Inches vs. Pounds: The Tale of the Tape
You’ve been eating right and busting your butt (quite literally) in the gym three times a week for several weeks now. But, according to the scale, you just aren’t making any progress toward your weight-loss goals. So, what’s the problem? Should you add more cardio? Try a fad diet? Maybe you need to be in the gym every day?
Before you completely re-think your fitness strategy, or get discouraged and consider giving up – it’s time to talk about how you’re measuring your success. Despite the fact that your body is getting smaller and tighter, the numbers on the scale aren’t dropping, but that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress! When you burn fat and increase muscle mass, there may be times when the numbers on the scale are higher. So how do you tell if all of your hard work is paying off? Besides signs of progress like looking and feeling better, and changes in the way your clothes fit, taking your measurements is a fantastic method to keep track of your changing body shape as you get fit.
For a complete picture of your progress when taking body measurements, measure yourself in 5 different places every couple of weeks and record your measurements so that you can chart your progress. We’ve included a few useful tips and a handy diagram below to help you start more accurately tracking your fitness journey.
Before you start measuring:
- Be sure to use a non-stretchable tape
- Tape measure should be level around your body and parallel to the floor
- Keep tape close to your skin without squeezing too tight
- Be consistent and measure in the same place each time for accurate results
Areas to measure for weight loss:
1) Upper Arm: measured between the shoulder and elbow with your arm at your side
2) Chest: measured at the widest point of your chest
3) Waist: measured at the narrowest point above your belly button, but below your breast bone
4) Hips: measured at the widest point of the hip or buttock region
5) Thigh: measured at the thickest part of the thigh