If you started the Balanced Habits kick start this month, then you’ve weighed in and met with your food coach twice. You’re reading the tips in the app and getting used to recording your units in your food journal.
As you work toward meeting your fitness goals, remember the benefits of Balanced Habits go beyond the scale. It might take some time to notice, but the results will be real.
Morgan Fewel, the Columbia Basin Racquet Club Fitness Director, says that “one thing clients might notice first is that their clothes – especially through the mid-section – fit better than before. Other changes may be more subtle and require reflection.” You might only recognize some after conversations with your food coach and other members. Here are just some of the non-scale victories you may experience with Balanced Habits.
You know all that water you’re drinking between meals? That does more than help you feel less hungry. According to the University of Wisconsin Madison’s public health department, “skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best.” As you make a point to drink more water, you may notice that your complexion has improved and your skin feels softer and more supple.
MORE RESTFUL SLEEP
If you’re drinking more water, chances are, you’re drinking less alcohol. While research about the health effects of alcohol varies, the Sleep Foundation asserts that alcohol consumption before bed “may inhibit restorative sleep.” The less you drink, the more restful your sleep will be. Even if the number of hours you sleep doesn’t change dramatically, you will see that your quality of sleep will improve and you’ll wake up more rested and ready to face the day.
The cumulative effects of increased water consumption and improved sleep will lead to more energy. Health.com explains that “weight loss also improves oxygen efficiency.” This means you may find that you can walk further without losing your breath. You will spend more quality time with your family and friends because you’re more engaged in activities and conversations. Your productivity will improve because you have more mental clarity.
SENSE OF CONTROL
Perhaps the most empowering outcome of Balanced Habits is the change in how you make food choices. Did you clean out your kitchen and fill your cupboards with healthier options? Have you packed your lunches and snacks for the week? Are you following your mindfulness tips on your Balanced Habits app? While forming these new habits takes time, it does give you more control of your life.
You don’t have to decide if you’re going to have fast food for lunch on a busy day, because you’ve already stashed containers of jerky, almonds, and dried apricots in your bag. You don’t have to battle with yourself about whether you can leave work a few minutes early to get to a group exercise class because you already communicated with your coworkers and built it into your schedule. Making intentional healthy choices ahead of time frees you to take action.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
In your food journal, you will track what and when you eat and drink. There’s also space to record how you’re feeling throughout the day. This is also an essential piece of the program. Make note of any small changes you’re experiencing and talk about it with your food coach. It won’t be long before you identify new patterns of behavior and self-awareness. Also, review the Styku body composition scans together because it will be a measurable reminder of how the choices you’re making every day make a difference.
The scale may not reflect your actual weight loss as your body fat percentages adjust. Morgan reminds us, “You have to give this process time. If you want to see change on the scale and change in your overall life it takes time. You didn’t get here overnight so it is not going to happen overnight.”
She also says her favorite part of the program is when her clients “look in the mirror and love what they see.” And remember, what you see in the mirror is more than the size and shape of your body. Whether your health goals include weight loss, gaining strength, or improving your body composition, you will see that the healthy habits you form will allow you to be your best self.