Should You Measure Weight Loss through Pounds or Inches?

Should You Measure Weight Loss through Pounds or Inches?

During weight loss, pounds and inches are both encouraging ways to measure progress.  Because you can monitor your progress through pounds and inches, many people often wonder which method is better? In this case, neither is "better" than the other. To obtain maximum benefit, it is recommended that you utilize both tracking methods for weight loss goals. Measuring and documenting weight loss in pounds and weight lost in inches will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration during your weight loss journey. Seeing drops in pounds or inches will give you a sense of success, while seeing an increase or zero change will likely give you the extra motivation to work harder.

Measuring Weight Loss In Pounds

While dieting, it is common to hear "How much weight have you lost?" from friends and family members. Because pounds are easily monitored and recorded, calculating the number of pounds lost is a simple process. At the beginning of your weight loss program, write down your current weight in a journal, blog, calendar or other source of documentation. How often you weigh yourself on a scale is a matter of personal preference, or the opinion of your nutrition coach, doctor or fitness trainer. Some experts believe that by weighing once a week, you are more likely to see a larger drop in pounds, resulting in an increase in motivation. For people that need to see a constant reminder of pounds lost or gained, weighing daily may be beneficial. However, recent studies have shown that people lose more when they measure their weight each day. One thing can be agreed upon for both scenarios: Any decrease in pounds will be encouraging during a weight loss program.

Measuring Weight Loss in Inches

Taking accurate measurements before, during and after a weight loss program is important. Not only are the written results a source of encouragement, they can be used as a tool for measuring where inches are being lost the most/least. For example, after taking measurements, you may find that you are losing significantly in your thighs, but very little in your waist. Knowing where the decrease in inches is coming from can help you focus on spot-training. Weight loss counselors and fitness trainers agree that measuring weight loss progress by inches should be completed once a month, from beginning to end, for optimal benefits.

Determine Your Goals

It is not uncommon for people trying to lose weight to state that they "just want to lose weight." A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. However, the two are totally different, composed of different substances and take up varying amounts of space within the body. For example, one pound of butter will take up more space than one pound of lean meat. The same is true for your body. Muscle takes up less space than body fat, resulting in a leaner figure. The individual that "just wants to lose weight" may need to re-examine their goals to include striving for a leaner, healthier body. In this case, losing weight in pounds will be less of a priority and losing inches will become more of a priority. Losing body fat, which results in a loss if inches, and developing more muscle mass won't always yield results on the scale. However, you will see changes in the way that your clothing fits and the overall appearance of your figure.