All About Non-Scale Victories

For most people who are trying to lose weight, the numbers matter. Some people religiously hop on that scale every single day to see if they’ve made any progress. They’ve bought into the myth that the number is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss.

Unfortunately, this mentality can actually harm a person’s weight loss journey and cause them to miss out on the successes right in front of them.

Simply put, weight loss isn’t just about the numbers on the scale. As a person loses weight, there are ways to measure and celebrate progress other than the reduction of the weight reflected on the scale. These celebrations are known as non-scale victories, or NSVs.

Here’s what you need to know about the other types of weight loss measurements:

What are Non-Scale Victories?

A non-scale victory is a weight loss win that isn’t necessarily measured by the scale. For example, the number on the scale may not have changed but you can tell that you’ve gone down a size in clothes or your waist measurements are smaller.

While it’s essential to keep track of your weight during your weight loss journey, it’s important to understand that the number on the scale isn’t the only way to see your progress. When you acknowledge your progress in other areas, you’ll be able to stay motivated and on top of things.

There are many types of NSV’s that are worth celebrating. Even if you think these are small victories, you need to recognize them and be proud of yourself for reaching them.

Types of Non-Scale Victories

Along with noticing the pounds dropping on the scale, there are some other ways to tell that you are losing weight. These are NSVs and they are another way to notice that you are losing weight. 
People who are on a journey towards weight loss and better health will want to pay attention to NSVs, such as: 
  • Better fitting clothes
  • More energy
  • Increased positivity, happiness, and confidence
  • Choosing a better diet, such as whole foods and fresh vegetables
  • Drinking more water
  • Regular exercise (without grumbling!)
Along with these non-scale victories, there are a number of other ways to see your progress. By being aware of the many NSVs that showcase weight loss, you can be prepared to view your health journey with clarity. 
Here is an in-depth look at some of the most common NSVs:

Progress Photos

Taking before and after photos is a great NSV and is a great way to measure progress and help you maintain your weight loss and see continued results. When you can tangibly see changes and how your body is beginning to look healthier, it will help you understand your successes and continue on with your journey.
Once you start losing weight, you’re going to want to have a visual representation of your progress. However, finding a photo that matches your after adequately isn’t easy unless you are intentional about taking one when you begin. 
Taking a great before and after photo is easy. In order to best see your results, you’ll want to follow a few simple tips: 
  • Take photos of your full body in order to get a good look at all of the changes. 
  • Take all photos from the same angle and distance in order to have the most clarity on the
  • before and after difference.
  • Take photos in good lighting. 
  • Make sure and wear tight clothing, at least in the before photo. 
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“Someday” Clothing

A great way to motivate your weight loss journey is by purchasing a “someday” outfit. This is clothing that you love that doesn’t fit you yet. It’s clothing that you’re working towards being able to wear.

Someday clothing might be a new purchase, but it can also be an old favorite outfit that you can’t wait to wear again one day. Keeping that piece of clothing at the front of your closet is the perfect way to keep yourself motivated when you’re feeling defeated in the weight loss journey.

It can also be a good idea to take a picture of yourself in the outfit at different stages of your weight loss. When it finally fits you the way you want it to, you’ve reached a weight loss goal!

Body Measurements

The scale isn’t the only way to physically measure weight loss. Measuring tape can help you evaluate actual fat loss and the changes in your body. Measuring specific areas such as your waist, hips, and arms can help you to see where you are actually losing weight or toning up which can help keep you motivated.

Better Sleep

As you lose weight, you should begin to sleep better and have more energy. If you keep in mind your sleep habits from before you started losing weight, you’ll be able to tell when your sleep and energy improve.

Compare the way you felt before to the way you feel as you start to lose weight. Sleep is your body’s way of recharging, so if you have started to improve your sleep patterns and/or habits, you are restoring and refueling. This is something to celebrate on your weight loss journey.

More Mental Clarity

People who lack exercise or are overweight can have difficulty staying focused, paying attention, keeping on task, and making decisions. Once you start losing weight, you will likely find that it’s easier to remember things or stay on task.

As you get healthier, you’ll be able to focus and run through your day easily. Research shows that when individuals modify their lifestyles and adapt to healthier behaviors, their mental clarity improves. You should be able to navigate your day a lot easier and discover increased productivity as you begin to lose weight.

Improved Fitness and Exercise

Before you started to modify your lifestyle, perhaps you experienced pain or discomfort during exercise. Maybe even the idea of taking the stairs was challenging for you. Perhaps you avoided any type of exercise because you didn’t feel like you could handle it. However, now that you’ve taken steps to getting your overall health and wellness back on-track, you will likely feel much better about exercise. Not only that, but it will be easier for you to perform your exercise routine.

Pay attention to your ability to exercise and participate in regular physical activities. Once you can welcome exercise as part of your new daily routine, you’ve had a non-scale victory! Celebrate and keep on working hard towards your healthy lifestyle.


Losing weight is hard work. While the number on the scale can tell you how you’re progressing on your journey, it’s not the only thing to focus on. There are a number of non-scale victories that can show you how well you’re doing as you try to lose weight. If you measure and celebrate your NSVs, you’ll have more awareness of your progress and you’ll feel much better!