Good news (at least for me) after 11 weeks, I have lost 11kg, my body fat has dropped by 8%, and I truly feel in the best shape of my life. A key part of my journey has been tracking and measuring my weight, and my progress, this has helped put my progress in perspective. Make sure you have a clearly defined goal: perhaps you want to reduce your body fat by 50% or run 5km in under a given time; or simply build muscle – set a major goal, with key milestones in between.
With some trial and error I’ve been able to use the following, so, *drumroll please* here are my top tips for tracking your weight:
1.Weigh Yourself Regularly:
If you’re trying to lose or gain weight, measure yourself once a week – I choose to do so as soon as I get up every Monday morning, keeping a consistent measurement (on a specific day / time) allows you to greatly reduce errors in weighing yourself over time as your body weight will fluctuate throughout the day. Generally, the more people weigh themselves, the less weight they are likely to gain weight over an extended period of time. However, I would personally say avoid getting too obsessive about the exact numbers the scale shows. Your key focus should always be your own personal happiness and simply leading a healthy life.
Tip: Using a body analysis scale (connected via Bluetooth) can sync all your vital stats directly to your phone.
2. Keep A Food Diary:
Your weight loss (or weight gain!) is primarily determined by the amount you eat/drink, and the nutritional content of that food or drink. Keeping a food diary – particularly for the first few weeks – is an easy way to identify what is or isn’t working for your body. Use this in conjunction with your regular body measurements so you are able to quickly identify, and change, anything that isn’t working.
Tip: Calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate, this helps establish how many calories your body burns – at rest – throughout the day. Then prepare your own meals, try preparing for two or three days in advance, ensuring you have a balanced and nutritional diet.
3. Use An Exercise Diary:
Similar to your food diary, this really helps you understand how the physical activity you doing is improving your health. Having a regularly allocated time to workout, helps
Tip: Update your exercise routine after a few weeks, in line with meeting your goals. This could be done by increasing the length or intensity of your run / cycle / exercise routine or increase the weights or repetitions of an exercise, where appropriate.
4. Take Pictures:
Another reason to take a selfie! Preferably, do this on the days you weigh yourself. This really helps you visualise the changes you are making. Although the week-on-week changes may not seem that pronounced, you will be able to clearly see far you’ve come over the coming weeks.
Tip: Take both a front and side shot, so you can get a full body image. Make sure to use similar lighting in each picture, this helps to keep consistency in your tracking.
5. Use Useful Measurements:
To put it simply, some measurements count more than others. Whilst body weight will no doubt be important measurement, using a secondary measurement could help put your goals into perspective. So maybe you would want to track both weight and body fat %? This way you can directly attribute how your body composition is changing with your weight gain or loss, and adjust your diet appropriately.
Tip: By defining specific goals for yourself, this should help shape which body measurements are useful for you to take.
The ultimate goal is to develop a better sense of self-awareness about what you eat and how you exercise affects your body, so enjoy the tips, and enjoy the journey!