Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss

Non Scale Victories (NSV) are accomplishments that aren’t measured by the scales, especially in weight loss. 

Body weight is only one part of measuring weight loss or your goals you set for a healthy lifestyle. 

There are so many changes and positive things happening to your body both physically and mentally when you are actively looking after your health and well-being. 

Most women use the scales as a way to measure success, but the scales aren’t always correct or in line with the changes in your body at the time of weigh-in. 

Stalling or weight gain from the numbers on the scale can have a negative impact on your success and be a dampener on your mindset and motivation. 

Even though the numbers aren’t moving or you see an increase doesn’t mean you haven’t put the effort in, nor does it mean that you have gained weight in some cases.

I have experienced this many times. Now instead I go by measurements and photos rather than the scales! 

There are so many contributing factors that can take place at any given time including muscle gain or that time of the month. 

Instead, there are a few ways that can help in measuring non scale victories for weight loss and tips on evaluating your journey.

Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss
Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss

Before and After Photos

Taking photos before you start your journey can have a lasting impression when you look back during your journey. 

Using a journal can give you a clearer perspective when evaluating throughout your journey. A journal can be a way to document and assess your progress all in the one place.

It can also be a way of measuring non scale victories for weight loss as it can be a method of establishing good eating habits, a way to record your measurements, a place to insert before and after photos for comparison, a safe place for your thoughts and feelings and ultimately a way to help you to stay on track.

When taking before and after photos along with measurements ensure you are taking:

Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss - Before and After Photos
Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss – Before and After Photos

How to Take Before and After Measurements

Ensure you are measuring your body before you start to help evaluate in cm, mm or inches to identify your body changes. 

Measurements to take include: 

Bust (Breasts)

Place one side of the tape on your nipple and wrap the tape around your back and under your arms to join back up to the start of the tape. 


Your waist is just above your belly button, usually, you can see when you bend over slightly, the fold that appears. 

Use the tape at one end and wrap around your back to join the starting tape.


This is your belly button for the measurement starting point. 

Use the starting side of the tape and place on your belly button. Wrap around and join back up. 


Standing in front of the mirror or getting someone to help can ensure accuracy. Locate the widest part of your hips, usually around your bottom. 

Place the starting side of the tape and wrap around ensuring the tape is kept straight. 


Locate the biggest part of your thigh, note that each leg can be a little different for the starting point as legs can be slightly different in shape and size. 

Use the tape and wrap around ensuring it’s kept straight when wrapped around the back of the leg. 


Again, locate the biggest part of your arm, you may need someone to help with wrapping it around and joining it up straight. 


Locate the biggest part of your lower leg and wrap around ensuring it’s straight. 

Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss
Measuring Non Scale Victories for Weight Loss

Tips for When Measuring.

Example of Non Scale Victories

The scales aren’t the only way to measure your success and evaluate your weight loss or health and fitness goals.

In fact solely relying on the scales may hinder your motivation and not be as accurate.

I have experienced this myself. With the scales not moving and in some cases the numbers increasing. However when I started recording my body measurements and taking photos, I was able to periodically evaluate these throught my journey and revealed a very different outcome.

I had actually lost cms and was able to tell how much my body was changing from assessing these photos and measurements.

The photo below was from a 12 week challenge that I completed. This was the moment I stopped with the scales as it was telling me I was 2 kgs heavier.

Non Scale Victories
Non Scale Victories

There are several ways for measuring non scale victories and ways to identify success that does not involve the scales, including the examples below:

Your Clothes are Feeling Looser

One sign of a non scale victory is discovering that your clothes are feeling looser and you have a lot more room in them which in turn makes them comfortable to wear.

Your Skin has Improved

Clearer skin can be another sign of a non scale victory.

Losing weight and eating healthier foods, combined with less processed and fried food as part of your weight loss journey can not only have a positive effect on your clothing it can sometimes result in seeing clearer healthier skin.

Increase in Your Energy Levels

Noticing within yourself that your energy has increased while eating a healthier diet and losing weight can be a non scale victory.

Eating a variety of whole foods can give your body the essential nutrients that your body needs daily to function at its best.

Better Sleep

Looking after yourself can see a whole range of positive benefits both physically and mentally.

Sleep is one of those excellent outcomes of losing weight and looking after yourself. This can also be measured as a non scale victory.

Your Fitness has Increased

If you couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs and you now can, that is a massive non scale victory to be celebrated.

Making small changes that you continue to do routinely will help you improve and create good habits.

CM or MM Lost

This can seem like an obvious non scale victory but sometimes it can be hard to see the difference.

This is why it is important to take photos and measurements to be able to assess and evaluate your success and hard work.  

Final Thoughts

No matter your goals, measuring your success by non scale victories can be a more precise way to accurately determine your success.

Measuring your non scale victories can help keep your motivation alive which is crucial for achieving your goals as per Womens Health Mag.

Next time you set goals around your health and well-being, try to implement other ways to determine your success rather than solely relying on the scales.

I hope this has encouraged you to keep going if you have seen a pause in your journey. I hope this has given you a boost of motivation and determination.

Amy x

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