There is a better solution than weighing yourself on the scale! It’s called circumference measurements. I will explain exactly how to use circumference measurements on 7 different places of your body. It’s quick, simple and measures REAL results. The weight on the scale is meaningless!
Weighing yourself on a scale may not reveal the true results of your fitness or eating habits. Why? The scale reflects your weight, not your body composition (a reflection of how much fat vs muscle your body has). Without the need for additional evidence, we all know that adding muscle to your body can result in many health benefits. What women oftentimes don’t know is that muscle takes up less space than fat. In other words, you can look smaller but weigh more.
Hello, old enemy!
You’re probably thinking “say whhaaat?” Yes, it’s true! For example, before my wedding I was doing a lot of cardio exercise to burn stress. Since I was less focused on weight training, I actually lost some strength during this time. Today, I weigh a solid 8 pounds heavier than I did on my wedding day because I reinserted weight training into my regimen. But get this – at a heavier weight, I’m still the same dress size thanks to gains in muscle!
The saying “muscle weighs more than fat” is a myth. One pound of muscle = One pound of fat. Again, the difference is that muscle takes up less space than fat. When I was studying Exercise Physiology in undergrad, a professor explained it to me this way: “Imagine a bag of cotton balls. Five pounds of cotton balls will take up a lot of space. Now, imagine a rock. A five pound rock will look very compact when compared to the enormous bag of cotton balls that weighs the same.” In this example, cotton balls = fat and rock = muscle.
Check out the following website’s images to see what I’m talking about (especially the first two – you will be shocked!):
Many women I’ve trained have had challenges wrapping their minds around the fact that while becoming more lean and fit they might not lose weight (they might even gain weight)! If the scale is used to assess progress these women will be disappointed and confused.
Weighing yourself on a scale every day doesn’t always help you understand the changes happening in your body. It also can lead to obsessive check-ins and emotional highs and lows. Your weight fluctuates throughout the day and can quickly vary by 5 pounds or more! This can happen because of bloating, what you have eaten, not going to the bathroom, and the timing of your menstrual cycle (your period and ovulation can cause water retention and/or bowel changes).
Measure your body, not your worth!
If you want to keep track of your weight, try weighing yourself once a week. Make sure you are weighing yourself at the same time on the same day. Also, keep in mind that if you ate a high sodium dinner and haven’t had a bowel movement in the past 24 hours that it will be reflected in the number. Try not to panic. Always take the higher perspective and think about the various factors impacting your body. The same is true for circumference measurements. They can vary from time to time but all said and done, they are better assessments of your progress.
At last, to answer your question, “what are circumference measurements?”
Circumference measurements assess size at key sites on your body. They are a good way to measure progress since even a few pounds of fat loss can mean exciting changes such as losing an inch on your waist or feeling your pants fit better. I recommend women follow the same instructions mentioned above for weighing on a scale. Try to do circumference measurements once or twice a week, same time/same day, and bear in mind the various external factors that can cause your results to fluctuate (ex: you just got back from vacation, you attended a cocktail party, you’re under stress, etc.).
There are 7 sites that I recommend women measure: Arm, Chest, Waist, Stomach, Hips, Upper Thigh, and Lower Thigh.
Check out the following image tutorial:
Measure mid-way between your elbow and shoulder, at the thickest part of your arm.
Measure straight across the nipple line at the fullest part of your bust.
Measure at the smallest part of your midsection. You can find your natural waist by dropping your arms by your sides. Where your elbows fall is where your waist is.
Measure directly across your belly button while letting your stomach relax.
Measure around the center of your gluts (aka your booty). The tape should run across your pubic bone, the bony area on the front of the hip. Keep your heels together for consistent measurements.
Measure around the thickest point of your thigh, approximately an inch or two below groin.
Measure right above the knee where your muscle and fat begin, not on the bony part of your knee.
Now that you know how to better track the changes in your body, remember that in the spirit of wellness, we must drop judgment of ourselves. Measure your body, not your worth.
Yours in health and wellness,