The Best Way to Track Your Progress: The Scale vs. Body Fat

The Scale vs. Body FatBeing on a weight loss program is hard work.  You work your tail off at the gym, eat healthy, feel healthy, and may brag a little with a selfie here and there on Facebook.  When it comes to tracking the progress; however, how do you report the good versus the bad?  Given there are many aspects and many accomplishments you can publish to social media online, two of the most common ways to track or report weight loss is through body weighing and through body composition analysis.

The Best Way to Track Your Progress: The Scale vs. Body Fat

When it comes to tracking your progress, one aspect you ought to consider is your overall goals.  Your tracking method may vary depending on your goals because attempting to lose simply body weight versus leaning up and losing a few pounds could be completely different for each individual.  If you are on a weight loss program, consider the two methods below for a more thorough discussion on which method is best for tracking and reporting your progress in your program.

Body Weight Tracking using the Scale

Tracking body weight is easy to do on the scale.  In fact, tracking your body weight on the scale is the most cost-effective thing you can do to track your weight.  Some studies have even found that daily weighing is beneficial for weight loss.  This is one of the most common forms of monitoring weight loss programs because it is often looked only as pounds off, which is one dimensional.  The great thing about scale progress is that you can do it at home in the comfort of your home, which is why this method is great for those looking to lose more than 10-15 pounds.  One thing to consider when using the scale method is to weigh during the same time during the day because many variables such as stomach filling, hydration, and temperature/humidity all play a factor.

Body Fat Analysis for Progress

One great aspect about losing weight is that you are losing fat, ideally.  Fat is unattractive, unhealthy, and it makes everything fit tight, especially in those hard to target areas.  With any weight loss program, it is beneficial to measure body fat before the program and after.  Getting a starting point body composition analysis will make the program more effective because it will be very goal specific.  In addition, a body fat analysis will also describe what is going on in your body; more importantly what lean mass and fat mass you have.  Tracking this area of your program is most effective for a wide range of individuals including anyone looking to lose weight, get leaner, or for any individual looking to increase muscle mass.  Most body fat analysis testing is simple to perform and is accurate.

The Verdict and Challenge

Continuing with your weight loss program will be a great endeavor.  Consider the first option for tracking weight loss by having a body fat analysis test.  Skin caliper testing is a cheap, effective, and fast way to have your body fat monitored to see if your weight loss is due to fat loss or due to lean mass.  Check to see if your gym offers body fat analysis and consider having this once per month.  Having a body fat analysis will ensure the weight you are losing is the correct weight.  A new trend is when individuals lose pounds from the scale, feel good, but have a body fat analysis only to find they still need to lose four to five percent fat to stay healthy.  This concept of “normal body weight obesity” is a trend that dieticians and exercise physiologists warn against [1].  If you are looking to monitor and track your progress, consider the body fat method first and use the scale once per month as a quick-look method.  Challenge yourself to avoid seeing what the scale tells you and consider what the skin calipers during a body fat analysis tell you instead.  Social media would much rather hear you lost five percent body fat over the past three months rather than hear you lost 10 pounds of muscle.






About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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