Everyone is scared of something. Some find cockroaches petrifying (me), some people can’t function in darkness. Some people won’t even sit in the same room when everyone’s exchanging ghost stories. And then there’s one thing everyone’s mortified of. *Obligatory joke about wife*. No, it’s the weighing scale. Stepping on the scale can cause major heartburn. And if you are on a weight loss plan, it’s worse. You get anxiety attacks from just thinking about what the scale will say.

What if I told you that there are ways to measure if you are on the right track to weight loss without a scale? What if you just threw the scale out of the equation? Here’s how you can tell you are doing well and getting closer to your goals.

1. Your clothes fit better

Have a freshly laundered pair of jeans? Put that on. If it fits easier, better or even if you are finally able to close the button, you’ve done well. Try sitting down in it. If it slides down further than before and more butt crack is visible, that’s also a sign (recommended only when you are alone. As pretty as it may be, the rest of us don’t have any interest in your crack). Ensure your jeans are a freshly washed and laundered pair because those are the most unforgiving. Jeans tend to lose stiffness after you’ve worn them for a while and that can be misleading.

2. You’ve more energy

Were you always that person on the trek that lags behind and everyone has to wait for impatiently? No, never been on a trek? Okay, remember when you walked a round of the park and huffed and puffed and blew some houses down? Oh, no walking also? Well, so if you’ve now finally embarked on your fitness journey, this a sure shot sign that you are losing weight. You’ll feel more energetic. Try the same things that tired you out earlier. If you can go further or faster, you are well on your way. Caveat: You might be willing to go get the remote and even go see who’s at the door.

3. You look better in pictures

Are you always trying to shove your way into the middle of the picture? Or only taking selfies because your face is your best feature (you tell yourself)? Well, once you a little weight starts to come off, you will want to take full length pictures and you will notice the weight loss. The love handles start to slowly shrink, the belly isn’t making you look pregnant and suddenly, you are starting to look younger.

#ProTip: Take a picture in your most unforgiving clothes (a sheath or a bandage dress) before you start. Once you think you’ve made progress, take a picture and compare. You’ll feel fantastic.

4. There’s less ‘pinchy fat’

Okay, I know, ‘pinchy fat’ isn’t exactly a word. But it’s a way you can tell if you are getting skinnier. When you have a lot of fat in one area – the hips, the waist etc,- the fat is very soft and easy to pinch. Once you start to lose weight, the fat seems to get more stubborn (it probably is) and also not as soft. So when you pinch it, you don’t get enough between your fingers. Also, it’s not as wobbly as it used to be. And this is a super sign.

5. You’re getting compliments

If you simply can’t be bothered to step on the scales but are sure you’ve lost weight, there will be loads of friends and family members who watch your weight more closely than you think or are comfortable with. Most people won’t notice a 2-3 kg weight loss. But turn it up to 5-6 kgs and watch the compliments come your way. Go crazy! Take selfies and tonnes of pictures and put them up on social media, friends from around the world and from every walk of life will tell you if you’ve lost weight.

There will be a few people who will want to take you down – ‘you looked better chubbier’, ‘don’t lose any more weight, you look perfect now’ – etc. etc. Ignore them and keep being fabulous.

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