BEFORE YOU BEGIN

The success to any diet is organisation, in fact success in life is down to organisation. If you are clear about what you are doing, why you are doing it and you’ve prepared yourself every step of the way, the goal just seems to be within sight. And weight loss is exactly the same. – Anna Richardson


What size are you….really?
Body measurements are a very good way to monitor your muscle gain or weight loss. The measurements of girth of various areas of your body will help pinpoint exactly where you are gaining or losing the most weight. These measurements will also allow you to track which muscles are responding to the types of exercise you are performing, and will allow you to tweak your exercise program to target the muscles that are not showing dramatic results.

Step 1
Stand facing your partner with your legs slightly spread, arms at your side. Have your partner start by measuring your neck using the measuring tape. Line the tape up to measure the largest part of the neck, making sure it goes directly across the Adam's apple. William Sukala, MS, CSCS, personal trainer of Weightwatchers.com, says "Make sure the tape measure is even. A crooked tape gives crooked readings." Record your measurement on paper or in a journal.

Step 2
Raise your arms out to the sides and ask your partner to measure your chest. He will want to measure directly across the nipple line, making sure the tape is smooth and even across the back. Lower your arms and continue to breathe normally. Take the reading at mid-breath.

Step 3
Measure your abdomen by placing the tape directly over your belly button. Sukala advises you to "take measurements between meals. This will ensure your stomach is not distended and falsely increasing the reading".

Step 4
Measure your waist by locating your "natural waist". It is usually located about 6cm above your hip bone, but can be found visually by looking for the smallest point below the breastbone and above the belly button. Tom Venuto, personal trainer for burnthefat.com, says the waist measurement is an important one "because when your waist circumference is going down, you know your overall body fat is going down".

Step 5
Measure your hips by locating the widest point across the buttocks. Make sure your legs are not spread too wide, or you risk getting a false reading of the hips.

Step 6
Spread your legs wider so your partner can easily measure your thigh. Measure the thigh at the widest point, which is usually located just below the buttocks.

Step 7
Extend one arm to the side and bend your elbow to a 90 degree angle. Flex your bicep to create a muscle, and have your partner measure your upper arm at the largest point of the bicep muscle.

Tips and Warnings
Wear a swimsuit or only undergarments when performing the measurements for the most accurate results. Write down measurements bi-weekly or monthly to track your weight loss progress. Line up your tape measure at the exact same spot each time. It's a good idea to use a protruding bone or permanent mark on the skin to remember where you lined up the tape for each body part.

Don't pull the measuring tape too tight, as this will result in a false reading.

Things You'll Need
A partner
Measuring tape
Pen or pencil
Paper
 


References


Take photos
One great way to track your progress with your weight loss program is to take before and after photos. As much as you might hate the thought of getting your picture taken, the differences you will see can motivate you to even higher weight loss goals. And those “before” photos can be a huge wake-up call!

After the shoot
Upload the photos to your computer and place them in a folder marked with the date. I set up my file folder system like this: Weight Loss/Pictures/ and then have individual folders named by date. If you don’t track your measurements anywhere else, create a document listing the date, weight and your measurements.

How often you take “after” photos is up to you. I’d recommend once a month, and then on the last day of any challenge you’re doing. I like to do 12 week challenges, so I’ll take photos every 4 weeks. Take the pictures in the same spot and under the same circumstances, wearing the same clothes, if possible.

So, that’s how to take before and after photos to track your weight loss. Go ahead and take those photos — you’ll be glad you did after losing the weight

The importance of weighing yourself before you diet

You must step on these before you diet!

It may seem obvious that you must weigh yourself before you start dieting. However, many people ‘diet’ habitually, and habitually never weigh themselves.

It may come as no surprise that these people are generally unsuccessful in losing weight. This is because of avoidance. By avoiding the scales, they avoid the perceived pain of facing up to how much they really weigh.

If you’re one of these people, you may find that avoiding learning the truth about your weight leads to many other avoidances too.



 

 



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