Alex Issa –@AlexIssaFitness
I will be the first to admit it, when I began my weight loss journey a few years ago, I was only using the scale as a form of measuring progress. The scale is a great tool to measure how much weight one has lost, but it comes with its faults. We will rejoice when the scale continues to go down. When the scale goes up or remains the same after a week of hard dieting, we become frustrated and disappointed. It can even get to the point where your mood for the day is decided by what that number shows when you step on.
The most important fact I share with all of my clients that want to lose weight and body fat: the scale is NOT the only way to measure progress! In this article, I want to share with you five ways you can measure your weight loss progress because even though there are days that the scale shows you “did not make progress towards your goal,” you really did!
- Take Before and After Pictures
- In my personal opinion, taking the before picture is essentially the “start” of the journey. It will feel uncomfortable since you feel that you are out of shape. However, as you’re progressing towards your goal or once you reach it, you will look back and show yourself how far you came!
- Use a Tape Measurer
- With a good program and diet, building muscle will occur! The body will be burning fat and building muscle, which can cause the body to tone up! Areas you will want to measure are: chest, waist, hips, arm, thighs, and shoulders. Some areas may be difficult to do on your own, so do not be afraid to ask a friend or fitness professional.
- Measure your Body Fat
- In my personal opinion, the BMI is a joke. LeBron James and JJ Watt would be considered obese. Truly take time to measure your body fat. Most gyms will have a bioelectrical impendence analysis (BIA) machine and it is a convenient way to measure body fat. Another convenient way are skin fold measurements. With this method, it is best to go to a fitness professional and allow them to measure.
- Physical Tests
- Physical tests, such as 1 mile walk and sit-ups, can show progress as well. Although it does not show the weight or fat loss, it shows the strength and fitness progress you made. This is a great indicator that you are getting stronger for everyday life!
- Try on Old Clothes
- Individuals often measure that they gained weight when their clothes become too tight. Why not try on those same clothes when losing weight and body fat?! This method is similar to the before and after pictures. Some individuals usually wear the same clothing in the pictures too! Whether it is to fit into an old pair of jeans or your favorite top, use it as motivation to get back in it.
- Bonus Measurement: HOW YOU FEEL
- We often take this one for granted. As humans, we are result driven. We need the scale or another type of measurement to feel satisfied. However, remember that even though these are ways to measure progress, we cannot ignore how you feel on a day to day basis. I’ve had clients tell me that even though the scale didn’t change in the week, they feel better and stronger than they did the week before!
When measuring your progress, make sure to use more than one. I believe that will help you show the consistency of your progress and how far you came. That way, if you feel that no recent progress has been made, you have another way to properly assure that feeling.
The most important thing about measuring and making progress is to enjoy the process. We become so fixated on the end of the journey and getting results that we forget to enjoy the process. When we enjoy the process, we appreciate the internal resistance we had to break to strive closer to our goals.
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