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Tools To Track Weight and Progress
I recommend a combination of the following simple methods and tools to track weight:-
Tools To Track Weight – Weighing Scales
Benefits of using weighing scales to track body recomposition
Use of scales is cheap, easy and convenient. It provides an easy way to find out where you are in terms of progress.
Disadvantages to using scales to track body recomposition
Scales don’t provide the whole story!
You may see a weight loss and think that is a positive but you need to consider whether this is a loss of just fat or is also a loss of muscle. It is not desireable to lose muscle mass. Lean muscle aids in fat loss by increasing our overall daily calorie burn. This is covered in depth in our article on Energy Balance.
Beware scales don’t indicate if weight changes are a result of fat or muscle loss!
Recommended approach to using scales to track progress
I recommend weighing weekly, at the same time of day and wearing the same clothes each week. Personally, my approach is to use the extra time I have on weekends for this. First thing Saturday morning, I use the bathroom, strip off to my night time shorts and hop onto the scales. This provides a consistent set of variables so I get a more accurate reading.
Tools To Track Weight – Regular Progress Pictures
Benefits of using pictures to track body recomposition
With most smart phones having cameras, this is a simple, quick and easy way of tracking progress. Whilst you may not be spotting the changes on a day to day basis, visual progress recorded over weeks and months can be a great way to see how far you’ve progressed.
Tools To Track Weight – The Mirror
Benefits of using the mirror to track body recomposition
The mirror is a great way of monitoring the subtle changes that occur when you take a journey of body recomposition. Not to mention the satisfaction you can feel in seeing yourself morph into the person you want to be!
Tools To Track Weight – Key Point Measurements
Benefits of measuring key points
Taking bi-weekly measurements of key body points we can easily monitor and see where the weight changes are occurring. This provides either confirmation of the correct outcome or a warning that size / weight is being lost.
Disadvantages to measuring key points
Can be fiddly to achieve measurement of certain points on your own body.
Takes a few minutes to take and record the measurements.
Tools To Track Weight – Body Fat Callipers
Benefits of using body fat callipers to track body recomposition
The callipers are cheap to buy and offer an easy way to ascertain whether you are losing just fat or also losing muscle in the process. As covered in our Energy Balance article, muscle loss is not desireable. The callipers are quick and simple to use and come with instructions to allow a weekly single body point to be measured.
Disadvantages to using body fat callipers to track body recomposition
Unfortunately, as you get leaner and leaner, it becomes more and more difficult to use callipers to get an accurate assessment of body fat %. However, anything above 10% body fat can be easily measured and tracked using them.
Recommended approach to using body fat callipers
I personally measure my body fat on a bi-weekly basis. It provides a great way to build upon the information that the scales are providing and to make sure I am not losing my hard earned muscle gains!
Tools To Track Weight – How Clothes Fit
This provides feedback on how the other measurements are playing out and should be used as a simple confirmation of what the others are telling you.
Using all of the above methods will ensure you correctly track progress without missing anything.