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Ways to Track Your Fitness Progress

March 08, 2016 2 min read

Woman looking at her fitness tracker

If you’re going to embark on a journey of fitness and weight loss, then tracking your progress is important for success. If you don’t track any fitness stats, then you may not be able to tell if you’re making progress. There are a number of factors you should monitor in tracking your fitness level, including your weight, body composition and workouts.

Reasons for tracking your fitness include:

  • The weight displayed on your scale is not a complete indicator. If you are training correctly, you will be adding more lean muscle to your body and reducing body fat. Since muscle tissue weighs more than body fat, your weight on the scale might not tell the whole story of your fat loss.
  • You’re unable to tell if you’re going in the right direction to meet your goals. This includes things such as your body shape or even how you look or feel.
  • Tracking the amount of food you are eating. If you’re not tracking calories you won’t know if you’re losing weight on a daily basis. The opposite is true as well if you are underweight and aren’t consuming enough calories to add weight.
  • You can’t determine your fitness gains. Whether you are measuring the number of pushups you are able to do or the distance that you can run, you won’t know if you are making progress if you don’t keep track of the numbers associated with these activities.

    Tracking Your Body

    There are a number of ways to track your body composition, from low tech to high tech:

    Take a Photo

    With almost all cell phones having cameras nowadays, it’s easy to snap a photo. Take full-frontal and profile photos of yourself in a mirror at least once a week, and save them in a folder to track your progress over time.

    Take Measurements

    Use measuring tape and measure the circumference of areas like your waist, hips, thighs, chest and neck.

    Measure Body Fat Percentage

    There are a number of ways to measure body fat, including body fat calipers, and visiting a location that has a Bod Pod or DEXA scan.

    Tracking Calories

    It’s easier to control the number of calories you consume than spending time in the gym trying to burn it off. Here are some ways to keep track of your calories:

    Pen and Paper

    Keeping things simple and doing it the old-fashioned way is sometimes the easiest way to get started. Keeping a food journal of what you eat throughout the day can help you become more aware of the amount you are eating.

    Spreadsheets

    Simple and customizable, just input the type of food and quantity. They can also be set up to do the calculations for you.

    Fitness Apps

    There are many apps available that can track macros and calories. Examples include myfitnesspal and fitocracy.

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