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Losing centimetres is more important than the number on the scales: Know how to take your body measurements

Following a slimming regime, but your weight is not shifting? We have some tips for you on what to focus on more than the number on the scales.

There are many factors that affect our weight. That’s why we should view the reading on the scales only as a rough guide. There is absolutely no reason to get too attached to it and forget about getting hung up on weight fluctuations of just 2 kilos.

Especially at the beginning of our slimming regime, we are keen to see the first signs of weight loss. To check if you are going in the right direction with your slimming, you can use bioimpedance scales (e.g. InBody or Tanita), but not until 14 days from starting the diet. Only then can the first signs of fat loss be detected. At the beginning of the diet, we tend to lose mainly water which is bound to glycogen in the body (stored in muscles and the liver as an emergency sugar supply). In the first 2 weeks of the diet, the percentage of body fat might even slightly increase as the body responds to the new regime by quickly making fat stores for any future food shortages. The initial weight loss can also be due to the loss of muscle mass. It all depends on the level of calorie deficit. However, as the diet regime progresses, all these things tend to settle down. Our weight is also influenced by the volume of water in the body, outside temperature and our physical activity. The menstrual cycle in women is another important factor as women can experience significant weight fluctuations of up to several kilos during their cycle. As you can see, checking your weight every day is pointless.

I recommend that you check your weight once every 2 weeks, preferably at the same time, on the same scales and wearing the same clothes.

1. Take your body circumference measurements

The loss of centimetres around the body

The loss of centimetres around the body is a good indicator of your slimming progress. What measurements do we take and how do we go about it?

MEN: waist and belly button – the narrowest section below the ribs and the widest section across the belly button

WOMEN: waist, belly button and hips – the narrowest section below the ribs, the widest section across the belly button and the widest section across the hips

2. WHR: Waist-Hip Ratio

The waist-hip ratio is the ratio of the waist circumference to the hip circumference. WHR can be calculated using the following formula:

  • WHR = waist circumference/hip circumference

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), people with apple-shaped bodies (the waist circumference is significantly bigger than that of the hips) are at a much larger health risk than people with pear-shaped figures (hips wider than the waist).

WHR = waist circumference/hip circumferenceIn particular, they have a much higher predisposition to lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

3. Take photos of yourself

From my experience, a lot of my clients regret that they hadn’t taken a photo of themselves at the beginning of their regime. I suggest you take a picture of yourself in your bikini or underwear, just for your own records. Seeing ourselves in the mirror every day, we don’t notice our slimming progress as much as we would if we compared our photos two weeks apart.

Make sure that you always take a picture of yourself at the same time (e.g. in the morning) and at the same place. Mark a spot on the floor in front of the mirror to make sure you always stand at the same distance from the mirror.

4. Don’t compare yourself with others

You have started slimming together with your friend or partner. Don’t expect you will be losing weight in the same way. We are all unique. The speed of weight loss depends on our gender, age, excess weight, past dietary habits, physical activity and general health. Do it for yourself and celebrate every little sign of your slimming progress. Set yourself a realistic goal and be kind to yourself. Remember that the journey is the goal and that positive thinking is the foundation of success. Slimming is not about competing, but about changing your lifestyle. So don’t forget - you’re worth your weight in gold!

Good luck!

Author: Martina Dvořáková

Photo: Unsplash

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