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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KATHYJO56 7/1/2020
Fun ideas Report
JERSEYGIRL24 6/8/2020
Good ideas. Thank you. Report
TURQUROISE 5/13/2020
love the little foot prints! worth a try. Going to paste them on my calendar with the amount lost on the print. Report
CKEYES1 3/2/2020
Cute ideas Report
KOALA_BEAR 1/27/2020
I have beads in containers to track lbs lost & indicate how many more to go. Bought the materials for a vision board & haven't quite gotten them assembled. It will include a graph. Plan to put it up in my new home. It's one of the first things I want to do in what will be the fitness room probably near the scale. For now I only have inspirational quotes in a notebook. Report
Great ideas. Thanks. I'm not losing much weight, and don't have a lot to lose. I keep track of my steps each day as a motivation to move more. I use thumbs-up stickers on the calendar on days I get at least 10,000 steps. This has been a great motivator for me. Report
Good ideas...Thx! Report
I love these Report
These are great ideas. I see jars and marbles at my house. Report
WONDERFUL ideas!!! Report
I use the jars, moving quarters from one to the other. I should have about $18 when I reach my goal to spend towards new clothes. I should probably up it to dollars! Report
Love these ideas! Paying myself for good behavior is the one I want to try! I have been slipping up lately and need to get back on track! Report
I love these ideas. I don't know which one to actually use first. Report
I am only a few pounds away from my final goal weight, but these would have helped me when I started! I love the jars! Report
Awesome ideas to stay motivated. Think i’ll Try a couple of jars with marbles. Thanks Report
I chose the Pounds to go jar method. Unfortunately, I am in a bit of a plateau so now it just sits there mocking me, LOL. I’m not giving up those. I am determined to meet my gals and move those crystals. :) Report
Visuals are a nice incentive! I've seen someone string beads for each pound loss with a larger bead for every 10 pounds. Report
I am doing the pounds jars. I am excited to see the Pounds to Lose begin to empty. Report
Good ideas Report
Thanks. Report
Thank you Report
I use alternating blue and green translucent beads on a white shoelace. As I lose each pound, I slide a bead over to the right. Looks like I'm gonna have to slide some of those beads back over to the left after the holidays, but that's fine. I've also done colored paper clips before - that's fun, too. I created a "Weight Loss Thermometer" in Excel that shows pounds and percentages lost and pounds to goal, etc. Cheers! Report
good idea! Report
Interesting ideas. I've also seen some interesting bullet journal trackers. Report
I like the idea of paying myself to work towards my goal. Thanks for sharing ♥️ Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
Get your marbles and containers at the dollar store! They have pretty colored stones too. Report
I love the marbles in the jar idea! I'm going to do that! Report
great article--wonderful ideas Report
Love these ideas Report
I bought a small notebook for tracking and a package of the star stickers your grade school teachers used to put on assignments. (This was pre smart phone days...) I tracked my food and exercise inside and for every 5# I lost I'd put a star sticker on the cover. It was so motivating to see those stars start to add up! It motivated me to keep going when I'd open my purse and see the stars twinkling back at me reminding me just how far I had come. 150 pounds gone equals a galaxy in my eyes. Report
Looks good! Report
Great information Report
thanks Report
Wonderful sharing. Thank you. Report
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
Thank you Report
Great thoughts and suggestions. Love them. Report
Love it! Thanks. Report
All great ideas, thanks! Report
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
Great ideas! Report
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
Thank you Report
I LOVE the marbles in the mason jar idea!! Report
Great ideas. I plan on a visual motivation board and not sure if I will go with Marbels or paper clips yet. Report
I need to work out one of these visual strategies for the summer. Report
Great ideas! I think I like the clothespins the best. Report
great article Report