Tracking Weight Loss With More Than Just The Scale

A scale is a great tool, but it only tells part of the picture.

You could lose 5lbs of fat and gain 5lbs of muscle and the scale won’t change.

Using tools such as tracking your waist measurement and using progress photos can help you still see results when the scale won’t budge.

In this article, I’ll give you step-by-step details on how to weigh yourself properly, how to track your waist measurements, and how to take accurate progress photos.

How to Weigh Yourself

  • As soon as you wake up, use the restroom and weigh yourself on the scale before you eat or drink anything. 
  • Make sure the scale is on a flat, hard surface. (Make sure it is not on the carpet.) 
  • It’s best to have as few clothes on as possible. If you weigh yourself shirtless with shorts on when you wake up, do the same thing every day for the best accuracy. 

How to Measure Your Waist 

  • Make sure your shirt is removed. 
  • Begin by taking a big breath in, exhaling, letting out as much air as possible, and relaxing your abdomen. 
  • Pull the tape measure around your belly button and use the bathroom mirror to make sure the tape measure is not angled up or down.
  • Make sure there is no slack in the tape measure, but that it is not too tight that it is digging into you.
  • Record the measurement. 

How to Take Progress Photos 

  • Set your phone to about chest height. You can put it on a shelf or utilize a tripod, just make sure it is stable. You can also have someone take photos of you.
  • Make sure your entire body is in the frame. 
  • You will take photos from the front, behind, and on both sides once every month. 
  • Once you take the photo, make sure it is clear, you are in a well-lit area, and it is a place where you can consistently take progress photos in order to ensure accuracy. 

Although tracking progress may seem tedious, it’s an important part of the process to receive proper feedback and make adjustments when necessary. 

Caution: Your weight will fluctuate from day to day. This is 100% normal. This can be due to stress, water retention from when you last worked out, bowel movements, and many other factors. The goal is to lose weight slowly and sustainably. This is why you will be weighing yourself each day, in order to make sure you are trending in the right direction. If you don’t weigh yourself daily, your results and perception of them will be skewed.

We aren’t so much interested in what the daily number is compared to the weekly average. If your weight is trending down from week to week, you are making progress. 

There will be weeks when your weight will fluctuate. It may go up for what seems like no reason at all or it may stay the same for a week or two. This is normal!

Unfortunately, it is part of the process and unavoidable. No need to lower your calories, or even worse, give up altogether when you aren’t seeing progress as quickly as you would like.

It can be frustrating to track your food and body measurements so meticulously and not see the number on the scale go down.

But I assure you that as long as you are following the steps laid out for you and tracking everything accurately, the number will end up in your favor. 

Let me know in the comments below which strategy you find most helpful.

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