Obesity

Tips to Make Tracking Weight Loss Easy

More than half of the adult American population is overweight. There are 40 million obese people and 3 million morbidly obese people in the United States alone. Reversing weight gain can be very difficult. Reaching and recording little milestones along the way can motivate you toward your ultimate goal. Tracking incremental weight loss is an important component of your pursuit, but your success or failure should not hang entirely on the scale. Instead, use a variety of measurements, including circumference measurements and your clothing size.

Weiging scale

Tips to make tracking weight loss easy

1. Track body fat along with weight

Percentage of body fat lost may be even more important than pounds lost. There is a difference between weight gain from fat and weight gain from increased muscle mass. Athletes may be “overweight” but have only 8 percent body fat. In fact, the muscle tone that you build by working out can cause some confusion on the scale. Even though you may be shedding pounds of fat, the additional muscle mass might be hiding your losses on the scale. By tracking the composition of your body you can more clearly see increases in lean mass and decreases in fat mass

2. Maintain a food and exercise log

Keep a journal, a food log, or a spreadsheet to record the details of every morsel you eat. Use standard serving sizes to make it easy to quantify the calories you are deriving from food. Similarly, learn to quantify your efforts at the gym into approximate calories burned. There are a lot of online tools to help you calculate your calorie burn. By tracking both your food intake and exercise habits, you’ll be able to see where you are succeeding and where you still need to make some changes.

3. Weigh yourself regularly

It is important to weigh yourself regularly and record your progress. If you like, you can create a chart of your weigh-in data to establish a pattern. You will easily be able to see when you are steadily losing weight, gaining weight or stuck in a plateau.

4. Weigh yourself at the same time

Several factors influence your daily body weight fluctuations. Your weight will go up and down during the day depending on when you last ate, how well-hydrated you are and when you last slept. To create an accurate picture of your weight-loss progress, weigh yourself at the same time each day.

References

Weight-control Information Network; Getting on Track: Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for Men;
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/PDFs/Getting_on_Track.pdf

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH;
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf

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