How to Measure Your Progress Without Using a Non-Motivating Scale

how to take body measurements


So many people find themselves on the scale every single day as they begin their weight loss journey.Little do they know that the scale is the very tool that will almost always promise their failure! THIS WAS ME. It  wasn’t until about 4 months ago that I finally grasped how AWFUL the scale was and literally put it away in our storage room BURIED under a pile of junk so I couldn’t see it. And it made a Hugggeee difference. I weigh myself probably once every 3-4 weeks now and since then I have FINALLY hit some of my major fitness goals like…

1. Visible Abs

2. Buff perky booty

3. Toned lean arms.

I truly wasn’t reaching these goals when I was obsessing over the scale. That scale is a straight up Liar guys!

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but let me just say it again; muscle weighs MORE than fat! Now don’t misunderstand, scales can be a wonderful and useful tool to document your progress, however they should definitely not be your primary source! I mean REALLY, look!  Here are the top 5 most efficient and effective ways to document your progress, in this order:

1. How to Take Body Measurements

Keeping record of your progress though measuring your body is the most accurate reflection of the changes that are occurring. When you change your lifestyle to healthy eating and activity you will naturally replace pounds of fat with lean healthy muscle. As I stated before, muscle will weigh more! You may believe you’ve hit a “plateau” because the number on the scale isn’t changing as quickly or in the direction you were anticipating. This often leads to discouragement and frustration in your progress and you give up, right in the middle of a beautiful transformation! So save yourself the stress and take that scale out of your bathroom and out of sight and have your measuring tape always available!

So how do I measure myself? You should measure yourself around these parts…


Measuring (9 of 13)
Upper Arms

Measuring (3 of 13)
Chest Just under armpit

Measuring (7 of 13)
Middle of Chest

Measuring (2 of 13)


Measuring (13 of 13)
Natural waist (smallest part of your torso)

Measuring (5 of 13)
Abdomen (about 1” below belly button)

Measuring (12 of 13)
Buttocks (the fullest part of your bum)

Measuring (6 of 13)
Upper Thighs

Measuring (11 of 13)

Upper Knees

Measuring (8 of 13)


Measuring 1

2. Body Fat Percentage Reader.

Its eye-opening to discover your body fat percentage! You’re body is made up bones, muscle, tissue, organs, blood.. NOT just FAT. I swear, its a mind game to step on that scale and see that scale say a number we have been told is too much and remember that that number is not all fat. Different bodies gain muscle quicker or slower, there are so many more factors that go into what that scale reads. The most accurate tool to measure body fat with is the Body Fat Caliper. Example below. The next would be a hand held Body Fat Monitor, but these are not always 100% accurate.


3. Pictures!

Full body front, side, and back. Wear a swimsuit or sports bra and spandex. Documenting your fitness journey with pictures is so exciting! Images tell so much, and the power they have is astounding. We usually don’t really know exactly what we look like until we have seen every angle of ourselves caught in an image. Revealing how truly amazing your body is and the changes it can undergo!  

4. Scale


Only use the scale maybe every two weeks. Being aware of your weight is good. Just remember to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you eat anything, after you have used the restroom, and without clothing on. This is what will give you the most accurate reading.

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  • Diane Mars

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    Excited!!! & Sore!!! BUT…. Lets do this!!!! 🙂

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  • Pam

    Reply Reply April 23, 2016

    I would like to receive the newsletters. The box to fill in my email address for the newsletters was not working.

  • Wendi Abell

    Reply Reply June 6, 2016

    Im starting a journal in this Fitness Journey.. I’ve always been thin and in pretty good shape.. I’ve had five children including a set of twins… I’ve never pushed hard with exercise for long periods of time.. but have always stayed in good shape.. I hit early menopause at 31 years old, and have delt with hormones since.. I am now 55 and this past year has been very different.. I have been “saying” Im going to start exercising next week for the past almost year now.. Now I am what “they” call skinny fat. :0 with my clothes on, I look good, but when I take them off, Not pretty… For the first time in my life I am disapointed in what I see.. And in myself for letting myself go for so long… Well I saw the Challenge and am ready!!! My youngest is getting married in Oct, and Im expecting my 11th Grandchild in Oct also… It’s time to get off the sidelines and make some healthy decisions for myself…. Thank you for the motivation here…
    Because of a family emergency I am just starting Day 1 of the 15 day challenge today!! So excited!!!!

    At the top of my Fitness Journal I wrote, “Let’s try this”!! Then scratched out try and put DO….


  • Leslie Hanegan

    Reply Reply June 6, 2016

    I have been 195lbs for 10yrs I have been going to the gym for 5yrs cardio lifting weights swim workouts I have a hip replacement and a little knee problems .i am very active I have a daughter with downs .in 2006 I lost 50lbs in six months before that I was 245 for ten yrs and all I did was walk 3 miles a I have tryed all different ways of eating I dont eat big meals I have always been a sm eater.a piece a ck one cup of veg.and maybe a salad or a half cup of brown rice.been checking out Paleo getting it together but just wanted to see if u have any other suggestions?

  • Leslie Hanegan

    Reply Reply June 6, 2016

    Someone told me it could be hormones I am in good health iam 59yrs been trying to lose for a long time but I havent given up yet.iam also gulten free for 20yrs.

  • Leslie Hanegan

    Reply Reply June 6, 2016

    Is there any other way to get all the free cookbooks I dont have a credit card.I would like to get all of them can I send a mo or something else?

  • Laura

    Reply Reply June 11, 2016

    I don’t have the resources to do my measurements, am I disqualified to continue?

  • Deborah

    Reply Reply July 31, 2016

    I’d like tonged the newsletter but the site to click to add in your email for newsletter didn’t not allow me to do this
    Please advise

    • Kristie Teer

      Reply Reply August 9, 2016

      Hi Deborah. I just signed you up.

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