Keep an eye out...

Too often we look at only one measurement when it comes to our fitness goals.  When looking to lose fat for instance, we take weight and only look at the scales to judge our progress.  But there are a lot more measurements that we can look at.  For most people fat loss is a huge goal so I thought that I would focus on this, if you'd like another goal discussed, send me a message through my website and I can write a separate post about your preferred goal.

For those who can't afford the cost/time of getting expensive scans to judge fat loss, there are some basic measures you can observe to see how you're tracking towards your goal.  Firstly there are the scales as mentioned above.  Scales are great at showing us a trend, but on their own they're a poor judge of fat loss - they vary with water loss, water retention, time of day, whether we've used the toilet, and more.  So if you can only use the scales, then make sure it's at the same time of the day each time and try to keep the other factors mentioned here equal too.

Next there are photos.  Pictures are powerful tools in judging body composition.  You don't have to show anyone, but take a picture before you start your fat loss journey and take more pictures along the way.  Front, back and side views if you can.  These may show your progress more quickly than the scales and pictures don't lie either.  They'll show your progress in increased muscle tone and reduced body fat.  Make sure you take the pictures in the same clothing and with the same lighting each time if possible to get the truest measure of progress.

Clothing feel is a great measure or fat loss too.  This one is especially powerful if you have more than 4-5 kilograms of weight that you want to shift.  If this is the case then you will definitely notice a reduction in body fat as you will more than likely need to start updating your wardrobe.  Your clothes will feel looser, you may need to use a different belt hole than you usually select, you may even be able to get into clothes that fit you years ago.  These can be hugely motivating factors.  Celebrate these small wins along the way.

One last way to judge progress that I want to talk about is to regularly take measurements and record them.  They don't have to be exhaustive, but using a tape measure and measuring accurately on even a weekly basis is a great way to look at your progress, especially if you are like me and are a numbers person.  You can choose any measurements that you are wanting to work on, but for fat loss some good ones are your waist and hips.  They are pretty quick measurements to take, and they can give you real progress to celebrate.

With all of the measures above, try to make sure you do them all at the same time each time you take the measurement, be it weekly, fortnightly or however frequently you want to take them.  What has worked well for weight loss clients of mine is picking a day, usually a weekend day and taking their measurements after they get up, before breakfast but after going to the bathroom.  

This way clients can take them at the same time, in the same state each time.  Hopefully a combination of the above measurements can help you with some motivation towards your fat loss goals.  Remember to celebrate the small wins no matter how small, each small step towards your goal is a valuable one.

Let me know which way you prefer to measure progress by contacting me through my website.


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