The most common way in which women track their weight loss progress is by using the weighing scale. If the figures on the scale go up or stay the same, it is considered bad; if it goes down, nothing could be better. However, the scale does not give you the whole story. You must understand that a scale has many limitations. The scale cannot track the small changes that your body is making every day.
Don’t Just Track Your Weight, Track Your Body Fat Too
The figures on the weighing scale can be a useful reference point, but what is even better is tracking the percentage of your body fat. People can be overweight but they might not be over fat. Consider the simple example of a body builder. He may be overweight at two hundred and fifty pounds, according to the typical height-weight charts, but his body fat may be only eight percent.
Also, the numbers on the weighing scales can rise and fall, based not only on body fat but also changes in the muscle and fluids in your body. If you sweat a lot, your weight scale figures will go down, but this is not actual weight loss, these are just changes in the fluid levels of your body. Your scale will not tell you why you lost the weight.
Knowing the percentage of your body fat will help you get a good idea of the progress you are making and set targets based on how much fat you have to lose. Your scale cannot tell you these things.
When women are working out, they may find that their clothes have become looser, they seem to have dropped inches, but the scale weight has not gone down.
This is usually because they are gaining muscle and losing body fat. This is where the weighing scale fails miserably, as it does not show the true progress you have made by losing all that body fat.
Here are some of the ways in which you can find out your body fat percentage, something which your weighing scale can never tell you.
- Bio-electrical Impedance Scales
- Hydrostatic Weighing
- Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
These methods actually give you the body fat percentage and also help you track your weight loss progress better. Good health clubs usually provide some method to track your body fat percentage. For women, the healthy body percentage ranges from 25% to 31%, and for men, it ranges from 18% to 25%. Also, avoid checking your body weight daily, as you will not be able to notice the small changes your body makes everyday. Instead check once a week to get a better idea of the progress you are making.