More and more women are ditching the scale these days—and for good reason. As a quick peruse through Instagram will show you, the number on the scale is, well, just a number. There are countless examples of women who have gotten into great shape and gained so much muscle that they now actually weigh more than they did when they set out to get in shape.
Plus, being glued to the numbers can be discouraging when you first start working out and eating right because those digits can fluctuate for reasons totally unrelated to your healthy habits (period bloat is no joke). That uptick might have you asking, “Why even bother?”
But if the scale isn’t part of your weight-loss journey, what’s going to keep you on track?
Registered dietician and certified strength and conditioning specialist, Albert Matheny, co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab and advisor to Promix Nutrition, says the best thing to do when you’re trying to lose weight without the scale is to really hone in on how your clothes fit.
“I never use the scale with my clients unless they feel motivated by it and request it,” says Matheny. “The number is irrelevant if you are happy and confident with your progress.” Instead of weighing in every morning, ask yourself, “Is my belt a notch tighter? Do my sleeves and pants feel less stretched?” he says.
It helps to remember that muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space in your body, says Matheny. So when you get stronger, you’ll add lean muscle while losing fat, leaving your body more toned and tight in appearance. And with that, your clothes will begin fitting more loosely.
So even if your weight doesn’t fluctuate as much as you’d expect, your appearance certainly will.