Nutrition

Top Ways To Measure Weight Loss & Fitness Progress

During this blog, I’m going to be discussing the most optimal ways you can be measuring your progress at home. We don’t have access to a lab, we don’t have access to underwater weighing, we don’t have access to a DEXA scan, we do not have access to the BodPod. This is under the assumption that all you have at home is
your measuring tape, your camera, and scales.

Let’s start with bodyweight…

Your body weight is going to fluctuate almost on a daily basis. Your body weight is going to go up, it’s going to go down, it’s going to maintain. Your body weight rarely stays stagnant in one place. This is due to a variety of factors such as your hydration status, your bowel content, your food volume, your activity levels, your fiber intake, the time of weighing, the surface you weigh on, the time of wake, the time of eating your last meal before bed, sodium, time of the month for females.

 

There is a whole host of factors that can impact your body weight. This is why I suggest that you weigh yourself as much as you can, ideally, daily and take a
weekly average.

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To avoid as much fluctuation as possible:

‐ Weigh yourself in underwear/naked
‐ Weigh fasted
‐ Pre-food
‐ Pre-fluids
‐ Keep the scales in the same place
‐ Keep your last meal of the day to relatively the same size, for example, if it’s usually 500 calories, having 1000 will undoubtedly increase your morning
weight
‐ Place scales on a flat, hard surface (for example a block of wood)
Now you have your weekly average (all your bodyweights divided by the amount of days you’ve weighed), you can now compare this figure weekly, this is your ‘truest’
bodyweight.

Photographs

After that, we should be looking at measuring progress via photographs. Photographs don’t lie, however, there can be some variance due to how you take the photo, as in the placement of the camera, lighting, time of day, food volume in your stomach, like the scales, appearance can fluctuate too, however, we can minimize the difference.
To minimize the interference of lighting, place the camera in front of the light source. So, it should look like this, light source, camera, you… this is to portray natural lighting. Please stay in the same spot, ideally the same time of day. So, if you do photograph every Monday in the morning upon wake, try and do that consistently, I recommend a fortnightly to monthly basis.

Body fat percentage

Let’s talk about body fat percentage. Body fat percentage can vary massively. It has a huge individual variance. The DEXA is the only real way you can measure your body fat percentage. However, because we are measuring at home, there is another option and that is skin callipers.
Skin callipers are far less reliable and they’re not deemed as the gold standard when it comes to measuring your body fat, especially leaner individuals, they become less useful. They’re not going to give you an accurate reading, however, it is progression.
I’m not saying avoid them, they can be useful, but just bear in mind that they’re not going give you an accurate body fat percentage. But if you see that go down on a weekly or fortnightly basis, it’s still progression, which can still be measured.

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Additionally…

Ask others, keep an eye on how you’re clothing fits, use the mirror. Now you know how to monitor your progress, be consistent with it and always review, remember
what gets measured get’s managed.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has an MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.


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