You wake up one day and you want a stunning body. You rise full of belief and determination. You decide to transform your health and train flat out all week and eat nothing but spinach and carrot sticks for 5 days and you’re so excited, you’re losing a pound a day. The story in your head tells you that you are going to look sensational and stunning. To celebrate you indulge on the weekend and lo and behold the scales has added number you hadn’t seen before. Dejected the diet and exercise gets cast aside.
There is a maxim ‘that which gets measured gets improved’ and this is no more so true for when training and trying to lose weight. Let’s say you do 31 press ups this week then next week you are going to push yourself for 32 or more and nothing less is going to satisfy you. Customarily though we automatically hop on a scale to monitor our progress on a weight loss program. Which is a fine method should you lose some weight every time you get on the scales. As you well know this is not always the case.
Scales don’t tell the whole story and can be counterproductive to weight loss and fitness. On a scales we have a target that we think we ‘should be’. This ‘should be’ creates a struggle / war in your mind. Every time you get on a scales and you are over your target it gives you a proverbial kick in the solar plexus and diminishes your determination.
There are several ways that you can log your progress without ever using a weighing scales...
The first thing you could do is take a picture of yourself in a swimming suit or underwear standing in front of the mirror and then sideways. You might not want to stick this in the family album but adding a picture once every month into a secure file on the computer can motivate you and keep an objective view about the whole process.
The next way of logging your progress is to take a picture of every meal that you eat. Yes, everything that you eat daily. Habitually we just graze our way through the day. We never stop top think what we are eating. But having to stop and take a picture of each meal forces us to think about our food and subconsciously you begin to make healthier food choices. We’ll call this the ‘flash diet’.
How to measure body measurements without using weight.
Take measurements: Take a measurement once every month of
Widest part of bicep
Waits (taken at top of hip bone)
Hips (taken at widest part of the buttocks)
Thigh – half way down your thigh where the leg is widest.
Take a body fat percentage. One method is to use callipers but you will need to use a formula which is easily found on the internet. The other method is to use a body fat scales. This is my preferred method and you can easily source these online. The only issues are that these machines can be very inaccurate in terms of giving a true reading. However, if you use only the same machine every time you take a measurement then you it is not the reading that is important but the ration of fat to muscle that is important.
There are a few guidelines to taking body fat measurements if using a machine. These include
Take the measurements once a month
Take it in the same conditions every month. If you had a dry weekend this month and had a very indulgent weekend next month then the you will be reading a lot of water retention etc.
Do the readings on an empty stomach after awakening.
For Women use the machine only a week after you period. Women’s body is different to men’s in that they retain more water. This is nature’s way of protecting a foetus should one be created. Women also have more enzymes to store fat than men do. Oestrogen also is a catalyst for storing more fat around the buttocks and thighs. Yeah you say. Because women’s bodies fluctuate so much it is important to take the measurements at the same time every month and never in the two weeks prior to a period.
The above are guidelines and integrate what you feel would be right for your program. Now tell me what works for you?.
Have you lost weight and kept it off.
Have you achieved the body you really want and how did you get there?.
As always may you experience the highest expression of human health.
And remember FOOD IS OUR MEDICINE, It always has been.