A Dietitian Guide For When The Scale Sucks!

So many people focus on the number that pops up on the scale. When the scale doesn’t move or moves in the opposite direction that we want it to, oftentimes we might feel like we haven’t made progress. If you’re a good coach, you know that the scale isn’t the only measure that should be utilized with clients. In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to measure success with non-scale victories! This dietitian guide shows us that the scale is not the only measure of success.

Here are 5 dietitian tools that you can utilize in order to track you or your client’s success!

1. A dietitian guide to clothing size and fit 

So you put that pair of jeans on that you’ve been saving for a girl’s night out. Before, you noticed that they’re so snug to the point where it’s uncomfortable. Unless you’re Saran Wrapping your entire torso and sucking into the point of almost passing out, you know there was no way they were going to fit.

Now, you try them on again and they fit LIKE A GLOVE. No more sucking in and suffering through the night feeling uncomfortable- it actually FEELS good. AND you look good. This is a dietitian guide to utilize to measure success.

Maybe you put on a bathing suit for the first time in a few years. Before you might have been the type of person to wear a shirt to the beach because you were embarrassed. OR even worse, maybe you just missed out on things altogether because you were too self-conscious about the way you looked. However, now you’re able to feel good in your own skin. You’re confident enough in yourself AND the way you look. Success is just as much mental mindset as it is physical appearance (maybe even more!) Implement this dietitian guide and let me know what you think!

2. Dietitian tools for overall mood 

Have you noticed that you might be in a bad mood more often than you’re in a good mood? Have you been nicknamed as Grumpy or a Party Pooper by your friends or family? Do you constantly find yourself feeling “hangry,” because let’s face it, you’re not yourself when you’re constantly hungry. 

When you constantly deprive yourself of food and key nutrients that you need, it’s easy to feel like you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster. Improving our nutrition is a key dietitian guide to improving both our mental and emotional outlook on things. When we learn to properly fuel our bodies, we start to feel more confident, motivated, make better choices, and become a happier, more positive person. Nutrition DIRECTLY correlates to mood, and once you view foods as fuel and not the enemy, watch how your goals and visions for the future become closer to reality. 

3. Measuring energy levels

Are you someone who is constantly hitting the snooze button? The second your alarm clock on your phone goes off, you’re the type of person that within milliseconds punches snooze so you can get that extra 15 minute of sleep in, because every minute counts! 

Do you need an afternoon nap during your lunch hour? Were you the type of person to go out to your car during the work week around noon or so for a quick catnap? Or maybe now that the world is changed and you’re working from home, your entire day is spent on the couch so it’s easy to doze off mid-day.

How many cups of coffee do you rely on just to get you through the day? Do you constantly resort to junk food in order to de-stress from work and your everyday life? Maybe you’re not getting enough vitamins and key nutrients that are needed in order to feel energized, which is why you constantly feel sluggish and drained of energy. 

Maybe you don’t know what REAL energy looks like, because you’ve been both mentally and physically exhausted for as long as you can remember. THIS is your “new normal.” 

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. One day, maybe you wake up BEFORE your alarm goes off. And the best part, you don’t even feel tired. 

How about this, you wake up one day and you don’t need that afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Now, you enjoy just one cup of coffee first thing in the morning, because it makes you feel good- NOT because you need it. Or even better, maybe you don’t drink a cup of coffee at all. 

A GOOD nutrition protocol should leave you feeling energized and well fueled for the entire day. If you find yourself constantly depriving yourself, I urge you to consider finding a new coach or program. In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students to educate their clients on what proper nutrition looks like so that you don’t have to lead a life of constant restriction. When you start to feel like you have a steady state of energy flowing throughout the day, this is how you can tell that your plan is working, regardless of what the scale reads. 


Calcium is super important in the diet because it helps to turn fatty acids into energy. Calcium modulates ATP production and without it, insulin won’t work properly. Insulin is one of the main hormones in regulating blood sugar, which directly correlates to our energy levels. 

4. A dietitian guide to feeling satisfied after meals

Do you ever feel like you’re hungry all the time? Or as if you just can’t put the carton of ice cream away because you can’t find the willpower? 

A diet high in processed foods often times leaves us eating until we’ve hit the bottom of the bag instead of feeling satisfied with our meal. When we digest food, the gut sends out signals to the brain to trigger that fullness feeling. This is how we know when it’s time to stop. Sometimes, all it takes is a healthy relationship with food, giving yourself permission to eat, and identifying hunger cues to stop BEFORE we hit the threshold of feeling absolutely stuffed. 

It’s important to eat slowly and choose fresh, whole foods most of the time. With that being said, a healthy relationship Is allowing yourself to enjoy fun foods like Cheetos every so often. When you leave less room in your diet for processed foods, you begin to choose foods that are not only healthier but also make you feel better in the long run while filling you up! 

Foods like fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, beans, and legumes are healthy choices. They help signal the connection between your gut and your brain that we feel GOOD and SATISFIED. This leaves us without constantly feeling that post-thanksgiving feast feeling (you know what I’m talking about!) 

5. The importance of sleep

Do you actually remember a time when you didn’t feel completely exhausted? When was the last time you felt like you got a good night’s sleep? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client come to me running on 5 hours of sleep. To them, they didn’t even realize how tired they were because that was their normal. 

Some different factors that can play a role in sleep include stress, hormonal changes, aging, jet lag, or too much light at night. Caffeine and alcohol can also play a role if you’re drinking too much! 

How about nutrition and exercise. If you’re overtraining and under fueling your body, your sleep might take a beating. But how does nutrition play a role in sleep deprivation? 

Fresh, whole foods contain more fiber, protein, and healthy fats that are important when leading a healthy lifestyle. Because it takes your body a bit longer to digest when comparing them to foods like cakes, cookies, frozen dinners, you’ll start to feel satisfied for longer periods of time. So what does this actually look like in the body? Well my friends, your blood sugar levels will stabilize along with a few hormones that are necessary for good sleep. Now, THIS is why nutrition plays such a crucial role in overall health, both mentally and physically. 

Tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is found in high-quality protein sources plays a role in sound sleep! Why? Because it is a precursor to serotonin that gets converted into melatonin- another hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. 

So you might be asking yourself what do you do if you’re not getting enough sleep? How can you fix that? 

In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to address not only hours of sleep, but QUALITY of sleep. No matter your nutrition protocol, your coach should address why you might not be getting enough sleep. Together, you can then implement changes to improve it. You might start cutting down on the sweets or even cut back on your portion sizes at dinner! If you scroll through Instagram for an hour before bed, set a goal to cut down on screen time. You can do this by putting your phone away an hour before you try to get a good night’s sleep. Now, you might be able to wind down an hour before bedtime with ease. 

No matter your goals, if you want to improve your overall health both physically and mentally, getting a good night’s sleep CONSISTENTLY is vital.

Did you find this dietitian guide helpful?

Email me your thoughts at tony@tonystephandietitian.com and let me know what resonated with you the most!

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