Calculating Weight Loss Progress For Women

by Phil Beckett

Your weight loss success can be calculated a number of different ways.

You should calculate your progress not only by your physical appearance, but also by decreases in medical problems, decreased reliance on medications, fewer injuries, etc.

Try to notice and recognize a change for the better in energy, performance, self-esteem, improvements in health risk factors and medical conditions, improved quality of life and psychological functioning, healthier eating, and more enjoyable physical activity and the many other benefits you'll gain from reaching your weight loss target

All women have at one time or another stepped on a scale to check their body weight. But understanding what a scale does and doesn't tell you will help you keep your weight loss in perspective.

A scale simply measures your total body weight in pounds (or kilograms). It can't determine muscle, fat tissue, bones, blood, etc.

It can't tell you if your weight loss is from fat, muscle or water.

If you follow one of the many fad diets out there chances are that all of the weight loss is water and muscle. Little or no fat is lost this way. If you base your weight loss exclusively by scale weight you will fail!

The resistance exercise will increase lean muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism.

But if you went by your bathroom scale's number, you might be tempted to stop weight training because the scale may not show a large drop in "numbers".

Also remember that your body weight can fluctuate by several pounds over the course of a day. This is particularly right if you have very intense workout sessions.

The variation is due to the level of water in your body. If you weigh yourself before and after you workout, you might find you've lost some weight but it's only water loss.

Women will often show weight fluctuations in relation to hormonal changes during their monthly menstrual cycles.

Checking the scale no more than once every couple of weeks is all you should be doing. If you're doing it any more than this, then give your scale away.

Accurately measuring changes in your body fat percentage is one of the best ways to track your weight loss progress, along with changes in strength, energy levels, sleeping patterns, physical appearance, etc.

To find out your percent body fat, you can either track down a qualified fitness professional who has a lot of experience in measuring body composition or you can use one of the personal body fat testers available.

While you may want to get a set of skin fold callipers, because it by far the cheapest way of measuring your body fat percentage, it is not nearly as accurate as the personal body fat testers.

Plus, unless you have an experienced person who has done hundreds of skin fold tests before, to know exactly what points on your body need to be tested, it is completely useless.

The numerous height/weight charts and other tables, the BMI calculator (Body Mass Index) aren't very accurate either and shouldn't be used too often as an indicator of your weight loss progress.

The formulas used for these weight loss indicators can't take into account your body composition or fat distribution.

Women who are physically fit but shorter will have a high BMI, even though their body fat percentage is very low and aren't at high risk for health problems.

Learn to use all of the calculation methods mentioned here to determine your weight loss success and take into consideration the change for the better in how you feel, in your self-esteem, and in your physical appearance.

When you feel good about yourself and recognize the transformations you're making along the way, you're more likely to keep moving forward and will indeed reach your ultimate weight loss target.

About the Author

Phil Beckett is the author of The New Women's Guide To Successful Weight Loss & Fitness. He's helped thousands of women with their weight loss & fitness goals over the past 14 years. Visit to contact Phil

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