written by: Nem
Whether your goal is to lose weight, lose body fat, tone or gain muscle, it’s advisable to incorporate some form of progress tracking. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether we are actually making any progress and often times we are not the best judge of our progress.
Extreme examples of this would be conditions like muscle dysmorphia (constant worry of being too small) and anorexia (constant worry of not being thin or small enough), where patients have a highly distorted mental image of their body size.
So having some kind of objective information will help you make better-informed decisions and probably give you a more realistic view of your progress.
With our TO Kinesiology clients, we’ll incorporate at least two of the following methods to track body changes:
Each of these methods have their pros and cons. By combining these methods together, they complement each other and gives us a complete picture of what is going on. For someone who has a lot of weight to lose (30-40+ lbs), this is not as important because the change will be faster and more obvious, but for every other case, the use of multiple progress tracking methods becomes more important.
The value of the photos is their ability to show changes in a very visual and ‘real’ way. Being able to see progress over time can be very useful for motivation and gives us a more objective measurement compared to just seeing your reflection in the mirror every day.
Take photos from the front, back, and sides against a plain white wall in good lighting, while being as consistent as possible with your positioning.
Make sure you wear as little as possible as this will make your shots easier to compare. For men, I would suggest wearing just underwear or shorts. For women, I would highly recommend small shorts and a cut off sports bra top.
Measure your body weight in the morning after going to the toilet. Wear little or no clothes. Bodyweight will naturally fluctuate day to day due to factors other than body fat/muscle changes so it’s important to measure yourself as often as possible and take weekly averages as opposed to relying on just one measurement.
Similar to body weight measurement, try to keep the measuring conditions the same. This means doing the measurements:
- at the same time of the day (ideally in the morning after you go to the toilet),
- performed by the same person,
- using the same tape and,
- performed on the same side of the body.
Try to apply the same pressure when wrapping tape around the body or better yet buy constant-pressure tape like Myotape/Orbitape.
With our clients, we usually use these 8 sites, but you can adjust depending on what you are specifically trying to improve: