Hats off to you if you know where this quote comes from. It’s true. Knowledge is power. Which is why this very first fitness post will be about knowing how to properly weigh yourself and take your body measurements. This information will be vital in your quest to become more fit. Now, I know that this can be a humbling experience in the beginning but as you progress you will come to love your numbers and even brag about them to family and friends. The whole measurement process will only take about 10-15 minutes and you should do it every 6 weeks. Weighing yourself can be done as often as you like but, as I’ll next explain, you should keep “official” weigh-ins to once per week.
Question: When is the best time to weigh yourself?
Answer: The best time to weigh yourself is right after you wake up. You aren’t carrying excess weight from food or liquid.
Your body weight fluctuates greatly during the day and during the week. The best time to assess your weight is after you wake up. Your body is essentially empty of most food and consumable liquid when you wake up. This is the most accurate time to weigh yourself. You should also make it a point to record your weight each week on the same day, ideally after you wake up. You’ll then have a great gauge of your weekly progress. Whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain lean muscle, you should aim for no more than a 2 lb. change per week. Any more than that and you’re risking a host of issues like dehydration, fatigue, muscle loss (if you’re losing weight) or excess fat gain (if you’re “bulking up”).
Question: Which areas of my body should I measure and how often should I keep track of them?
Answer: Generally speaking, there are 7 main areas that are important to track:
It is important to track these changes every six weeks so that you can get a good idea of how you’re progressing.
You may need some help the first time you measure but after a few attempts you should be able to do it by yourself. There are great clips on YouTube about how to do this, so I’ll skip the detailed instructions. However, a few tips to remember are:
- Get yourself a good soft plastic or nylon tape measure and a journal to record your entries in.
- Measure yourself on the same day of the week, every 6 weeks. Try to do it under the same conditions: i.e. before a meal or after you wake up.
- Always measure each area 3 times. This ensures accuracy.
- Make sure you are relaxed when you measure yourself. Do not tense and contract your muscles.
- There are many thoughts on where exactly the waist is. I am from the school that measures it above the belly button but below the rib cage. At the narrowest part of the abdomen. The point is to pick a place and make sure that you measure the same area each time. Also, never measure yourself immediately after a meal (unless you want to be depressed for the rest of the day.)
- Have fun! Use these measurements as only one gauge of your progress. The important thing is that you learn something about yourself so that you can see what’s working and what’s not.
Well, there you have it. Two great ways to keep track of your progress. Remember to reward yourself for your success and continue to set new goals. In the next post, I will be sharing with you the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING you’ll ever need on your journey to being more fit and healthy.
Dream Fit. Live Fit.