For many of us, weight loss has been a goal of ours at one point or another. And with that, many of us have taken the number on a scale way too seriously at times.
But, the truth is, what’s on the scale is far from the only number that matters when it comes to weight loss. Here, we’re exploring all the methods that should be part of the equation when working to meet your weight loss goals.
You might be surprised how much your waist measurements start to shrink once you embark on a weight loss journey. It’s where many of us carry stubborn weight and using your waist measurements to check-in can often be more indicative of your results than your weight.
It’s also a good indicator of your overall health since a bloated belly could signal other problems in your gut. In short, your waist is a great way to measure your success.
As much as we don’t want to solely focus on the number on the scale, your weight measurement does matter.
If you’re looking to lose a lot of weight, chances are, you’ll see a large decrease in your weight at first. But, if you’re already fit or you’ve been steadily losing weight for a while, you might notice that your weight is no longer dropping, or that it’s increased!
You’ve probably heard that muscle weighs more than fat - and it’s true. When building muscle, you might start to weigh more but you’ll be physically leaner. Plus, especially for women, hormonal changes can cause your weight to vary widely. So, when using a scale, avoid doing so every morning.
Take your waist measurements to the next level by using your waist to hip ratio. By using the dimensions of your own unique body to keep track of your weight loss results, it’s an effective tool that’s personalized for you.
Instead of aiming for your waist measurement to be a specific number, aim for a healthy waist-hip ratio, which is usually under 0.90 for men and 0.85 for women.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Although your BMI is another imperfect measurement, it takes your height into account as a tool for gauging weight loss. To calculate your BMI, you’ll divide your weight in kg by your height in meters squared (weight/height^2).
- Less than 18.5 = underweight
- 18.5 - 24.9 = healthy weight
- 25 - 29.9 = overweight
- Over 30 = obese
Again, these calculations are imperfect, but it’s another number you can take into account.
Body Fat Percentage
Finally, one of the most reliable ways to track weight loss is by measuring your body fat percentage.
It measures the excess fat in your body without measuring your muscle. Measuring body fat percentage keeps you motivated since, hopefully, the amount of fat you’ll lose will continue to go down, even if your weight in muscle mass is going up.
For women, a healthy body fat percentage is around 21 to 14 and for men, it’s around 14 to 17.