I just recently did a 21 Day Sugar Detox. Twenty-one days of no sugar, and minimal fruit. Lots of veggies & healthy meats & fats plus some great healthy carbs. Guess how much weight I lost… 0 … well actually according to my scale I GAINED .2 lbs. Yeah. But you know what I did lose: INCHES. Including 1.25″ from just my stomach area. Now I could have been discouraged because the scale didn’t move, but the measurements tell the story. Fact is, I also upped my exercise and started drinking even more water. Both of which can account for extra weight. You know…from not being dehydrated. Drink your water!!
I share this story to tell you that: Weight is not everything! It is a small portion of a much larger picture of what health truly is. Click To Tweet
That said, I think weighing yourself can be a great data point when tracking how your fitness level is progressing. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. We’ll get to scales & weight in a moment, though.
Measurements are a fantastic way to see the progress when the scale isn’t moving. I recommend them to anyone starting a new diet and/or fitness routine. You can gain so much muscle, and lose fat but see hardly a move on the scale (or see it go up). But measurements tell the real story. I recommend measuring at least your chest/bust, the largest part of your waist (generally around the belly button) and your hips. I take additional measurements where I typically see change such as my upper chest (under arm pits, around the chest), my actual waistline (where it dips in mid torso), my waist at my belt line, and my thighs. But you do what works for you. You might also like to add a bicep and calf measurement. Don’t obsess about this though. Take measurements, record them somewhere with a date, and then put that measuring tape out of site for a month. Like weight, measurements in some areas can vary throughout the month (hello belly bloating!). It’s best not to over measure. Give it time.
Revamping your diet with more veggies and less processed food can have a profound effect on your sleep patterns. Additionally, adding in exercise can help as well. A great way to measure this is using a sleep tracker. I personally love my Fitbit. It is great for tracking your steps and in some models, heart rate, but also for sleep tracking! It’s quite eye-opening to see what is really going on when you think you’ve gotten a great night’s sleep but still seem to be dragging later on. I have the Fitbit One myself, though I don’t think they make this anymore. The Alta is a great affordable option, as is the Charge 2. In my dreams I own the Ionic!
To put it simply – healthy eating and exercise give you so much more energy! I don’t have a physical way for you to measure this other than how great it makes you feel!
And finally, weight. It’s really easy for people to get hung up on weight, especially if you’ve been working at weight loss for a long time. At some point, weighing can be kind of an obsessive habit though. I do believe there is a place for weighing in recording progress, but I do not recommend daily weighing for most people. In even a week’s time, your weight can fluctuate by several pounds up and down. Yes SEVERAL POUNDS. Weighing yourself, and then again 2 days later may show a 2 lb loss. But then 2 days after that a 3 lb gain, and then a few days later a 3 lb loss again. Whereas if you weighed in, and then a week later, all you’d see was a 2 lb loss. Instead, you rode that rollercoaster of emotions about how you must be doing something wrong, or beating yourself up for missing that workout, etc. I give you permission to stop! I don’t recommend weighing more than weekly – and even better, monthly. I don’t think daily weighing is an accurate representation of your food & fitness effort.
In addition to weight, body composition is a great way to see what’s happening on the inside. Finding your body fat percentage and tracking that can give a good picture of that internal health. There are some fantastic ways like Bod Pods to get a true reading on this, but many personal trainers can also use calipers to measure this for you as well. There are also sites like Active that have calculators based on a few measurements. This site also has a nice chart showing suggested body fat ranges. One other way you can measure body fat is with a scale that measures this.
I was recently sent an EatSmart Precision Getfit Digital Bodyfat Scale to try. I have never had a scale that measures body fat but I was curious how it would work and if it would seem accurate. According to EatSmart’s site, this is how it works:
BIA (Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis) technology allows you to easily calculate your body fitness by imputing information of gender, height, age, activity level and your weight. In bare feet, this technology sends a low-level electrical signal though your body fat and then measures the resistance the signal encounters. This signal is perfectly safe and will not be felt.
So fancy! I loved that it customized your experience by using your height, age, and gender to make it more accurate. The scale lets you save up to 8 profiles. When you step on, it auto detects which profile it is so that it has the stats you entered previously. It measures not only weight and body fat %, but also total body water %, muscle mass, and bone mass.
I have never had my body fat % done before but I have taken a guess based on images like this:
Also, to get another opinion, I used the Active calculator and my measurements to compare those results. The results are all very similar! In fact, the % the scale showed for me was about .8% different than what the measurements told me. Since I don’t have a more official measurement, I can’t say with 100% accuracy that this is correct, but it does seem pretty accurate.
The picture below shows part of its ability to store multiple profiles. It automatically detects your profile based on your weight. In the case, my one daughter & are similar enough in weight that it asks us to choose which of us it is.
I was very happy with how the scale worked. I did multiple tests in a row and the results are very consistent. The only downside to this scale is the shiny glass finish. Don’t get me wrong, its beautiful! But stepping on it barefoot (as required to measure anything but weight) leaves feet marks and smudges. So if you have it sitting out in your bathroom, it may need a more frequent wipe down to keep it looking nice. Another bonus is that its pretty affordable as well. Selling currently for just under $40 on Amazon. But EatSmart is sponsoring a giveaway to all my readers – you can win one of these Getfit scales for yourself! I’m hosting this contest both on the blog AND on my Instagram. You can get entries at both places! So make sure you enter here and then head over to Instagram to enter an additional time.
I know that was a lot of information! But to be honest, I love numbers & statistics! I keep an Excel spreadsheet of my measurements going back like 15 years. It’s pretty interesting to look at my health & fitness journey over time. While weight is always on there, I pretty much always find myself looking at those measurements more than anything. What a story they can tell!