When losing weight, most of us jump on the scale in order to track our progress. However, your weight alone (and even your BMI) doesn’t always tell the whole story. Any good fat loss programme will incorporate optimal levels of protein which, especially when combined with exercise, can result in an increase in muscle mass. Given that muscle is denser and weighs heavier than fat, when we step on the scale we may be surprised that although our body is changing for the better, that number on the scale may not decrease as quickly as we might expect. Learning how to take body measurements to track your weight loss is just as important as stepping on a scale.
Body measurements can help ensure that you’re losing fat consistently across all areas of the body. There are five key measurement sites and with a little practice, it’s fairly straightforward to measure these yourself. Here’s how:
First, ensure that you’re wearing thin and fairly fitted clothing, or just underwear. Try to not wear clothing of different thicknesses each time you measure otherwise it can skew the measurements.
Measure the following sites with a tape measure in centimetres and keep a record of them. Many people find it easiest to keep a record in the notes section of their phone.
BUST / CHEST
Keep the tape measure in line with the nipple and take the measurement at the side of the ribcage, underneath the arm.
Keep the tape measure in line with the tummy button, ensure it’s level all the way around. Again, taking the measure at the side of your body is often easiest. (It’s worth remembering that the waist can be the least reliable measurement due to bloating. Often women’s measurements will not be accurate around the time of their period.)
It would be more accurate to call this the ‘bum measurement’! This measures the widest point. Ensure that the tape measure is level both side of your hips.
Take this measure towards the top of the leg at the widest point at. Make sure you measure the same leg each time as your legs can be slightly different in size.
From the tip of the elbow, measure 15cm up the arm. Take the measurement at this point. As with your thighs, make sure you measure the same leg each time.
If you are looking to lose weight and feel like you could benefit from expert help, please do get in touch. We offer a complimentary 25 minute weight loss strategy call with one of our weight loss nutritionists who will take the time to listen to your challenges and help you identify the right weight loss solution for you.