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3 Ways To Keep Track of Your Progress

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3 Ways To Keep Track of Your Progress

Whether your goal is to lose weight or to gain muscle, you definitely need to keep track of your progress. You might think that you can rely on your intuition and you will “feel it” when you reach your goal, but this is not the best method! Because you have to live with yourself each and every second you are so familiar with your body that you will barely notice any difference.

Even though you will lose (or gain) a few pounds you will mostly feel exactly the same. If you ever lost weight you know what we are talking about and you also know the feeling of meeting with someone you haven’t seen in a long time and they say “Wow, you lost a lot of weight!” when you actually didn’t feel any differently. You don’t always need to rely on the opinions of other people because here are 3 great ways to keep track of your progress yourself:

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1. Weigh Yourself (including Body Fat)

Whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle this is definitely the first step you need to take, but it’s not the only one! Weight can be a good measure for progress but it’s NOT the most accurate one. Let’s say that you want to lose weight and look great naked. You might not lose any pounds, and you might even gain some. Guess what? It is possible that you look much better! In this case you lost a good amount of fat and gained some muscle instead. So in this case the weight itself is not a good measurement and you need to also measure the percentages of body fat and lean muscle mass. You can do this with a digital scale that uses the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, with some fat calipers or by using an online calculator (this is the least accurate method).

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So find your percentage of body fat (and muscle if possible) and keep track of them over time. If you see your fat going down and your muscle going up, you are definitely on the right track. The best time to weigh yourself is once every 4 weeks. You can also weigh yourself every week, but in this case you won’t see big changes. You definitely DON’T need to weigh yourself every day like some people do. Compare the results of each month and as time goes by you will also be able to compare overall results (your progress in the last 6 months, in the last year and so on).

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2. Measure Yourself

Besides weight and body fat, you also need to take accurate measurements of different body parts. If your goal is to lose weight then you definitely need to measure your waist and ladies might want to measure their hips as well. On the other hand, if you are looking to gain muscle you need to measure the circumference of your arms, your chest and back, your quads, and your calves. This way you can see exactly which muscle groups are growing faster and which ones still need improvement.

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3. Take Photos

Last but not least, you need to take some photos. You might not feel in the mood to take photos of your body right now, but keep in mind that one day you will compare your dream body with your “before” photos and you will be very proud of yourself. As long as you keep these photos private, there is nothing to worry about. Who knows, maybe one day you will be featured on websites or magazines as one of those truly inspirational body transformations. Just as with weighing yourself, you don’t need to take these photos very often. Once every month should be fine to see some changes and when comparing photos taken in different months or years, you will definitely see improvements.

So feel free to use any of these methods but for more accurate results we definitely recommend using all 3 of them. Are there any other aspects we missed? Let us know in the comments area below.

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More by this author

Craig Wilson

Craig Wilson is a big Fitness enthusiast, Author and owner of Body-Buildin.com.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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