When trying to lose weight so many people default to using the scale. While this is absolutely a valid way to track weight loss, if you rely solely on the scale, you’ll fail to see the whole picture.
Why? Because weight is determined by so many different factors!
It fluctuates by as many as 6 to 8 pounds in a single day depending on what you’ve eaten, what time of the month it is (for us ladies), if you’re dehydrated, if you’ve had alcohol, etc…
Plus, two people who weigh the exact same can have completely different body compositions. Being 160 pounds and 20% body fat looks very different from being 160 pounds and 40% body fat.
If you want an accurate account of your progress, you need to be tracking more than just pounds on a scale.
*This post contains affiliate links
What Measurements Should I Track While Losing Weight?
For best results, take progress photos, check how your clothes fit, use the scale AND take body measurements.
It sounds like a lot – I know – but hear me out.
So many people write in wondering why they aren’t losing weight intermittent fasting. And sometimes this is true. They aren’t.
While intermittent fasting is easier and allows more flexibility than regular diet and exercise, it still takes effort. Sometimes you may not see the weight loss you desire because you’re not doing things right. This is okay. It happens. Try again next week.
But sometimes you’re doing things perfectly right and you ARE getting smaller – it just may not show up on the scale.
So, for these times you’ll be so glad to have taken your body measurements!
You may gain muscle while losing fat and weigh the same or (gasp) more… but look amazing! You don’t want to get all demoralized and feel like throwing in the towel because you went up a pound on the scale, when you’ve really lost a bunch of inches, do you?
Of course not!
This article will show you exactly how to take accurate body measurements quickly and easily.
2 Things You Need Take Body Measurements For Fitness
1- Measuring Tape
First, you’ll need a reliable body tape measure. Any kind is fine, but I really like the Care Touch Skinfold Body Fat Measuring Tape.
So, at first, I was using a regular measuring tape – like the kind you see in the photo above.
But it’s really hard to use on yourself because when you’re wrapping it around different body parts (like your upper arm, for example), you’d need help to hold it in place. It really takes two hands and you don’t have two hands because you’re measuring one arm!
The Care Touch has a little “hook” that slips into a hole, and it’s really convenient!
What you do is wrap the measuring tape around whatever you’re measuring, plop the hook into the hole, press the “release” button, and the tape retracts around the loop, giving you perfectly accurate measurements in seconds. You can measure several parts on your body in like 3 minutes or less, which makes it make so much more sense to do it once a week, right?
I think so!
The Care Touch is available on Amazon Prime (which I love). I got mine the very next day – you probably can, too! It’s a really affordable price, too. I think it’s a great product at a great price and is totally worth it!
2- Tight (or NO clothes)
Secondly, you should wear very form-fitting clothes if you wear anything at all. And if you do choose to wear clothes, take a note of what you wore, so you can wear the same thing each time. You’ll want consistency in your measurements week to week and even something like a different shirt or pair of pants can throw your measurements off.
We don’t want that!
How To Take Body Measurements For Weight Loss
Finally, here’s how to take body measurements for weight loss.
If you prefer watching, you can check out this great video I found on YouTube.
But it’s super easy to just read the instructions and use the diagram I’ve provided too. (That’s what I did).
1- Chest: Measure around the widest part of your chest
2- Waist: Bend to one side at the waist, then measure around the crease – which would be the smallest part of your waist
3- Hip: Measure around the biggest part of your hips
4- Arm: Measure around the largest part of your arm above the elbow
5- Thigh: Measure around the biggest part of your thigh
Where To Track Your Body Measurements For Weight Loss
You don’t have to get fancy with tracking your measurements, but it will make your life so much easier if you have an organized place to consistently keep track.
Any notebook would do. You could also actually print the diagram image on this page, as I’ve included enough slots to track your progress for four weeks.
Some people like to take the digital route, and if this is you, I’m sure there are countless apps you could download that would allow you to enter your data.
For things like this, though, I’m a pen and paper kind of girl. I just find it faster and easier, you know what I mean?
On my own intermittent fasting and weight loss journey I found that most apps and fitness planners would do one or two things really well, but not really meet all my needs.
Soooo, I created my own fitness planner specifically for intermittent fasting!
The 12-Week Intermittent Fasting Fitness Planner
It also has a schedule page each week for your starting/fasting times, a slot for before and after photos, space for notes each week, and pages to track your strength training and cardio workouts plus a few notes each day as well.
It’s small enough to pop in your purse or gym bag, and it really does have everything you need to succeed at this.
So, I recommend you grab a copy of this planner along with the Care Touch measuring tape I mentioned earlier, and get started losing weight with intermittent fasting right away (or Monday… I like Mondays for starting a new program)!
Something about a fresh start really works well for me. (And it allows time to get any of the kinks out over the previous weekend, right)?
And There You Have It!
And that’s it! It really is that simple to take measurements each week. The measuring tape I recommended really does make this a total breeze! And you’ll see what I mean – some weeks you won’t lose a pound, but you’ll lose like three or more inches.
When this happens, you’ll be SO glad you did this. It can really make or break your mindset when it comes to losing weight.
Because believe me, I get it… weight loss is freaking hard. When you’re obviously winning, you’re motivated and can kinda sorta see that it’s worth it. But feeling like you’re losing the game (and not any weight) week after week is the fastest way to get super bummed out and consult the bottom of a pint of ice cream to soothe your achy heart.
Don’t do that to yourself!
Set yourself up for more possible wins, okay?
You can totally rock this thing out, girlfriend. That smokin’ hot body is just a couple months away. You just gotta do the work.
Related Intermittent Fasting Posts:
- How To Curb Hunger While Intermittent Fasting [6 Simple Ideas]
- How To Track Calories While Intermittent Fasting
- The ONLY Intermittent Fasting Planner You’ll Ever Need!