For those working on eating intuitively and listening to your body, looking at the number on a scale can be harmful. It can derail progress that was made with your mindset around food if that number moves upwards or maybe doesn’t move at all. You may even want to jump back into a diet that just isn’t sustainable. There are so many things that can determine progress with your body and relationship with food that don’t rely on the number on a scale. Here are 10 ways that you can measure your progress that aren’t determined by your weight.
1. Your Energy Has Increased
When you are listening to your body and its fullness and hunger cues, you will feel the difference in your energy levels! Having more energy means that you are fueling your body with the nutrients that it wants and needs.
2.Your Thoughts Don’t Revolve Around Food 24/7
If you notice that you aren’t constantly consumed with what meal you are going to eat next or how much food is going to be on your plate, this can be another sign of progress. Food is no longer controlling your day or causing you stress.
3.You Find Yourself Reaching For Things Other Than Food When You Are Feeling Emotional
This is a big one. Oftentimes food can be a coping mechanism for sadness, stress, or boredom. If you are finding yourself listening to music or reading a good book during these emotional times, then you have made progress with your relationship with food.
4.You Can Leave Food On Your Plate
Being able to finish a meal and still having food leftover on your plate is a sign that you are in tune with your body. This means you are listening to your hunger signals and eating mindfully. You don’t feel the need to finish your plate just because food is still there. You can handle a little bit of food getting thrown away because there is no need to make yourself eat something that you are no longer hungry for.
5.You Can Keep Snack Foods In The House
There are certain snack foods that can be easy to eat all in one sitting or that you feel may throw you into a spiral. If you notice that you can keep these foods in the house and you don’t feel the need to devour them all in one sitting, this is a sign of progress. These foods no longer control you. You have the ability to eat a little bit here and there without feeling the need to finish off the entire bag so that they aren’t in the house anymore. You may even forget that you have these items lying around.
6.You Are Enjoying Exercise and Feel Good While Doing It
Exercise is no longer used as a form of punishment. It isn’t used to try to burn off calories or make up for the “unhealthy” foods that you ate earlier in the day. You are doing it because it feels good to move your body. You are choosing activities that are enjoyable to you. You may even feel like you are getting better at these things, such as getting stronger in the gym or being able to run a further distance. Your body is being fueled properly to perform well in these activities.
7.You Allow All Foods To Fit In Your Diet
No foods are off limits. You understand and practice the concept of “everything in moderation”. You realize that you don’t feel guilt around eating certain foods. Foods are no longer seen as “good” or “bad” and can be eaten without any negative connotations attached to them.
8.You Stress Less About Unplanned Events With Food
Maybe you used to feel a rush of anxiety when friends would spontaneously invite you out to eat. That feeling could have been stress about what you could eat to stay on your “diet” or that you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from finishing your entire meal. If the idea of going out with friends last minute no longer brings up a rush of negative feelings around food, then you have made progress. Being able to go out to eat, eat what you want and stop when you’re full without heavy emotions is a big step forward.
9.You Choose Foods Based On What You Want, Not What Someone Else Is Eating
This means that you no longer fear what others are going to think of what you are eating. You’re not comparing your meal to another person’s meal and feeling like you need to eat the exact same thing. You are choosing what you want to eat and how much based on your hunger cues. You are not feeling negatively towards your body just because you may have needed more nutrients than the person sitting next to you.
10.You No Longer Have The “All Or Nothing” Mindset
Sometimes people feel the need to eat everything in site because they think they have already “ruined their day” when they eat one thing they deem as unhealthy or as something that they were not planning on eating that day. If you no longer see the need to binge everything in your house because of one unplanned food, that is also progress. This means that you are flexible around food and understand how all food can fit in the diet.
Changing your mindset around food can be challenging, but there are so many ways to view progress other than the number on a scale. Being able to recognize these changes with your thinking is critical. Eating intuitively and ditching the diet mentality is so important when it comes to a healthy mindset around food and your body.
If you are looking to get started with your healthy eating journey, such as being more in tune with your current eating habits, take our “What’s Your Eating Personality Type” free quiz! In this quiz, you’ll find balance with food, learn strategies to eat with more confidence and flexibility, and understand how to move forward with your health goals.
This quiz takes less than 30 seconds to take, take it now!
This article was written by Mackenzie Flug, nutrition intern. Fact chekced by Allison Tallman, RD.