

Firstly, It takes an excess of 3,500 calories to gain one pound of fat. These extra calories can come from being less active or taking in more food. 

If the scale fluctuates by one pound in a day, and you haven’t consumed an additional 3,500 calories, then we can be fairly certain that the weight you have gained is from another source like water weight, stress, bloating, etc. 

While this logic can sometimes quell our anxiety about the scale, it is still absolutely helpful to expand our perspective to include non-scale victories. 

Remember, non-scale victories are ways to remind yourself of progress that have nothing to do with our weight. 

Looking for ways to improve your relationship with the scale? Let’s start focusing on all the ways you are making progress that have nothing to do with the number on the scale!

Non-scale Victories List to focus on INSTEAD of the scale:

  1. Increasing weight you can lift at the gym
  2. Improved time you can run, walk, or jog a mile
  3. Higher quality sleep
  4. Improved stress levels
  5. Less bloating
  6. Eating plate-method style at more meals
  7. Better lab work at the doctor
  8. Improved mood/positive thoughts
  9. Adding distance to your cardio routine
  10. Improved blood sugar
  11. Better energy throughout the work day
  12. More clear thinking
  13. Increased resistance on cardio equipment
  14. Decreased clothing size
  15. Cooking more at home
  16. Fitting into an old pair of pants
  17. Daily tasks are easier to complete
  18. More consistent bowel movements
  19. Increased number of fruits and vegetables per day
  20. Decreased sugary beverages
  21. Improved portion control
  22. Decreased night time snacking
  23. Improved wait to hip ratio
  24. More stable mood
  25. Less hungry throughout the day
  26. Less intense cravings

Do any of these resonate with you? Which one will you focus on first?

Drop a comment below, and let me know!

Looking for more on what type of approach is best for you? I’ve got you covered! Discover whether intuitive eating or more intentional weight loss is a better fit for you right now.

2 thoughts on “Non-scale Victories List: Stop Focusing on the Scale”

  1. I don’t know what to do. I have been anorexic, bulimic, and now I am eating constantly. Please help. I think portion control is a big issue for me.

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