Beyond the Scale: Setting Non-Weight-Related Fitness Goals. Hutton Health

Beyond the Scale: Setting Non-Weight-Related Fitness Goals

1st November 2023

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The desire to lose weight, drop a dress size or look a different way can be the motivation many people use to start a fitness and health journey.


Whatever drives you to start taking action to increase your fitness and health is a positive as it has started you down the path to the many benefits to your physical and mental health that the journey will bring.

Setting fitness goals that are not associated with weight loss can help you build a more positive relationship with food and exercise and can help you build healthy habits that will improve your lifestyle long term.

Finding a meaningful connection with your fitness journey that goes beyond weight loss will help set you up for long term success as there are challenges with attaching your fitness and health progress with weight loss.

Problems with weight loss goals

Fitness goals that are based solely on weight loss can lead to the following problems:

  • Unrealistic expectations: Unrealistic weight loss goals can set you up for disappointment, frustration, or drastic measures to see quick results.
  • Demotivation: If the numbers on the scale don’t show the desired weight loss, it can be demotivating. This can lead you to give up on your fitness and heath journey.
  • Unhealthy Practices: To achieve quick weight loss, some people resort to unhealthy practices like crash diets, extreme calorie restriction, or excessive exercise. These practices can be detrimental to your overall health and are not conducive to long term weight loss efforts as they aren’t sustainable over time.
  • Focus on Aesthetics Over Health: When weight loss is the primary goal, aesthetics is often prioritised over health. This can lead to overlooking other important aspects of wellbeing, such as increased strength, improved flexibility, and greater cardiovascular fitness.
  • Negative Body Image: Constantly emphasising weight loss can reinforce negative body image and self-esteem issues. It can make individuals feel inadequate or dissatisfied with their bodies when they equate their body confidence and happiness with a number on a scale.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Constantly worrying about the number on the scale can lead to increased stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact your overall health. Being too fixed on weight loss can make you feel anxious in environments and situations where there is food.
  • Ignoring Non-Scale Victories: Focusing on weight can cause you to overlook non-scale victories, such as improved energy, better sleep, reduced stress, or increased fitness levels.


To address these issues, it's important to adopt a more holistic and sustainable approach to health and fitness.

Setting goals related to overall wellbeing, such as strength, endurance, and mental health, can promote a healthier and more balanced relationship with fitness. Weight loss may still be a part of your journey, but it should be a component rather than the sole focus.

Download Hutton Health ’s free GOAL SETTING WORKBOOK


18 Fitness goals that are not associated with weight loss

Here are 18 fitness goals that are not associated with weight loss:

  1. Increase Strength: Focus on building muscle and improving your overall physical strength. There are many benefits to increasing strength:

  • Enhanced metabolism - Building muscle through strength training increases your resting metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories even when you're not exercising.
  • Improved Bone Health - Strength training can help increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, which is especially important for women as they age.
  • Injury Prevention - Strong muscles and joints provide better support and protection to your body, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall physical resilience.
  • Improved Posture - Strength training can help correct postural imbalances, leading to better posture and reduced strain on the spine and muscles.
  • Functional Strength - Gaining strength can improve your ability to perform daily tasks, such as lifting, carrying, and moving objects, making everyday life easier.
  1. Mental Health: Exercise, including strength training, has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, enhancing mental wellbeing. Stress can negatively affect your health in a number of ways. Find out how stress can affect your health in this blog.

  2. Increased Confidence: As you see and feel the positive changes in your strength and physique, it can boost your self-confidence and body image.

Learn more about increasing your confidence in 'Unlocking your Unlimited Potential' 

4.  Hormonal Balance: Strength training can help regulate hormone levels, which can be particularly beneficial during menopause.

5. Pain Management: Strength training can alleviate or reduce chronic pain issues, such as lower back pain or joint discomfort, by improving muscle support and joint stability.

6. Improve Flexibility: Work on your range of motion and become more flexible. Benefits to improving flexibility include:

  • Reduce risk of injury
  • Improved posture
  • Relief from muscle tension and soreness
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve joint health

7. Injury prevention: Inflexibility can often lead to injury due to your tightened muscles.

8. Increased strength: Muscles are able to move through the full range of motion.

9. Enhance Endurance: Train to increase your stamina and cardiovascular fitness.

10. Learn a New Exercise: Set a goal to learn and/or excel at a new workout or skill.

11. Achieve a Personal Best: Aim to beat your personal records in various exercises or activities.

12. Complete a Challenging Race: Sign up for an event, whether that is your first 5k, 10k or marathon, a triathlon, or an obstacle course race.

13. Enhance Balance and Coordination: Improve your balance and coordination through yoga or other balance-focused exercises.

14. Increase Athletic Performance: Train to improve your performance in a specific sport or activity.

15. Develop a Consistent Workout Routine: Make it a goal to establish and maintain a regular exercise routine.

Not sure where to get started with training? Hutton Health provides a structured programme and live workouts from the comfort of your home!

16. Achieve a Fitness Milestone: Set a specific fitness milestone, like running a certain distance or lifting a particular weight.

17. Enhance Mental Wellbeing: Prioritise exercises that improve mental health and reduce stress. Find out  more about the benefits of exercise on mental health in this blog

18. Optimise Posture: Work on improving your posture through targeted exercises.

This blog shares 6 desk stretches for those people who spend long stretches of time sitting at a desk each day.

6 easy desk stretches for improved posture and wellbeing

These goals focus on various aspects of fitness and wellbeing beyond weight loss, allowing you to create a well-rounded and holistic approach to your fitness journey.

Setting fitness goals not associated with weight loss can lead to a more sustainable and fulfilling fitness journey, promoting overall wellbeing and long-term success.

Download Hutton Health’s free Goal Setting Workbook to ensure you are setting effective health and fitness goals to help keep you motivated and on track with your exercise programme.

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Columbia (UK)

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