Why Take Body Measurements?

Apr 22, 2021

We’re all familiar with it.

The scale that sits on our bathroom floor.

This piece of metal that unveils a number that we all too often allow to play on our emotions and determine our mood.

“Can that number be right?” we wonder.

Sometimes the number causes us to cheer and celebrate and give validation that our efforts are, “paying off.”

But do we give too much credit to this device that measures our relationship with gravity? Probably.

When we base our entire view of our health on one number we are doing ourself a disservice. It's important to remember that there is NOT a 1:1 ration between weight loss and fat loss. Many people think that if the scale number goes down, they've lost fat and if it goes up, they've gained fat. This is a false assumption. Your weight is made up of SO much more than fat. The scale measures water weight, bone weight, fat weight, ligaments, organs, muscles, etc. It's important to have additional points of data when looking at your overall picture of health.

This is why we encourage our gym members to take their body measurements on a regular basis. Body measurements can give us additional data as we work toward specific goals and PR’s (personal records.) We can know that if our measurements are going down, we are losing fat even if the scale isn’t showing a smaller number. This data is beneficial as we monitor those stubborn spots like our abdomen and hips. If our goal is to gain muscle; as we eat well, focus on our protein intake, and lift weights, a measurement increase in our biceps and lats can be great indicators that muscle growth is happening. Not to mention, we can lift heavier weights! From a health perspective, knowing your measurements can clue you in to certain health risks as well— for example, if your waist measures more than 35 inches (for a woman) or 40 inches (for a man), you may be at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Waist circumference is the strongest indicator of visceral fat (this is the fat that is stored in the abdominal cavity and around several vital organs like your liver and stomach) and poses the most significant health risk.

Now listen, if you take your measurements and you find that you are in a risk zone, don't freak out. Don't allow these numbers to do anything more than give you data to work with and data to reference.  Now that you have data points, you can get to work. Remember, the application of knowledge is power. Knowing where you're at is essential to see progression.

A few tips:

  1. Consistency is key. Measure yourself in the same spots at the same time of day each week. We recommend once a week in the morning.
  2. Use a soft measuring tape. A basic measuring tape works great or you can use a fancy one like the RenPho smart tape. One with a lock pin helps when measuring your biceps and thighs.
  3. Keep track of your numbers. Having a specific journal, app, or spreadsheet to record your numbers helps tremendously. Join our mailing list and we'll email our free guide and video right to your inbox.
  4. Look at your numbers simply as data. Don't let them define you, frustrate you or discourage you. Remember, it's just data to help you on your health journey.
  5. What gets measured gets managed. Knowing where you're at is extremely helpful in seeing if your current behaviors are helping or hindering your progress.
  6. Be Patient. Measurement changes take TIME. Don't throw in the towel if you aren't seeing weekly changes. However, after 3 months, with consistent work, you should see progress.

You can do it!

We're cheering for you!

OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale
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