How to Measure Your Weight Loss

Too many people train hard and eat right for only a couple of weeks and then worry that the scale hasn't budged. Then they lose motivation and drop out. But if you are one of those people that feel this way, then let me recommend three ways of monitoring your physical changes in order to assure you that you are losing fat and not losing strength or muscle.

First, take tape measure circumference measures of your arms, chest, waist, hip, and thigh. The waist circumference should go down significantly, while your arm and thigh measurements should go down to a lesser extent. Your chest measurement may also go down if you have a lot of back fat to lose.

If possible, have a reliable fitness professional take regular skinfold caliper measurements to help you estimate your body fat level. Do this every 4 weeks under similar conditions and you'll see that you are losing fat and gaining muscle.

The third measurement to take is your strength levels. Your strength should not decrease during your workout program, unless you spent a lot of time prior to this with very heavy weights and less than 5 repetitions per set. Since the majority of people train with high reps and light weight, you can expect to gain strength when you start your workout.

Take all of these measures now and then re-test in 4 weeks. Or even in 2 weeks. You'll find that your strength levels are the same (or better) and that you have lost inches and pounds of fat, but not muscle.

However, I must mention the disclaimer that your results depend significantly on your nutrition. No matter how good the program, if you don't eat according to a good fat loss plan, you'll never reach your fat loss goals. Aim to make small, consistent improvements and you'll get the most out of your workouts.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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