5 Ways to Track Your Weight Loss Progress
Obesity has become one of the greatest health challenges of our time. It leads to countless life threatening conditions including but not limited to diabetes, cardiac issues, arthritis and hypertension. Some medical specialists now believe that obese people have a higher chance of getting cancer. However, people are more aware now than they were ten years ago and there seems to be a growing trend around us to keep yourself fit and healthy.
Losing weight is not important, losing weight to get healthy is important. This journey of healthy weight loss can become easier for you if you track your weight loss progress effectively. We present to you five of the best ways for doing that.
1. Plan of Action
Whatever a person’s goal is, the first and one of the most important steps is to make a plan. So the first thing to do is to get yourself a weight loss planner. Write down these three questions on the first page of your planner: do you need to lose weight? Why do you need to lose weight? How would you lose weight? The first question is important in the sense that many people have this image of themselves in their own mind which complies with what beauty standards people have around them. In order to become what people expect of them, they ignore what is a healthy weight for them and whether they even need to lose it in the first place. Your priority should be health, not social acceptance. For instance, if you are obese or you have another health issue that is a consequence of being overweight, then you really need to be serious about losing weight. This answers the first two questions.
The last question pertains to your strategy for losing weight. For instance what type of diet program you would follow and what kind of workout program you would set for yourself. You can write down your weekly or monthly diet plan in your daily planner. Also jot down effective weight loss tips in your planner as they will help you in your progress. You can also write down your weekly workout routine. So get a daily planner, make a weight loss plan and track your progress.
2. Weight Measurement
You can measure your weight every day or every week using a good body scale. You can find different types of body scales in the market. We suggest you keep it simple and buy a digital one. To minimize error in measurement, weigh yourself at the same time every day or at the end of every week or after every three days and take their average. Record the average in your weight loss planner. Weigh yourself before you have breakfast. You should ideally be weighing yourself while wearing your underwear only. Some people weigh themselves more than once during the same day. We recommend weighing yourself every three days. Keep a fixed time of the day for this purpose. Do not weigh yourself with a full belly. Do not be discouraged if you see a weight gain instead of a loss because your weight is not the only variable that defines health and fitness.
3. Vital Percentages & Ratios
Your weight depends on a lot of factors. Genetics, bone mass, muscle mass, body fat, water composition, age and body mass index (BMI) altogether define your existing weight and the optimum weight. BMI is the ratio of your weight to your height; it is a measure of what your optimum weight range should be relative to your height. You can calculate your BMI using a fitness app or BMI calculators that are freely available on the internet. However, it should not be considered in isolation because it ignores muscle mass completely. Many body builders, athletes and wrestlers have a very high muscle mass and may rank obese when considering BMI alone. Body fat is the percentage of fat in your body. You would need professional help for accurately calculating yours or you can try measuring it yourself by using vernier calipers which would not be accurate but will give you a rough idea. If you have your body fat percentage, you can use it to find out your muscle mass which is calculated by multiplying body fat with your body weight. Charts for optimum compositions for both body fat and muscle mass are easily available on the internet and in numerous apps. Record all of these in your daily planner and you can recheck them after a month. You must remember that these are variables which should be considered together and would change over a period of time.
4. Body Measurements
Measuring your body regularly can actually tell you more about your progress than measuring your weight alone. Although the percentages and ratios discussed above are very important, some of them are difficult to calculate while others require spending money. The easiest and most affordable way is to get an inch tape and record your measurements. Your waist is the most important measurement when tracking your progress but you should measure your entire body including your chest, biceps, forearms, thighs, waist, etc. Measure them every week, preferably before breakfast. Make sure you measure them right.
5. Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Stand in front of a full size mirror wearing just your underwear and take a picture with your cell phone. We know that sounds silly but trust us when we say that this is one of the most effective and easiest ways of observing physical changes in yourself when you are working out and when you are on a diet. Take a picture every 15 days. The date would automatically be recorded in your camera. For your privacy, you can keep these pictures in a separate folder and use a folder lock software which would allow you to secure it with a password. In order to get the best idea of your progress, try wearing the tightest clothes in your wardrobe and take a picture every 15 days.