Over the course of your weight loss journey you will need to track your data. Because you will only know if you are making progress by comparing this data over time. But how often should this be? different data points will have different times when they need to be logged. So let’s find out below.
Why log data in the first place
The way you measure progress is by tracking the data and comparing where you are now to where you want to be and where you came from. By tracking this data you not only have a reference of how well (or bad) you are doing but also if you switch diets or exercise plan you can measure how well that new programme is affecting you. And by checking the data you can also revert to a plan that worked in the past.
Also a lot of content on the internet will tell you that [insert diet name here] diet is the best. But that is only based on the users own experience of that diet. By logging data you can see exactly how well a diet works for you. Not only in terms of the metrics but also how it made you feel and how easy it was to stick with that diet.
So lets discuss the first type of data we can log which is progress pictures. Ideally you only want to take progress pictures once a week at the most or once a month. Taking progress pictures requires effort not only because you have to ensure consistancy in taking the pictures but also because if you save those pictures to a cloud service like Google Drive it requires an extra step. You also wont likely see any results if you was to take daily progress pictures.
How often?: Once a week or monthly.
Chest, waist and hip measurements
Up next is chest, waist and hip measurements done by tape measure and logged into a fitness app of your choice. Again like progress pictures you want to take chest, waist and hip measurements weekly or monthly. This is so enough time has passed to indicate a change and that it can show us if our diet and exercise plan are working. When taking chest and waist measurements you want to take the measurement after an exhalation.
How often?: Once a week or monthly.
Weight from the scales
Lastly is tracking the weight of our body on the scales. Again log this into your fitness app of choice. I would recommend you weigh yourself daily and take your average for the week as your “weight” that week. This is because your bodyweight can fluctuate for a number of reasons daily. And this can demotivate you if on the day of your check you fluctuate a little higher then you expect.
The one thing that makes daily weight tracking easy is scales that have built in bluetooth functionality to log to your fitness app without you having to. This is far more convenient than logging the data manually. However I do understand that not everyone has the time or patience to log weight daily (if you had manual scales) so I would then recommend weighing yourself weekly instead. I would not recommend monthly for weight because if you try a new diet you don’t want to wait a month to see how that diet affects the number on the scales.
How often?: Daily (if possible) or weekly.
So there we have it. Three types of logging your weight loss data and when they should ideally be tracked. Also remember that the data should be logged in the morning as soon as you get up on an empty stomach as this will make the data consistent and reduce issues like a bigger stomach in the progress pictures after a full day of eating. Also not all of these are required. You can use all or just a couple of methods. Tailor it to your lifestyle and keep being consistent and it will pay off in the long run.