by Tony Gjokaj February 24, 2021 4 min read

Everyone uses the scale to track progress, but I’d argue it’s one of the least important methods to track progress in the long-term.

At first, it’s nice to see weight loss drops that are typically a result of water weight… but then this slows down.

We want to cut more and cut more calories because we want to lose weight at the same pace… but this is not sustainable in the long-term.

When we get to this point, it’s never consistent… due to a variety of factors: sodium intake, water intake, stress, hormones, poor sleep, and more.

As a result, people quit because it becomes too difficult to maintain physical and mentally... your desire to lose weight dwindles.

Let's not have this happen.

So today, I wanted to talk about all of the Body Performance Indicators you can utilize to measure progress BEFORE YOU CUT CALORIES!

Let’s dive in!

Body Performance Indicators: The Rundown

Body Performance Indicators are the indicators you should consider that go beyond JUST weight on the scale.

If you find yourself not losing weight for a period of time, you need to make sure these are in check before attempting to restrict more calories or do anything crazy in your diet.

The deeper we go into our calorie restriction, the more difficult it is to keep our diets in check.

So ensure that you are monitoring all of these indicators before you get deeper in the diet.

Indicator I: Exercise Performance

When you diet for fat loss, it is possible that your workouts get a little more difficult to perform your best. Sometimes, you will miss a rep or two in the weight room. Other times, exercises may seem a little more challenging.

It’s also possible that you could get stronger in your workouts.

This is a good sign.

However, if your workouts have completely suffered to the point where you have to drop a lot of weight on your exercises… chances are you should not decrease your calories until your body adapts to your current calorie intake.

In fact, if it gets worse and fatigue is unbearable, consider increasing calories slightly (by 50-100 calories) and assess.

Indicator II: Visual Assessments

The most important indicator (in my opinion) are visual assessments. If you’re just getting started with dieting and exercise, scale weight may not be an accurate measurement of progress at all.

This is because you might be building lean body mass while losing weight.

This is why the visual is everything in my opinion.

What I recommend is taking progress pictures (front & back) every two weeks. You may see that if your weekly scale weight process hasn’t budged but you look a lot leaner, then you might just be making some fat loss process.

Hell, take a video if you have to. It allows you to see your body in your entirety.

Indicator III: Hormonal & Emotional Responses

Do you have ravenous hunger? You might need to increase calories slightly instead of decrease them (add 50-100 calories).

Do you feel stress constantly? You might need to increase calories slightly instead of decreasing them (add 50-100 calories).

These factors play a huge part in dieting the deeper you get into the diet.

I’ve had times where I was extremely stressed or super hungry and I let myself eat up to maintenance calories (doing two refeed days in a row).

This allowed me to be less stressful and satisfied for a time, and helped me on my diets.

Indicator IV: Sleep Responses

Simply put, poor sleep is an indicator that your diet might be a little off. If you’re getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep, you need to get more sleep.

If you find yourself waking up before your alarm with only about 5 hours of sleep, you might just be in a deep part of your diet. Either give yourself time for your body to adapt to the calorie deficit, or increase calories.

When I’ve had poor sleep, I stuck to the same caloric intake or increased it.

What happened was my sleep quality improved dramatically.

When It’s Time To Cut More Calories

Cutting calories some more should be a last resort, because of the severity of calorie restriction.You need to make sure all of your body performance indicators (EVEN YOUR SLEEP AND HUNGER) are in check before you cut calories.

If you are ravenously hungry, I would not recommend more calorie cutting. You might need to focus on utilizing the following strategies:

  • Increasing your calories by 50-100.
  • Focus on having a refeed day or a diet break (more on this later).

If everything is in check, then give yourself at least 1-2 weeks before you cut calories.

Again, cutting calories is a last resort because of the negative effects you get from a calorie deficit from dieting. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you here - you are in control of your diet.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us on, or message us on Instagram.

Until next time, Reforged Legion!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.

Also in Reforge Yourself

7 Ways To Get Off The Couch & Exercise When You Are Depressed
7 Ways To Get Off The Couch & Exercise When You Are Depressed

by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read

When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.

It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).

In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?

Is there something wrong with us?

Absolutely not. This happens with depression.

The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.

I've been there.

But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.

In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.

Read More
How Hydration Is Essential To Mental Health... And 4 Tips to Improve Hydration!
How Hydration Is Essential To Mental Health... And 4 Tips to Improve Hydration!

by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read

Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.

When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.

I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.

This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.

In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.

Let's dive in!

Read More
The Inactivity Trap: Where Depression and Physical Inactivity Collide
The Inactivity Trap: Where Depression and Physical Inactivity Collide

by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read

When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.

I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.

Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.

Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.

So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.

So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.

Read More