Looking back you fondly remember those days when you could seemingly keep going without stopping.
Today you have a more difficult time keeping up with your kids. As you stop and look at yourself, you wonder if you can get rid of your gut.
You’ve likely read the blogs, books, and magazines. You’ve watched the videos and listened to the experts. You know your biggest challenge is going to be motivation.
So how do you conquer the ultimate deterrent to your workouts…YOU?
We have compiled seven proven methods to measuring fitness and weight loss, that will help you stay motivated, no matter the time of year, no matter the difficulties you encounter.
Take time to examine each method and learn how to incorporate it into your life.
1) Pant Size
I bet you thought the very first method was going to be the bathroom scale, wasn’t it? In truth, the scale is very deceptive.
True, weight loss is one method to measure fitness, but it is not the most important, nor the easiest way.
A common myth is that as you become fit you are going to lose a lot of weight. While that may be true for some individuals, depending on their current weight, it is not true for everyone.
Many individuals may experience little movement on the scale. Rather, the way their clothes fit, or the reduction in clothing sizes will be far more telling.
Consider this: How much does a pound of nails weigh? How much does a pound of feathers weigh? They each weigh one pound.
However, how much mass do nails take up versus feathers? Feathers will take up more mass because nails are denser. Therefore, as you build muscle, your body become toned.
This may not reflect positively on your scale, but you will see a change in the size of your clothes.
2) Body Measurements
Along with how your clothes fit, body measurements are a good indicator of your progress. Before you begin this journey to a healthier, fitter you, take your body measurements.
Measure the following (Note: you will require some assistance with the shoulders and chest measurements):
- Shoulders (keep your arms at your sides and have someone measure around the fullest part of your shoulders)
- Chest (the ideal location is just above the nipple but with your arms down at your sides)
- Upper thighs
It is recommended that you measure not only on the same day each week, but that you also measure at the same time of day (before you exercise ideally) as well as measure the same spot on the body.
It may be difficult to measure the same spot, so you want to use “landmarks.” For example, use your Adams Apple as your reference point when measuring your neck.
3) Bathroom Selfies
Selfies are all the rage these days.
Get on the bandwagon, step in front of that full-length mirror, and snap away.
Just like your measurements, each week on the same day of the week, and preferably in the same outfit, take a selfie. Put them side by side using a photo grid app and watch yourself transform as the weeks go on.
Here are some suggestions for photo grid apps based on your mobile operating system:
iOS: Photo Grid – Collage Maker & Photo Editor by KS Mobile, Inc.
Android: Photo Grid – Collage Maker by Cheetah Mobile, Inc.
Windows: Photo Grid by BeloSoft
**Keep an eye out for another recommendation on pictures further down this list. **
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Likely you have heard of them, but perhaps you are not aware of how incredibly useful they are. Body fat calipers do just what you think they do, they measure body fat.
The best way to measure your own body fat (not requiring any assistance) is to measure your waist.
Pull out a fold of skin (along with the layer of fat) and place the caliper jaws about a ¼ inch onto the fold of skin.
Either Google ™ a body fat chart, or find a smartphone app to find out your body fat percentage.
Take the measurement at the same time, on the same day, and on the same body place each week and document the numbers.
** The certified trainers at New Wave Fitness prefer to focus on our successful in-home personal training techniques to assist our clients with tracking their success.
As such, we choose not to use calipers. Having said that, we fully recognize that calipers are a popular tracking method used. Therefore we felt it only right to include them in our list of proven methods to measuring fitness and weight loss.
5) Track your Workouts
You start your workout regimen hardcore, working out every day.
Then you have an unexpected appointment come up and you skip one day. The next week you have a day you didn’t sleep well so you cut your routine in half. And on it goes until you are back in the routine of not working out.
That is why tracking your workout is such a great motivator.
Writing out in pen and ink (or using a smartphone app) will help you see how far you have come in such a short amount of time.
This will make you less likely to “slack off” as it were.
6) Keep a food journal
Along with tracking your workout routines, you want to track your food and beverage intake.
How easy it is to forget something you ate or drank. Or downplay how much you actually consumed.
Further, write down what you consume immediately. Don’t wait until the end of the day or the end of the week. Doing so will surely mean you miss something.
7) The Scale
Last, and perhaps least, is the bathroom scale.
Watching those numbers go down is encouraging, but it is not the best tool in your arsenal.
When combined with the above six tools, it will eventually tell the story the others are already telling you.
Having an article to read is great, having an infographic to print and post in your workout location, bathroom mirror or refrigerator is even better.
We’ve put together this infographic for your personal use.
Consider a wall calendar, or a whiteboard for keeping track of your workouts.
Use this same medium to keep track of your measurements, clothing sizes, and weight. When you can see how the workouts actually relate to your increasing fitness you will be motivated more than ever to keep going at it strong.
Journals are also a great way to keep track of your progress. Consider either http://www.fitday.com/ or https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ to track your ongoing progress. Both sites offer either PC or mobile applications for tracking.
Also, print out your selfies, and each week, you should also publish the pictures with your measurements, weight, and body fat percentage underneath.
As the weeks progress, you will find your pictures looking slimmer and your measurements becoming smaller.
As humans, we are very visual creatures. Always having these visual motivators in front of us will naturally help us to stay on track.