HOW TO TRACK YOUR FITNESS & WEIGHT LOSS PROGRESS
Before you start to track your body goal progress, it is important to talk about the journey you are about to embark on.
The first thing that you need to be aware of is that nobody is going to just hand you the body you want.
Whether you want to lean out, build muscle, lose weight or tone and sculpt your body, no one is going to just wave a magic wand and give you what you want.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy and getting your dream body is no different. You must be willing to put the effort in every single day rather than giving up when doubt sets in.
No one is above self-doubt so it is important to learn not to let your setbacks affect your progress. Instead, use it as fuel to do better.
By starting the journey to your perfect body, you are making a commitment to yourself and no one can make that happen for you, except YOU!
TRACKING YOUR BODY GOAL PROGRESS
There are so many ways of measuring and tracking your body goal progress including:
- Body fat percentage
- DEXA scans
- Individual girth measurements
- Taking photographs
- Weighing yourself
In this post, we are going to look at the most popular (and easiest) ways to measure progress and keep you motivated and on track to absolutely smash your body goals.
Weighing yourself is one of the easiest and most popular methods of progress tracking. I mean who doesn’t have a set of scales* in their bathroom, right?
But just because it is easy and super convenient doesn’t mean that it is the best way!
For starters, your weight is constantly fluctuating throughout the day. The food you consume, your activity levels, fluctuations in water balance… all of these can have a significant impact on the scale reading.
Secondly, the scale does not differentiate between muscle or fat. Weight gain tends to be seen as a negative thing when in actual fact, it could be that you have gained muscle mass, which is positive progress.
With advances in technology, you can get scales now that will measure body fat*, muscle mass and more, but they only give an overview of total body fat rather than measurements based on specific areas of your body.
Scales also have a margin of error of around +/-5% so you can end up with inaccurate information.
But what if it is the only method you have access to or prefer this method to the others?
I say go for it!
It will still give you a general idea of the progress you are making, just be mindful that gaining weight is not necessarily negative progress.
HOW TO WEIGH YOURSELF
- Weigh yourself before starting your journey and log the measurement. This is day 0.
- You will want to weigh yourself at the same time of day every single time so pick a time that is convenient. I tend to go with 8 am as I get up at this time every day.
- Wear the same clothes each time you weigh yourself as the weight of clothes can factor into the reading.
- You will want to weigh yourself every 14 days so it is useful to put a reminder on your phone.
- Keep your scales somewhere easy to get to so it is convenient.
- Don’t feel bad if the number on the scale is higher than when you weighed yourself previously, it’s probably just extra muscle that you have added.
Taking photographs is, in my opinion, one to the most effective and motivating ways to track your progress.
When you take photographs you can compare to previous photos and really see all the progress that you have made.
Even the small changes are really noticeable and if you combine photographs with weighing yourself, you will have a brilliant snapshot of how well you are doing.
I use my Samsung Galaxy S8* to take my photos as I can pop it in a shelf and use the gesture control to snap the picture for me. If you don’t have gesture control, you can just use the timer setting or have a friend or relative take the image for you.
HOW TO TAKE YOUR PROGRESS PICTURES
- Take a ‘Before’ image to make the start of your journey. This is Day 0.
- Where possible, wear the same clothes each time you take your photos. Crop tops, shorts, yoga pants, bikini or underwear tends to work best.
- Take the photos in the same place each time.
- Take the photos at the same time of day each time.
- You want to take photos every 14 days, so make sure you put that reminder on your phone.
- Take 2 photos – one from the front and one from the side and take them from the same angle each time (straight on works best)
- Use the same pose each time. I tend to find a natural, relaxed pose works best with feet hip-width apart and arms up in a flexed position or by your side.
- Consider taking images of specific body parts too so that you can track muscle development.
- Whatever you do, don’t delete any of your progress photos – you will want to be able to compare all of them throughout your journey.
Just remember, before starting any new diet or exercise program, it is important to measure your starting point.
This will help you track your body goal progress and see how far you have come and make sure that what you are doing is working.
Tracking your progress will also improve your self-confidence and keep you motivated.
In fact, I often find that those who don’t track their progress can often become discouraged and lose motivation.
I would love to see your results and transformations so please tag me in your photos on social media @haleyryan.tbbe and use the hashtags #haleyryantbbe and #tbbefitness on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you don’t want to post your images online, you can always email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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