Ways To Track Your Weight-Loss Progress

If you're trying to lose weight, you can stay on track and keep yourself motivated by monitoring your shrinking self in a variety of ways. Here are a few methods to include in your regimen.

Woman on the scale

When you're trying to lose weight, you need to be able to keep track of where you started from and follow your progress. Keep a journal to state goals and note observations; this may help you uncover habits or events that were either beneficial or detrimental to reaching your goal (a few days out of town for work may have derailed your eating and exercise plans, for example). Here are a few different ways to track your hard work.

Step onto a scale

The most common way to check your weight loss is, of course, to weigh yourself on a scale. But the number on the scale is not a conclusive method. After all, as you exercise and gain more muscle while losing fat, your body may be visibly shrinking (since toned muscle takes up less room than pillowy fat), but the number on the scale may not budge (or may even increase!), because muscle weighs more than fat.

Look in the mirror

Take a digital or instant-photo camera, wear a body-conscious outfit, and snap a photo. Do this every week or every month, and over time, you'll be able to see changes in your body.

Try on your skinny jeans or tight LBD

Clothing with no give, such as skinny jeans, will help determine if cutting calories and working out at the gym is paying off by making those jeans zippable and comfortable (and eventually looking great on your new, svelte body).

Calculate your BMI

Though more of an indicator of health risk factors, body-mass index can help get you into the frame of mind of getting healthy (rather than just thin), which makes it a useful tool to add to your weight-loss monitoring program. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, and you calculate it by taking your weight and dividing it by your height squared.

Use a measuring tape

Get out your sewing kit, and wrap the tape measure around your bust, waist, hips and thighs for some cold, hard numbers you can work on reducing. You may find it easier if you have a friend help you take the measurements (so you're not twisting about and perhaps altering the measurements slightly).

More on health

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