Take All Your Weight Off The Scale by Denise B. Povernick
A scale is a powerful tool. When you’re losing weight, it’s exciting to see those numbers go down. Unfortunately for most people on a weight loss journey, the scale is the only measurement used to track progress.
The scale should only be one indicator of weight loss and fitness progress, not the only indicator. If you used this logic to run a business, using only one measuring tool of your business’ success, you would not be able to assess your return on investment. Your results would be skewed. Add the other indicators mention below to the scale measurement and assess the totality of their data to determine your fitness and health progress.
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Other Ways to Track Weight Loss Success
1. Take Multiple Measurements of Multiple Body Parts Weekly.
Consider tracking your body measurements. Grab a measuring tape and picking a few body parts to measure. At Innerstrength University, we take the following measurements of our clients weekly if on our Personalized Nutrition Plan and monthly if in our Personal Training Programs. We measure your neck, shoulders, chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves and biceps.
To download a free copy of the Body Measurement Location Worksheet, join our InnerStrength_U Fit & Healthy Tribe on Facebook. We have several downloadable tracking tools located there to help you track your progress.
2. Take Progress Photos.
Take photos of yourself — ideally wearing the same outfit, standing the same way, and in the same place, with the same lighting — once a month if just exercising or every week if following a nutrition program. Choose an outfit with the least amount of coverage that you feel comfortable wearing. The more skin you can see, the easier to detect the changes. At InnerStrength we take pictures of the front, back and both side profiles in a relaxed position.
3. Track your Morning Resting Heart Rate.
Morning heart rate — also known as a resting heart rate — derives its name from the time of day it occurs. Before getting out of bed after an evening of sleep, the heart beats an average of 60 to 80 times per minute, according to the American Heart Association. A low morning heart rate indicates good cardiovascular health and optimal heart function efficiency.
To determine your morning heart rate, you will need a stopwatch (on your smartphone) and using simple math before leaving the comfort of your bed. Once you open your eyes, stay laying down. (sitting up or moving around can instantly raise your heart rate.) Find your pulse either under your chin on your neck or on your wrist. Once you found your pulse set the timer for 10 seconds and count the number of beats during the 10 seconds. Once you have that number, multiply the number by 6 and this will give you your Resting Heart Rate beats per minute.
Note: Do not use a heart rate monitor on an exercise or step tracking devise worn around your wrist. They do not give proper heart rate readings.
4. Do a Baseline test.
Baseline testing consists of doing a challenge or exercise and marking down your results, then returning to that challenge in four weeks to retest. When you first start Personal Training with us at InnerStrength we measure 1-minute baselines in the following bodyweight exercises: 1-mile treadmill walk, plank, wall sit, 1 leg balance, sit-ups, pull-ups, and pushups.
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5. Do an Assessment of a Daily Activity.
Check in with yourself when you’re doing the things you already do every day — pushing a shopping cart, loading groceries into the car, playing with your kids or walking up that flight of stairs — and compare how you feel today to how you felt a month or two ago.
Did you have to stop your activity? Does the activity leave you winded? We suggest using a 1 – 5 scale in assessing: 1 – did not complete or had to stop activity 2 – finished activity but it was a struggle 3 – activity completed neutral 4 activity completed difference noticed 5 activity completed with ease with extra energy to spare.
6. Try on Your Old Clothes.
You can lose fat yet the scale can stay the same if you are putting on muscle. Muscle takes up less room than fat. This is why your body measurement swill shrink each week even if the scale does not move. Keep track of a pair of pants of a favorite shirt. Write down the date and progress or take pictures of how the clothes item fits.
During my initial 80 lb weight loss back ion 2009, I had a pair of jean shorts that I could not initially pull over my thighs. The next month, I could pull the shorts over my thighs, but I could not zipper. The third month, I could zipper but it was tight and uncomfortable. The fourth month, the shorts fit perfectly but I know these shorts were not my goal size. The fifth month the shorts were loose. Finally the sixth month, the shorts fell off my body.
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The more indicators you use consistently, the better understanding of your results you will receive. Once you receive your results and you can look back over your data collection process, the easier it will be to fine tune and course correct as you determine your next steps on your healthy weight loss and fitness journey.
Stay tuned for PART 2 of this series!
PS: Have you joined our 2018 Holiday Fitness Challenge? Check out the info or register HERE