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Mental Wellness

How to Measure Weight Loss Progress at Every Step

When on a fitness or weight loss journey, we can often be hard on ourselves and only see the progress we’re not making. But don’t worry. You’re doing better than you think. Below, are some tips on how to better measure your weight loss progress.

Weight Loss Progress and How it’s Different for Everyone

Before we get into the ways in which you can measure weight loss, we want to encourage you to not become disheartened. With everyday stressors, anxiety, covid weight gain, and more, It’s normal to experience plateaus before getting back to a healthy track and seeing results. Everyone’s body, metabolism, and build is different, therefore there is not a linear journey for all.

Motivated woman training with a cardio workout.
Woman making progress on her weight loss goal (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Although there is variance in how we all lose weight, many of us can adopt the same approach in how we track it. Let’s dive into a few different ways.

Using a Scale, Minimally

Scales are a good way to track your weight, but it’s not the only way. While scales give us a good idea of the trend you’re following, they do not provide the full picture. You might be wondering, why do I gain weight when I exercise? If you’re using a scale, it won’t indicate and cannot track muscle gain and fat loss. So while you might be concerned about unwanted weight, it might actually be a sign that you’re getting stronger and putting on more muscle.

As we all know, muscle weighs more than fat, therefore maintaining the same weight while on a strength training protocol may not be an indication of plateauing in weight loss. We recommend using the scale once every two weeks and weighing yourself at the same time of the day (for example, in the morning as soon as you wake up before you eat or drink).

Take Progress Pictures

Taking progress pictures is one of the best ways to track your weight loss progress or muscle gain. When you’re stepping on a scale, that’s not showing a full representation of what the body has gone through. When you take pictures and compare them side by side, you can see changes in all parts of your body, whether that’s seeing you look more toned, slim, or muscular.

A man taking a picture with a phone of his fitness sporty girlfriend doing a plank exercises
Taking progress pictures is one of the best ways to track your weight loss (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Before you begin your journey, or even if you’re in the middle, take a picture at the beginning of every month. If you’d like, ask someone you’re comfortable with to help you take your photos. Not only can this help you stay accountable and have a support system, but it will also act as a great motivator to keep going as you can physically see tangible results and how you’re achieving your goals.

Take Notice of How Your Clothes Fit

This is another great way to measure your weight loss progress. You’ll notice when you’re either losing or gaining weight, that the clothes you wear on a regular basis might start to feel different. If you’re feeling looser in your jeans, pants, or vice versa, this is a sign that something’s changing in your body. Do your best to monitor this as well as continue to take your progress pictures.

Not only will you feel different, but you’ll be able to see how you look different too.

Take Your Body Measurements

Taking measurements of your body and writing them down is beneficial and can help you understand more about your frame in relation to the weight you’re losing or gaining. This will help reassure you that you’re making progress and getting closer to whatever goal you have, whether that’s to lose, stay the same size, or gain weight.

You can get a cloth tape measure to get your body measurements or you can ask someone to help you get these as well. Invest in buying a journal or even keeping track of your measurements on your phone.

We know that this work isn’t easy, but we encourage you to stay consistent and set realistic goals for yourself.

Always avoid anything that appears too extreme because it will not allow you to stay consistent. You’ve got this!

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