7 Fun Ways to Visually Track Weight Loss Progress

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When you're focused on losing a certain amount of weight, it's easy to fall into the trap of getting fixated on (or even obsessed with) the scale. Although there's nothing wrong with moving and meal-planning with the goal of reducing that number in mind, paying too much attention to a daily readout at your feet can actually send your motivation into a downward spiral.

If you find yourself either thinking about or standing on the scale all through the day—and if the fluctuation of that number is having an undue impact on how you feel about yourself—it may be time to look for another way to measure your progress. To lighten the mood and up the "fun factor," consider trying one (or more) of these visual methods for monitoring your progress.

Do the Jar Juggle

AHEALTHYGAMER uses weight loss jars labeled with "Pounds to go" and "Pounds destroyed" to measure her progress. “‘Destroyed’ might seem a bit intense, but I like to think these pounds are gone for good...no chance of returning!" she says. She bought the two mason jars, some potting stones/marbles and stickers all from a local craft store for just $15. "This is exactly the kind of visual motivation I need, and now I'll see it every day right on my desk!"

Capture Your Vision

Many SparkPeople members have had success creating vision boards as sources of inspiration. SKIBUNNY1 shared her board (below) in the Vision Collage Gallery group. Create your own collage using quotes, images clipped from magazines, old photos of yourself, empowering adjectives—anything that motivates you to keep pushing toward your goals. The only rule of vision boards is that there are no rules.


Break It Down by Month

Sometimes it's tough to stay motivated when you're looking down a very long path to a far-away goal. Try printing out a month-by-month calendar, and as each month passes, note the poundage lost. This will help you visualize how each small milestone adds up to big results at the end of the year.

I saw this idea a couple times in my newsfeed, think I'll give it a try myself! 🙌🏼📆

A post shared by Jess🙋 (@futurefitmiss) on

Save & Lose at the Same Time

Health blogger Katie Mancino created this unique way of keeping track of her goals while also saving money to reward herself for all her hard work. She includes suggestions of how much to tip yourself for things like losing a pound, eating a healthy meal, trying a new workout and bringing along a workout buddy, but you can customize it to meet your goals and preferences.

Image courtesy of Katie Mancino

Charmed, I'm Sure

SparkPeople member TWEETYX2 wears a charm bracelet every day as a visual aid to remind herself, minute by minute, of her weight loss goals. Each charm represents a different source of motivation, such as a fork and spoon to remember to track her food intake, an apple as a symbol of healthy snacks, a crescent moon to remind her of the importance of a good night's sleep and a coffee mug as her reward for sticking to her diet plan.

Pin Down Your Goals

When your motivation is starting to feel a little damp, hang it up to dry! Here's a fun and motivating twist on laundry: F70176555 uses clothespins to measure pounds lost and pounds remaining to lose. With each pound lost, simply move a pin to the right for a visual representation of what your accomplishment.

Scrap It to Spark It!

The written word can also be a powerful visual motivator. SparkPeople member EMMYOS shared her experience of creating a journal/scrapbook to document her weight loss journey. In addition to personal stories and motivators, she included photos, letters, cards and excerpts from SparkPeople message boards.
"When I am feeling unmotivated or down, I open up the book and read my original entry about why I started my journey," says Emmy. "I go through old journal notes that I wrote and they strike a chord that gives me the boost I need to get off my butt and move…it gives me encouragement all over again."



What visual aids have you used to measure weight loss progress?

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KATIBUG49 12/12/2018
Great information Report
FISHGUT3 11/8/2018
thanks Report
STARMONICA 10/19/2018
Wonderful sharing. Thank you. Report
BEELIEVE40 7/27/2018
I have seen this before lots of different ideas on the same way of doing it. I think I will try something like this. My husband helps motivate me by bringing up one of his dumbbells and shows me hey you don't think 20 pounds is much or whatever and he hands me this heavy weight and says there. This is what you just did...and you aren't carrying that around anymore! Its truly humbling. Report
NASFKAB 6/28/2018
Thank you Report
JAMER123 6/18/2018
Great thoughts and suggestions. Love them. Report
MBPP50 6/18/2018
Love it! Thanks. Report
JEWELZEE- 6/18/2018
All great ideas, thanks! Report
MARTHA324 6/17/2018
I had a pair of pants that I wanted to fit in....tired them on weekly and it helped me to see how much better they fit. They were a size 16 and now I'm an 8-10. Now I keep them in the closet to remind me that I don't want to ever fit in them again.! Report
MSROZZIE 6/17/2018
Great ideas! Report
JSTETSER 6/17/2018
I'm working to lower my A1C level, and I track it by blogging about my food and my glucose levels. After reading this, I'm going to make a poster to show the daily successes. Woo Hoo! Report
These are all fabulous ideas! Report
AMYRCMK 6/17/2018
Thank you Report
MOM2TWIGGY 4/25/2018
I LOVE the marbles in the mason jar idea!! Report
MANGO1960 4/15/2018
Great ideas. I plan on a visual motivation board and not sure if I will go with Marbels or paper clips yet. Report
JIACOLO 4/12/2018
I need to work out one of these visual strategies for the summer. Report
MARYJEANSL 3/10/2018
Great ideas! I think I like the clothespins the best. Report
USMAWIFE 3/7/2018
great article Report
CHRISTOPHER63 3/5/2018
Great ideas Report
SPARKLED146 2/27/2018
I use a paper clip chain. Report
PWILLOW1 2/23/2018
First I am going to make a collage of inspirational quotes. Report
JVANAM 2/23/2018
Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson ~ 2/23/18 Report
THECOZE 2/23/2018
I love some of these ideas... I am going to figure out which one I want to utilize! Report
SKIMBRO 2/23/2018
Great ideas! Report
TRIMNUP 2/23/2018
Very FUN visuals to choose from. Report
I love these ideas! I may start one with measuring fat percentage lost and muscle gained. Report
NET4HIM1 2/22/2018
Love these ideas! Report
GMAM48 2/22/2018
I use 2 empty large orange prescription jars marked "pounds- going" and "lost- gone!" I put 55 quarters in the first jar when I started, and I move one to the second jar for each pound lost. I use a marker to make tick marks on the "lost" jar lid to let me know at a glance how many "pounds" are in the jar. Report
CKOUDSI617 2/22/2018
I use alternating, translucent, blue and green pony beads on a white shoelace. As I lose each pound, I slide one of the pony beads to the right side of the shoelace. Right now I have 57 beads on the right side with only 20 beads to go on the left side! I also added 8 blue pony beads extra at the end, in case I want to try to go from 140 to 132 lbs. (my slimmest, adult weight at 5'3.5" tall). I will turn 60 on August 18th (hopefully!); so I hope to have those 20 beads on the right by then. Best to all! Report
I use large gold jingle bells in a glass cylinder. I set it on the side table in my den. So far 110 bells. I see it sparkle every time I sit down. Report
I have a spreadsheet. I'd put screengrabs from modelmydiet of my starting, current and goal weights. I'd mark various goals, 5/10/15% through goal, graphs of my monthly losses (don't trend daily or weekly, monthly is much better! lol), and one tab for my body measurements (even when I didn't lose pounds, I could see my waist or thighs getting smaller).
I did take a photo carrying my younger son, when I lost his body weight.
I also took photos of me trying to squeeze into old clothes in my closet, and I'd take updates to see if I was getting closer, then finally the day when whatever item would fit I'd take another pic and feel so victorious! Report
LAWLI56 2/22/2018
Dress sizes. I keep one item from each size to show me how far I have come. Report
SISSYFEB48 2/22/2018
I use a paper clip chain, in bright colors, that hangs right next to a doorway. Report
JENNAAW 2/22/2018
Great ideas and nice visuals in this article. Thanks, I need this right now. Report
MARITIMER3 2/22/2018
I haven’t tried a visual aid, but I think I’ll try the calendar one. Report
NANCYPAT1 2/22/2018
Great ideas Report
NANCYPAT1 2/22/2018
Great ideas Report
AMYRCMK 2/22/2018
Thank you! Report
RONDAJO56 2/22/2018
I like a few of these ideas but I really like the calendar idea. Losing a pound or 2 a week never seems like your losing. But to see an 8 pound lost for the month that's noticeable. Now I need to figure out how to make my calendar and where to put it!. I currently use a desk top calendar to put my menu on & fitness goals. Report
NASFKAB 2/18/2018
Thank you Report
SABLENESS 2/6/2018
My ticker is my visual. I like driving my Prius across the countryside. It’s a long road trip, but I’ll get there. Report
Thanks but fitting into my pants is my visual. Report
KATHRYNGC 2/5/2018
Interesting ideals. Actually going to try a few. See which one will work for me. Thanks for article! Report
HUBBYANDI 1/27/2018
I actually have a yearly calendar printed out with these on each day to track: total steps, workout done, ST done, and miles for each day. I do weigh every day...been doing it for a few years, and it keeps me accountable even knowing that it's not an accurate measure with water weight or whatever. It keeps me wanting to behave if the scale has tipped up any. Motivation for me. I also measure weekly and keep that on the side of each month- to show inches lost, b/c not all victories are in the lbs. :) Report
SHELLLEY2 1/23/2018
LOVE every one of these ideas... My favourite one it the jar of marbles. I'm actually going to implement this myself as I am in NEED of some type of motivation. Thank you!!! Report
KSNANA2 1/23/2018
Love the marble jar idea! Already working on the visual poster board. Report
Great Ideas................Thank You. Report
Great ideas, thanks for sharing. Report
Great blog with some very useful ideas! Thank you! Report
Great ideas! Report