5 Ways to Measure Success Without a Scale


If stepping on the scale fills you with doubt, fear, or frustration when it comes to managing your weight, take a break from weekly weigh-ins. It’s not the only way to measure your progress.

And it makes sense, if you eat more protein-rich foods, fewer carbs, and do more strength training, you may very well be building muscle as you burn fat. If you’re training and dieting this way, you may not tip the scale in the right direction as fast as you’d like. But that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress.

The scale is a way to measure your progress, but it’s not the only way. Check out these five ways to measure your progress to improve your body composition.

  1. Use a smartwatch, fitness tracker or mobile app

There’s a good chance you’re already wearing a smartwatch or fitness tracker, or have a similar app installed on your phone. Using one of these devices or apps can help you track a long list of metrics you can use to measure your fitness progress from day to day, week to week, and month to month. It’s also a useful way to set goals to challenge yourself to improve. 

What kind of things can you track with a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or mobile app?

  • Steps per day
  • Calories burned
  • Flights of stairs climbed
  • Average heart rate
  • Hours/minutes of activity
  • Sleep
  • And more
  1. Take progress pics

Sometimes the scale just doesn’t tell the whole story when you’re trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or improve your Body Mass Index. Skip the scale and take weekly progress pics (front, side, and back). 

You may not see major changes from week to week. But if you’re consistently following a Portion-Controlled diet and exercising, compare before and after pictures after 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks. Chances are pretty good, you’ll notice major changes in the way you look. And that’s a good source of motivation to keep going.

  1. Try the jeans test

Skip the scale, body fat analysis, and other biometrics commonly used to measure weight loss, and keep it simple. Try the jeans test. Once a week, pull on that favorite pair of jeans that fit a little too snugly, and see how they fit.

If your Portion Control diet and exercise habits are on track, you should notice those jeans fitting a little looser.

  1. Set a big goal with a deadline

You probably know how easy it is to skip a workout or turn a cheat meal into a cheat day. When that happens, it’s all too easy to throw in the towel and give up. 

But what would you do if you knew a deadline was looming that required following a Portion Control diet or training to prepare for a race? You’re more likely to get back on track and stick with your game plan.

Want to know how to do it? Sign up for a 30-day health challenge (like drink more water, do 100 push-ups a day, or take 10,000 steps a day), or sign up for a race a month or two away and start training. It’s a great way to keep put some skin in the game to help you stay motivated.

  1. Create accountability

If you don’t have accountability to help you with your Portion Control goals, who’s going to know if you skip a workout, eat another piece of cake, or bing-watch your favorite shows? No one. And that’s just it. 

You’re more likely to stick to your goals when you’re accountable. Share your goals with a friend, family member, or co-worker who will support you. Then check in once a week or so to report on your activities.

Looking for easy ways to follow a Portion Control diet? Check out this selection of meals all made from fresh ingredients, and ready to eat in minutes.