Do you ever feel like you are trying hard to lose weight, but the scale isn't budging? What could be wrong? Do you ever feel like you're the only one you know that fights so hard to lose every pound? It can be discouraging. I'll offer you some hope.
The scale is only one measure of progress. To get a complete picture of where you stand, you need to look at some other factors.
Measurements. It's great to keep track of your body measurements, they can give you hope even when the scale doesn't. The following graphic shows where to take your measurements, and you can take them again "after" for comparison.
You might want to get some help, as some measurements are harder to take yourself. I suggest measuring yourself every two weeks, that's what I did when I was losing a lot of weight, and it really helped me gauge my progress.
Body Fat. This one is tougher, but you can do it. Better than a target weight is a target body fat percentage, as shown in the following chart.
By this chart you can see that on average, women should be in the 18-28% range, and men in the 16-26% range. How do you measure body fat percentage? One way is to just look at the following pictures, and see which one best matches your current physical shape:
There are some home weight scales that also give you an idea of body fat percentage. I wouldn't believe them much, since they can vary greatly in what they report, depending on time of day and how much water you are retaining. But if you want a general idea, measure yourself at the same time and day each week.
You can buy a cheap set of calipers. You use these to measure a skin fold and it gives you a rough idea of your body fat percentage, within a few percent.
There are a few more sophisticated and accurate methods, you can look here for more information.
Waist Size. The good Dr. Oz says:
If you’re sporting a large waistline, your risk of dying prematurely is nearly double. The reason is because belly fat, often fondly referred to as a spare tire or a beer gut – sends out a toxic stream of chemicals impacting the whole body.
Take your waist size once each month with a measuring tape.
Measure at your natural waistline, which is above your hipbone and below the ribcage – not where your belt lies or around your hips. Be mindful of your posture and suck in your stomach since the fat you’re measuring is deep inside the belly.
A waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men greatly increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and more.
The "ideal" waist size for women is 32 ½ inches and 35 inches for men.
How Do Your Clothes Fit? Besides just the waist, how do the rest of your clothes fit? Are they pretty loose or tight? If they are getting looser, even if the scale isn't budging, it's a good sign that you are losing inches in the right places.
Don't get frustrated with the scale, it's trying to perform a specific purpose. You just need to consider several other factors as you gauge your weight loss progress.