To Weigh Or Not To Weigh, That Is The Question
For years we have all weighed ourselves, shouting for joy when we have lost a pound or two or shedding the odd tear if we haven’t. Or God forbid, we gain any!! But before you leap on the scales and set your goals around your weight, let me help you look at some more accurate and effective approaches. Weighing yourself does exactly what is says on the tin - weighs you. However it doesn’t differentiate what it is weighing - fat, water, muscle etc. If you are wanting to lose weight, what you are actually wanting to lose is fat, and build lean muscle which gives you toned arms, legs etc. Did you know that muscle weighs more than fat? Throw hydration levels into the mix and you have another element that can affect your weight. The more hydrated you are, the more water you have in your body, and therefore the more you weigh which is no bad thing. So if weighing can give you unclear results, what are your other options?
Body fat measuring
The gold star on measuring how your fat loss and toning are going is to measure your fat. The most effective way of doing this is with expensive equipment in a lab, so not an option for most of us. However you can also measure body fat using callipers, they look like big clips that are used to measure your fat by gentle gathering it in certain areas. However, the person measuring has to be properly trained and have recorded a significant number of measurements before they become consistently accurate. What about the body fat scales I hear you ask? Well they can be effective, but again you need to have paid out well over £150 for accurate scales, and then be very strict on hydration levels, exercise timing, eating, alcohol etc to get accurate readings.
Measuring by tape
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to measure your fat is to measure around the areas you want to lose it - so mid arm, hips, chest, waist and thigh. If you lose fat, your measurements will lower. However, if you don’t have much to lose, you may lose fat and build lean muscle, so get the same measurement but have actually achieved your goal.
I know we see them all the time and think it is a con, but taking side on and frontal photos is a highly effective way to see instantly if you have lost fat and toned up. It is best done in undies or skin tight clothing as you will get the best results that way.
So what is the best way to measure where you are now, and further down the line, if you are heading in the right direction? Simply doing a combined approach -
- Weekly jumping on the scales first thing in the morning
- 4-6 weekly side on and front on full body selfies
- 4-6 weekly tape measuring
This way you will have an accurate full picture approach to measuring yourself, that you can redo every month to 6 weeks, making sure you are heading down the right path!!