Woman trying on yellow dress while looking in the mirror.

Non-scale victories you should celebrate when losing weight

A non-scale victory, or NSV, is an improvement to your health or a benchmark you've reached during your weight loss journey that is unrelated to your actual weight. 

While your scale measures how much you weigh and helps you keep track of your progress from a numbers perspective, it's not necessarily the best way to measure your progress. 

A non-scale victory can help you recognize an improvement you've experienced, or how you feel, that goes beyond the scale. Oftentimes, progress made off the scale can be a more accurate reflection of how far you've come. 

10 Non-scale victories worth celebrating. 

Instead of only focusing on your scale, take a moment to think about the other successes you've experienced.

Here are a few NSVs that we hear about most often from our customers. How many have you experienced? 

1. Better fitting clothes.

Losing weight is about feeling more comfortable in your own skin. And what better way to experience that comfort than by fitting more comfortably into your clothes? 

Not only should this give you confidence, but it could mean you're on track to buy some new clothes or fit into some old favorites. 

2. Increased energy.

Eating healthier food gives your body the nutrition it needs to feel better and have more energy throughout the day.

When your energy improves, you can spend more time doing what you love or add some physical activity to your routine, which can help you feel even better! 

3. Improved mood.

No matter what the number on your scale says, losing weight can help increase your confidence and improve your mood. 

There's also a link between diet and emotions due to your brain's close connection with your gut.

Eating whole foods with lots of nutrients can promote the growth of 'good' bacteria in your gut. The more good bacteria you have, the better your gut is able to communicate positive messages in the form of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin to your brain. And your mental state can reflect this. 

4. Improved sleep.

A healthier diet can also help you sleep more soundly at night. Research shows a connection between improved sleep quality and overall weight loss, especially belly fat.

5. Fewer aches and pains.

Losing weight can help reduce the stress on joints and other areas of your body, such as your lower back. 

A diet of whole foods and less processed foods can also help reduce inflammation. 

6. Improved medical markers or reducing / eliminating medication.

We receive feedback from GOLO members all the time, and one of the most frequent non-scale victories that gets mentioned is reducing or eliminating medications or improved visits to the doctor. For example, Katie, a GOLO member since January, 2021 said: 

"I just had my yearly exam and all my labs were COMPLETELY normal, which has never happened before."

While it’s not a guarantee, improving your diet and your lifestyle may result in needing less medications and more favorable doctor visits. 

7. Lost inches.

If you start a weight loss journey, it's common that you start losing inches before pounds, and that's OK! 

Little things like your rings feeling looser and having to tighten your belt are all signs that your journey is moving in the right direction. 

8. Sharper mind.

As you start losing weight and inches, you may notice that your mind is sharper and you're able to concentrate better. 

Studies have shown that weight loss is associated with better memory, increased attention span, and faster mental processing.

9. More money in your pocket.

If you're doing more meal prep and eating out less frequently, you may be spending a lot less than you were on fast food and processed, pre-made food.

10. Better coping mechanisms for stress.

Turning to food is a common reaction when life gets stressful. While this may make you feel better in the short term, emotional eating can have negative long-term effects on your health.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may not reduce the overall stress of your day-to-day life. Still, you'll find that you're coping with stress in a better way, either through exercise or another activity you enjoy.

Celebrate your victories, big and small! 

Losing weight by eating balanced meals and living a healthier lifestyle is a great goal to have. And while it's tempting to only focus on what your scale is telling you, be sure to also listen to your body and think about how you feel. 

If you're not seeing a lot of movement on the scale, it could also mean that you are gaining muscle due to a new exercise routine. There are many reasons why the scale may not move as fast as you would like, but that doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong or not making any progress. 

No matter how far along you are on your weight loss journey, celebrate your victories and be proud of yourself for becoming healthier. 


This article was written by the GOLO team with facts supported by the following sources:

Hopkins Medicine