30 Aug Tracking Weight Loss: How to Take Body Measurements
Knowing how to take body measurements correctly is important when you’re losing weight. Many 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 in a way that brings you closer to reaching your goals, that number on the scale may not decrease as quickly as you might expect.
Learning how to take body measurements to track your weight loss is just as important as stepping on a scale.
As a nutritionist-led weight loss clinic, we can support you in overcoming your weight challenges, reaching your goal weight and maintaining it long term. Book a complimentary call today to speak to one of our expert team and find out how we can help you.
HOW TO TAKE BODY MEASUREMENTS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Many weight loss programmes require body measurements rather than the readings on the scale. There are five key areas to measure your body for weight loss, which include bust, waist, hips, thigh and arm. Of course, where you choose to measure is completely up to you. If one of the areas outlined isn’t a concern for you, feel free to leave it out. Read on to find out where and how to take body measurements when tracking weight loss.
WHERE TO MEASURE YOUR BODY
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.
WHAT ARE OTHER WAYS TO MEASURE WEIGHT LOSS?
BODY COMPOSITION ANALYSIS
Body composition gives a more detailed breakdown of what’s influencing the number on the scale. Assessment tools available such as bioelectrical scales, or DEXA scans can provide information about your body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, water and more. These methods may be more accurate in determining changes in body composition, but for most people, they’re not as accessible as taking body measurements at home.
Skin calipers are a tool used to measure skinfold thickness at various sites on the body. By measuring the thickness of the skinfold, you can estimate body fat percentage. The accuracy of this method can depend on the skill and experience of the person taking the measurement and may not be as consistently accurate as other professional tools.
Looking in the mirror and visually assessing your body can be a helpful way to track changes in muscle definition and overall body composition. While this method may not provide precise measurements, it can give you a sense of progress and changes in your physique. Some people like to take weekly progress pictures so that they can look back at their progress over time.
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