How to track weight loss progress

How To Track Weight Loss Progress

Use a weighing machine. Is this what you think

? It certainly helps in a way but not totally. There are other means to help you decide if your weight loss is happening for good.

Body Composition

Your body weight consists of many things which include bone weight, muscle weight, fat, water weight etc.  A dip in the number shown by the weighing scale does not tell you where you have lost it from. Losing weight should mainly come from reduction of fat content in your body.

Weight loss/gain myths

Simply losing weight does not necessarily mean that you are getting lean. Similarly gaining weight does not necessarily mean that you have added lean muscle mass. I remember the last winter when I was bulking I used to eat anything to get heavy. By the end of it I had developed a big upper body but my tummy bulked too and one day my trainer said “kya baat hai sir chest to badi ho rahi hai par pet aur bada ho raha hai” .That was humiliating

How To Track Weight Loss Progress

There are few simple accessories that can help you get a rough idea of what is the ratio of lean muscle mass versus fat in your body and I use these methods myself. I have found the results convincing so far, I hope it will help you too.

Weighing Scale

Try to have one at your house. Weigh yourself empty stomach in the morning with bare minimum clothes so that you can have an accurate idea of your weight.

Also try to stick to the same scale since different scales may show a little difference based on the difference in calibration.

Inch Tape

How To Track Weight Loss Progress measuring tape

One of the most available and important tools to track progress yet ignored sometimes. Try to take measurements of your body parts regularly. You know best from where you need to lose fat.

For example, if you need to lose from your belly but you are losing it from your thighs instead, then may be the workout plan that you are following is not meant for you and it is time for you to change it.

 Skinfold Calipers

How To Track Weight Loss Progress callipers

This is one instrument that is easily available and cheap. Although it will not give you a very accurate measurement but it will give you an approximate idea of how much body fat you have and how much you have lost/gained.

Pull the fat away from your muscles, pinch them with the calliper, take the measurements, and look at a chart below to figure out your body fat percentage

You may like to consider few areas of your body to do this like belly and thighs. Women who have fat in their upper body may also consider arms. Once you get the values, you can take an average of the values to have an idea of what overall body fat percentage you have.

How To Track Weight Loss Progress fat measurement

Take pictures regularly

One of the very easy and effective methods, take pictures of yourself in good lighting against a plain background with minimum clothes, consider three angles of taking pictures, front,  back and side and compare it with the ones taken last time. It actually helps to see if you are looking better than the last time. I myself follow this regularly.

How To Track Weight Loss Progress take pics

Be consistent

Following these things consistently helps you judge how you have been progressing so far, if your progress has slowed down over time (indicating plateau), are you actually getting toned by losing weight from the body parts that are flabby instead of losing it from somewhere where you don’t have a lot of fat. All these things help you change your workout plans if needed and a lot more

Don’t worry if your scale is not showing a lot of reduction in spite of your hard work and sacrifice J.  It may be because of your high bone density or you are gaining considerable muscle mass simultaneously in addition to losing weight because remember muscle weighs heavier than fat. If you look and feel better as a result of your workout and diet, that means all your hard work and sacrifice was worth it.  

Stay strong!

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About the Author: Karl Sass