Even if you have the greatest diet and workout plan created specifically for your needs, you still need to monitor your fitness progress. While I like to think I can provide that plan for you, I also know that everyone’s body is different, so monitoring a plan can provide information like when to push ahead in the same manner, when to make some changes to tweak the workout and when something’s gone dramatically wrong with the program I provided. Lots of times, when looked at closely, it’s because of food eaten absentmindedly and not considered or workouts skipped. Having a plan to monitor your progress keeps you accountable and provides me with important information to help you even more.
Sticking with my fitness tracker and customized nutrition plan shows you’ve followed the plan.
I like a two way tracking. One is to show how well you’ve stuck with the program and the other is the results you’ve had. That’s why I’ve built in both types of tracking to my program in the Elite plan. However, there are other ways to check results. I like the clothing method, as some of you already know. Buy an article of clothing that’s too tight or doesn’t fit right and workout until it does. It’s a real life type of result your seeing and doesn’t require scales.
Check your BMI or body composition.
There are lots of ways to check your body mass index—BMI—or body composition. For BMI, some of them are hand held gadgets you can buy others may be part of the program on those health machines that take your weight, blood pressure and heart rate near the pharmacy in some grocery stores, drug stores and retail mega chains. The BMI gives a good picture of whether your workout and dietary plan of healthy eating is helping you and far better than just weight alone. If you’ve reduced your BMI significantly, but not lost a ton of weight, don’t worry, you’re on the right road. For body composition, you can go formal, with methods from submerging in water for hydrostatic weighing, skin calipers or an app to do it.
Measuring your circumference is not only a key to fitness, but also good health.
Visceral fat, that nasty fat that load up your middle, is the most unhealthy type of fat because it crowds your organs. It’s also the hardest fat to lose. While all those other methods of measuring body fat are important, to be healthy, shedding those pounds around the middle is top priority and also the key to looking great. When your measurements around your belly start to get smaller, you’re definitely getting fitter.
- Remember sometimes scales don’t give the whole picture. They may not show the results of your effort because muscle mass weighs more than fat per cubic inch. If you’ve built muscle, lost sizes and become slimmer and trimmer, it doesn’t always show on the scales.
- Log your progress. Keeping a journal that not only tells your workout, but also tells whether the workout was difficult can help show your progress.
- Create a revealing photo gallery. Take it in a swimsuit or shorts so you can see the progress, especially around the middle. Take a new one every few weeks, posing the same way with the distance from the camera to get the best comparison.
- While it’s not as scientific as the others, pinch-an-inch is still a good way to gauge your progress. Loose skin due to weight loss can make a difference, but for those that need to shed much weight, the amount between your fingers will be less and less as you get fitter.