What to rejoice over when the number on the scale won’t move

You’ve been making real changes. You’re choosing healthier food options, you’re moving more, you’ve been at it for a while, but the number on the scale is stalled. Or it’s inching down so much slower than you’d hoped.

Is there anything more disheartening?

Whether this happens at the beginning of your new way of eating, or several weeks in, the effect is the same. “What am I doing wrong?”

Yes, it’s possible there’s a sneaky thing in your diet that needs tweaked, or you may have some hormone or gut issues to explore. And you also need to make sure your expectations are realistic.

People who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off.

– cdc.gov

But it’s also possible that your body is just pausing, and if you keep doing what you’re doing, the scale will start to drop.

In the meantime, it’s helpful to focus on a little thing known as non-scale victories.


What are non-scale victories?

Non-scale victories (also shortened to NSV) are signs of progress in your get-healthy journey that have nothing to do with the number on the scale. And yes, they are totally worth celebrating! These aren’t just consolation prizes: these are hard evidence that your efforts are making a tangible difference in your health.

We tend to think that being overweight causes health problems, and it certainly can make them worse. But often, being overweight is the result of something out of whack in our health. (For example, if your insulin or hormones are out of whack, you may gain weight. Fixing them will help the weight come off.) So as our body gets healthier, our weight begins to right itself. NSV’s point to the fact that healthy changes are taking place, no matter what the scale says.

Also, zeroing in on that stupid scale will take the wind out of your sails, but focusing on the positive things happening will make you want to keep going!

Here are 25 NSV’s worth noticing and patting yourself on the back for. Any one of these is cause for a wahoo!

  1. Your body hurts less.
  2. Your thoughts are clearer.
  3. You’re able to do something you couldn’t do last week. Like walk stairs without stopping, or reaching the top shelf without pain.
  4. Others notice you look healthier or happier.
  5. You’re not shaming yourself around food. (Or learning.)
  6. You passed up a temptation and made a better choice.
  7. You made a not-so-good choice, but you didn’t let it derail you. You gave yourself grace and moved on.
  8. You’re less moody.
  9. You’re feeling more hopeful about your future.
  10. You’re more productive.
  11. You have fewer energy crashes.
  12. You have more energy overall.
  13. Your blood work and/or blood sugar control has improved.
  14. You feel empowered.
  15. You look at food differently.
  16. You’re feeling better about yourself.
  17. Your cravings have decreased.
  18. Your loved ones appreciate your effort to get healthy.
  19. You’re sleeping better.
  20. Everyday tasks are getting easier.
  21. Your digestion is more regular.
  22. Your skin looks clearer.
  23. You need less medication.
  24. When you move, you can enjoy it more because you’re not gasping for breath.
  25. You just feel better overall!

Do you have one to add? Let me know!


Do you need help learning to retrain the way your thought patterns work? I really love this book. It’s helped me a lot!

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