So you’ve decided you want to lose weight…
Whether thats to look good on the beach, pose for a photo shoot, or just generally lose a few pounds to fit into a nice pair of jeans/dress.
Alongside dieting and training you need to assess progress along the way to ensure that you’re on track to reach your goal. In this post i’m going to be share The 5 Best Ways To Asses Fat Loss…
Weighing yourself once per week is a good way of checking that your weight is coming down. I’d recommend weighing yourself first thing in the morning and doing it on the same day, and at the same time each week e.g. Friday at 7am.
Keep a log book and monitor your results each week. If weight loss has occurred..then continue, if it’s stalled or even worse… gone up then the likelihood is that you’ve either not created enough of a calorie deficit, or your body is holding onto more glycogen (carbohydrates) and water. A good personal trainer will be able to advise you further if your weight loss comes to a halt.
Whilst I recommend weighing yourself, the scales do have their limits, they measure total body weight, but don’t separate what that weights made up of e.g. bone density, muscle mass, water, etc. For a very accurate assessment of your fat mass i’d recommend investing in a Dexa Scan to give you absolute precision.
Alongside your weight i’d recommend taking measurements with a tape measure. Take measurements from around the body and record your score. The areas you want to measure are:
Probably the best way to asses how your body is looking. As the saying goes… “a picture paints a thousand words” and they are a very accurate way to assess progress. Make-sure that you take your pictures in good lighting, and take a few different shots: front shot, back shot, and two side shots. You can take progress pictures weekly or every fortnight.
#4 Body Fat Callipers
Although you can buy body fat callipers online at a low price, I wouldn’t recommend doing this. Instead you’d be better offer hiring a personal trainer, who has high quality callipers and knows how to accurately take a persons body fat. A good personal trainer will know how to give you an overall body fat assessment and take body fat recordings from multiple areas like the neck, mid back, lower back, stomach, thighs, and calfs.
#5 Fitness Test
Although the main aim of a fat loss program is to lose body fat, it’s also important to monitor your fitness. The aim is to keep improving your performance as it will lead to further results.
I’d recommend doing a fitness test that records your cardio fitness, and weight training performance. For example, one of the fat loss fitness tests that I use with my personal training clients at LEP Fitness looks like this:
- 200m row – record time it takes to complete
- 500m ski – record time
- Push ups – complete as many reps as possible in 60s
- Plank – hold as long as possible and record time
- Burpees – complete as many reps as possible in 60s
- Sit ups – record how long it takes to complete 30 reps
I’ll record the results and then test a client every 4 weeks to ensure that whilst their fat mass is coming down their fitness performance is also improving.
All in all all of the above assessments work really well and i’d recommend including as many as possible. As a general guideline you could do the following.
#1 take pictures, measurements, weight, complete a fitness test and get a personal trainer to do a calliper test (if you can afford to have a Dexa Scan then go for that). Keep your results in a file.
#2 every week take your weight, measurements and pictures. Look at them and reflect, ask the questions “Am I happy with progress and am I heading in the right direction?”. If so keep going, if not then adapt your plan. If in doubt hire a qualified personal trainer.
#3 every 4 weeks complete the same fitness test that you did at the start.
#4 At the end of your fat loss phase get all of the assessments taken one final time and compare your results. You could also do a before and after picture to show off your results and inspire other people to lose weight.
Thanks for reading,