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NSV – The importance of Non-Scale Victories

One of the most common ways to measure weight loss is to check the number on the scale. If it hasn’t gone down, then you might feel a bit defeated. However, just because the number hasn’t changed, doesn’t mean you haven’t improved your health! That’s what non-scale victories (a.k.a NSV) are for!

Enter NSV


If you’re not familiar with the term then it’s basically little goals that you accomplish (& celebrate) along your health & well-being journey. As the name suggests they should have nothing to with your weight (that’s an SV or Scale Victory). They can be great to focus on, especially if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau.

NSV Ideas

Let’s take a look at some examples, though of course, they could be anything!

Lift heavier / Run further

dumbbell workout plan on keto

If you’ve added exercise to your daily routine then maybe you’ve noticed you can run further without getting shin splints or that you can increase the amount you press in the gym. If you keep track of these from the beginning you’ll be amazed how far you’ve come.

Faster recovery

I remember the first time I started working out after many years of just lying about. Besides from sweating and almost breaking down during the workout, the next day was even worse. I could barely lift my arms and forget about walking the stairs, the aches even persisted for a couple of days. In contrast, now the same workout is no real trouble and there are no adverse side effects the next day either. Just a testament to how you can overcome so many obstacles.

Clothes no longer fit (and vice versa)

Maybe you’ve noticed that your shirt has a bit more room in it or your trousers keep falling down. Your body shape is constantly changing and you may start to notice that you look more defined in the mirror. One of the “downsides” could be that you need to buy some new clothes or maybe you can rummage in the wardrobe and try on something that hasn’t fit in years!

Punch a new hole in your belt

If your trousers are loose and you’re constantly fighting to not flash your co-workers, then it might be time to add a new hole to your belt. I have a belt in my cupboard that I’ve drilled 5 new holes in. Yes, it looks a bit weird but when I look at it, I can see how far I’ve come. It’s also fun to try it on and see how much room there is now!

Getting ill less

This may be a bit vaguer but I’ve definitely noticed that I’m not suffering from colds as much, as well as the usual back pain, aching joints and general sickness. In addition, even when I do get struck down with a cold I tend to recover a whole lot quicker and bounce back faster.

Face gains

If you haven’t already done so, take a photo of your face as it will be great to compare against it further down the line.

You probably see your face every day so you might not notice any changes as they will be gradual. However, if you compare a recent photo with one taken at the beginning of your journey you might be shocked at what you see! Is that bone structure? Where did my additional chin go?


Some other popular NSVs for you to ponder:

Saying no to junk – free cake at the office but you said no thanks.

New ID card – I had to get my work ID card re-issued and the administrator didn’t believe it was me.

People are noticing – maybe someone has complimented you on your new-found fitness.

Shoes are loose – some people notice that their feet get smaller. Your mileage may vary.

Easier to your shoelaces – less of gut in they way, easier to reach down.


goal planner

Just because the number on the scale hasn’t moved in a while, doesn’t mean you’re not improving your overall health! Tracking other metrics like body shape, fitness levels and other NSVs is a great way to keep you motivated and stay on track.

Just remember that health & fitness is so much more than just your weight. If you notice an NSV, then write it down and celebrate it. You should be proud of yourself!

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