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How to Track Weight Loss Progress

When you're beginning a new diet or weight loss program, it can be difficult to stay on track and stay motivated long enough to see results. Many dieters simply quit before they get results because they don't see any difference in their bodies or on the scale, but you can stay motivated and stick with your plan by tracking your weight loss using several different methods. Getting on a scale is only one measure of success for your program; however, it is not accurate enough to give you a real picture of your progress and results.

Why Do You Need to Keep Track of Your Weight Loss?

Keeping track of your weight loss can help you stay on track with your weight loss plans and encourage you to stick with the program for the long run. Many people get discouraged when they do not see the scale move in the first few weeks of a new program, but few people realize that a measuring tape can provide a more accurate and realistic picture of how your body is changing. When you can see the difference from your hard work, you are much more likely to stick with your program long enough to get the weight off for good!

Easy Ways to Track Your Weight Loss

There are several ways you can keep track of your weight loss and enjoy the process of changing your body. You can:

Use a measuring tape. Make sure you measure the same areas of your body no more than once per week. You'll need to measure around key areas such as your waist, hips, thighs, chest, arms and calves. Maintain a journal or log of these measurements so you can update it with new data and compare it easily during each measuring session.

Step on a scale. Many people make the mistake of over-relying on the scale to gauge their success; the scale will only give you a ballpark range of your weight, so it's best to weigh yourself only once per week or even twice per month. Make sure you weigh yourself at the same time of day each time, and resist the temptation to weigh yourself every day. Your body weight shifts significantly throughout the day because of water weight, and it may even look like you've gained a few pounds after you eat a meal. Refrain from using the scale as the only yardstick for your weight-loss success - there are several other ways to get a more accurate picture of your results.

Keep a food journal. One of the simplest ways to stick with your weight loss regimen is to keep track of all the food you eat in a food journal. A food journal or 'food diary' can also be used as a self-reflection tool; do you find yourself eating when you are hungry, tired or anxious? You can jot down those thoughts in your food journal so you get a better idea of how and why you are eating -- and make changes accordingly.

Take pictures -- take a set of before-and-after pictures every month so you can compare your results visually and get a realistic view of how your body is changing.

Keeping track of your weight loss is an essential part of sticking with your healthy diet and losing weight in the long-term. Avoid the temptation of only relying on the scale to measure your progress; make use of a measuring tape, food journal and pictures can provide a more accurate view of your results.