What’s the number one tool that people use to measure weight loss? The scale, primarily because it doesn’t lie, or does it? Although the scale can be helpful in tracking weight loss, it may not always indicate where you are in your transformation. In fact, there are many other ways to notice if you are losing weight, and they aren’t as intimidating as stepping on the scale daily.
The number on the scale doesn’t always reveal progress or fitness success. This is the case whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle. For example, engaging in physical activity every day may cause you to burn fat while simultaneously gaining muscle. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which is a great thing because it can help you burn fat more efficiently. Muscle is also denser than fat, meaning that you can gain weight even if your fat percentage reduces. In that sense, the scale doesn’t give you an accurate picture of what’s happening with your body.
Fortunately, you don’t have to step on the scale every day to determine if your body is changing. Some people may not lose weight; rather, they may lose inches and old clothes may start to feel loose. Continue reading to get a more accurate picture of your gains without the aid of a scale.
Go Shopping In Your Closet
Go ahead and step into your closet to pick out clothes that you wear regularly. You know how a certain dress or pair of jeans fits, so you’ll be able to easily notice if it fits differently. Alternatively, you can try on something you know is smaller than your other clothes to see if you fit in it. The greatest part about this technique is that you’ll be able to notice if clothes fit differently within the first five to 15 pounds of weight loss. Some items may start falling off your body or you may fit into clothes that you couldn’t before starting your weight loss journey.
Snap Some Selfies
This isn’t a very difficult thing to do, especially since every phone is equipped with a camera. It’s always beneficial to take a before and after picture so that you can see a visual representation of your transformation. Not only do before and after pictures hold you accountable, but they also let you see your progress. When you can see the difference in your body, you don’t need to step on the scale to understand if you lost weight or not. A weekly selfie may be the best way to track your progress.
Invest In A Measuring Tape
When you measure different parts of the body, you can get a general estimate of where you lose weight and how many inches you lose. The measuring tape may not indicate if you lose fat or muscle, but it is a starting point. Everyone loses weight at a different pace, some faster than others. Measuring the waist, arms, thighs, buttocks, and chest are the essential measurements you want. Taking those measurements every couple weeks can help you track your progress and weight loss.
Measure Body Fat
Body fat percentage is one of the best ways to measure fat tissue versus lean mass. A person with a higher body fat percentage, even if they are not obese, means that they are vulnerable to myriad health complications, especially heart disease and diabetes. A body fat percentage that exceeds 23.1% for men and 33.3% for women is very dangerous to overall health. Use a body fat caliper to measure body fat every month or two. If the number goes down then you know you are losing weight from the previous measurement. Be sure to research how to correctly use the caliper, though, so that you can get accurate measurements.
Get A Check Up
A yearly physical can help you stay on top of your health and overall goals. Knowing what a healthy weight is and if you are overweight can help you make changes to correct your course. Cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammatory levels are also indicators of health, not simply weight. Reducing your weight by 10% may not seem like a lot in regards to weight, but it can do wonders for your overall health.