You’ve worked really hard at getting to the gym (or moving in your living room!); you resisted that cupcake at the office party; you avoided fast food even though your stomach is grumbling and eat something healthier when you get home. You are super proud of yourself this week. You checked off all of the boxes on your list. So when you step on the scale waiting for those numbers to reflect a job well done, you are disappointed that they stay the same. Or worse, go up.
It’s ok! It happens. And it’s not necessarily a bad sign. So don’t give up. While the numbers on the scale tell us a lot, when it comes to your weight loss journey there is something that can be a little more motivating than just the number on the scale. Do you know what it is?
The numbers on your measuring tape! You’ve heard that muscle weighs more than fat, so sometimes the scale may not change as much as you would like it to (or in the direction you would like it to), but you are in fact, getting smaller. (Or if you are trying to bulk up, getting bigger!) A measuring tape will show you your measurements in a way that the scale can’t.
If you are working on getting healthy this year or trying to lose a few pounds, this is in my opinion, the best way to track! (PS. Have you joined our free Facebook group? You will get monthly fitness challenges – for all levels, as well as monthly challenges, tips, tricks, accountability, giveaways, contests and a great community to talk about your goals of getting healthy!)
How To Take Your Body Measurements
- When taking measurements, stand tall with your muscles relaxed and your feet together.
- When measuring, apply constant pressure to the tape (so it doesn’t sag) without pinching the skin.
- Use a flexible measuring tape, such as plastic or cloth. This one is my favorite!
- Measure under the same conditions each time, such as wearing the same clothes (or none at all).
- Measure yourself in front of a mirror to make sure the tape is positioned correctly. If possible, have someone else do the measuring for you.
- The place to take some of these measurements will vary slightly from person to person. To ensure accuracy, just remember to take them in the same place on your body each time.
- Track your measurements. Being able to write down your numbers and seeing the change is a huge motivation!
You can save our free printable tracker and print it from home! I like to measure 6 areas when I am tracking my weight loss: the upper arm, chest, waist, stomach, hips and upper thigh. I also do track my weight as well as inches. Some people like to track additional areas such as their neck or calf, but for me, these 6 areas are enough. I always start my sheet with my original starting point, no matter if I am 3 weeks in or 30 weeks. I think being able to see where you started from is important through your journey. At the end of the week, I total up how many inches I have lost. While it’s nice to see, 1/4 of an inch here or 1/2 of an inch there…it’s really nice to total up all of those lost inches at the end!
Here are some tips on how to take your body measurements:
- Upper arm (1) – Measure around the largest part of your arm.
- Chest (2) – Place your measuring tape right under your breasts/pecs and measure around the torso. If you are wanting to measure your bust, then the measuring tape will lay right across your nipples measuring the largest part of your chest. When the measuring tape wraps around your back make sure to keep it parallel to the floor.
- Waist (3) – You measure your waist at it’s narrowest point about half an inch above your belly button. Everyone is different, so just look for where your body naturally narrows. Before you measure, exhale your breath. You will want to measure before you inhale again.
- Stomach (4) – Many traditional trackers don’t have you measure your stomach. But for me, I’m working on losing weight and that includes the area in my stomach, so I track it. The stomach is between your waist and your hips.
- Hips (5) – Place the measuring tip around your widest part of your hips and butt keeping it parallel to the ground.
- Thigh (6) – Measure around the largest part of your upper thigh.
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And don’t forget to pin our Body Measurements Progress Tracker!