Let’s be honest, if you don’t have body fat calipers at your house (which most of us don’t) then how can you tell if you have lost true body fat instead of just weight? As trainers we have our ways of knowing just by looking at the clients. Here are some things you can do at home to make sure you are on the right track.
- Do your measurements! I know is sounds like just “one more thing” on your list. However, if you are working out and changing your eating it is a necessary thing! Even if the scale says you haven’t changed you could be shedding body fat and inches while increasing your muscle mass.
- Pay close attention to your mid section. As a fitness professional we know that this measurement must stay the same or decrease in order for the client to lose body fat. If the measurement goes up then your definitely gaining body fat.
- Pinch away. The most common way to check body fat is using calipers. Who’ says you can’t check your own in some way shape or form? If you know your body, then you can tell if it goes up or down by the amount of fat you can grab in certain locations. Do this by pinching the skin/ fat and pulling it away from the muscle. Make a mental note based on each area of your body. Over time you should be pinching less and less.
- Know the sites for body fat testing. The bicep (mid arm)/ the tricep (mid arm)/ under the point of the shoulder blade (you have to be flexible to get this one)/ and the stomach (diagonally down from the top of your hip bone).
- Strike A Pose. Yep! That means take a picture in tight fitting close ever 2-3 weeks. Sounds corny, but this makes a HUGH difference. You see your body everyday. How in the world would you know how much it’s really changed if you can see a visual picture of what you used to look like?
Of course, your own personal pinch tests aren’t as accurate but your measurements combined with a good idea of your fat in each target area can give you some peice of mind without excess testing equipment. Keep track of your weight loss journey. This will keep you going and motivated on the days when you don’t feel like working out or eating right!