Can You Be Healthier Without Losing Weight?

These seven people picked up healthier lifestyles, but the scale hasn't budged.

When most people start a weight-loss plan, they typically have a goal weight in mind. They may do regular weigh-ins with the scale to track the rate at which the pounds peel off.

The crazy thing is, even though your clothes might fit better and you feel lighter, sometimes the scale will stubbornly stay put. It's demoralizing, sure, but also a good reminder not to get too hung up on what the number says. There are other ways to measure your progress that don't involve the scale. This can include an increase in strength and endurance, changes in body-fat composition ratio, and if you just feel healthier overall.

Don't believe us that it's possible to be healthier without seeing it reflected on the scale? Take it from these seven people, who posted before-and-after images on social media to explain what they learned when this happened to them.

"In both of these pictures I weighed 160 lbs, this is the difference over a year of CrossFit had on my body," @kari.leigh said. "I gained a lot of strength and lost body fat. The best part was I felt incredible too! I stopped stressing about the scale so much and just focused on how I felt. It boosted my confidence and allowed me to get to know myself better."

"The number on the scale is only one unit of measurement," @fitness_cara captioned these photos of herself, both of which showed her at 127 lbs. "I recently stopped caring about the number and celebrating it, it is so freeing not letting this number control me!"

"Honestly I think the biggest factor is just time," @em_wizzfit wrote. "Being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself, bit by bit slowly adds up. My confidence has never had anything to do with my weight or my body shape, but my perception of myself. [That's] what you need to work on."

"So many women think the answer to looking or feeling their best is to lose weight," @theblondefiless wrote. "While for some people this is certainly true, for others it may be best to pursue a body recomposition."

"And this is why the scale should not be the main measurement of progress or health," @shapebynat shared. "The scale does not differentiate between muscle, fat, water, and organs. I am the same weight between these two photos, but my body composition and health is a whole lot different."

"This is why you shouldn't depend on the scales when you're working out!" @laurapattison_fit shared. "I have so much more muscle definition now & look completely different, yet weigh the same. Our bodies are incredible!"

"In both photos, I weighed the exact same amount, 145 lbs," said @jay.qwellinn. "It's amazing what eating clean and some muscle definition can do for you."

How to Track Progress Without the Scale

The scale isn't the only way to track your progress. If you are making healthy choices and working toward your fitness goal, you may notice other changes that don't involve the scale.

You may feel happier and less stressed. According to Harvard Health, exercise works as well as antidepressants for some people with depression. This is because exercise releases chemicals in the body called endorphins which relieve pain and create an overall feeling of well-being, according to Harvard Health.

You may also feel stronger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), muscle-strengthening activities will increase your muscle mass and strength. So even if you aren't noticing any difference on the scale, you may be feeling stronger.

A Quick Review

If you are currently on a journey to become more fit and healthy, you don't always need to rely on the scale for feedback. These seven people felt healthier and stronger as a result of different lifestyle changes and yet, the scale hadn't budged for them at all.

If you have changed your own workout or dietary patterns but your weight hasn't changed, that doesn't mean that you aren't becoming a healthier version of yourself. If you feel stronger and healthier, you are on your way to the healthy lifestyle you're reaching for.

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