How do you measure weight loss effectively? Are you making progress? You eat right, watch your carbs and calories, and exercise regularly, but do you see results in the mirror or scale? Tracking your progress is integral to reaching your health and fitness goals. Here are some tips to help you track your progress and make you aware of any areas for improvement:
Weigh weekly –
Weighing in every day only tracks your fluctuations in water weight and will only frustrate and discourage you. Instead, weigh yourself once a week on the same day, early in the morning, on an empty stomach, with little or no clothes, and always on the same scale. Also, use a smart scale. They provide other metrics, such as body fat and metabolism age.
Use a measuring tape –
Use a measuring tape to ensure it doesn’t stretch. These measurements will help you determine if you are losing fat or gaining muscle. Start with your waist directly across your belly button; then, measure your neck at the fullest part – men should measure directly on your Adam’s apple.
Next, measure your chest directly across your nipples, parallel to the floor and do not tighten the tape; finally, measure your hips at the widest point and the same for your calves and biceps. Over time, if your measurements are growing smaller, you are losing weight, and if they are increasing, especially in your calves and biceps, you are gaining muscle.
Take regular photos –
Again, a partner can help, but the mirror will do too. Start with “before” pictures early in your weight loss and fitness journey: wear tight-fitting exercise clothing and take front, side, and back photos.
At the end of your first month, repeat the photos wearing the same clothes and precisely the exact location and “poses.” Repeat this every month, and you should see noticeable progress in fat loss and lean muscle gains. Whenever you feel your motivation slipping, take your before and after pictures.
The Last Word on How to Measure Weight Loss
Keep a fitness journal. Use it to record and track every meal you eat every day. The front pages should list your goals, plans, initial calorie, BMR calculations, beginning weight, and the first set of measurements. Also, this is an excellent place to store your “before” photos.
Record your workouts, exercises, sets, and reps to ensure your fitness journal will hold you accountable, showing what you did. If you felt guilty when reviewing your diary and skipped workouts and binge eating episodes, then good: it is doing its job.
When you write everything you eat and your activities, it’s easy to identify your mistakes and learn from them. Combine these steps: your journal, food and workout log, “before” and “after” photos, and weekly body weight and circumference measurements to help you visualize your progress and keep you on track, motivated, and moving in the right direction.