How to weigh yourself and take body measurements for weight loss

Having an accurate track of your body weight and measurement is a vital part of any weight loss journey. Not only does it provide a baseline of where you started, but it’s also a great way to track your progress and maintain motivation.

There are lots of ways to track your progress but the most common ones are weighing yourself regularly and taking body measurements. Here we’ll outline the top tips on how to weigh yourself and take accurate measurements, plus highlight and some of the tools you might need.

How to measure your body weight on a scale

An accurate weighing scale is a crucial part of your weight loss journey (we’ve got some suggestions below), but the main thing to focus on is consistency.

  • Weigh yourself on the same day and at the same time each week. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning, after you visit the bathroom; this helps to ensure you have an empty stomach and bladder. You don’t have to weigh yourself every day, just make sure you’re doing it at the same time, e.g Tuesday mornings at 8am

  • We suggest stripping down to your underwear and leaving your mobile phone on the side (it can connect to digital scales via bluetooth). Try and wear similar clothing each time you weigh yourself

  • Place the scales on the same surface each time, ideally a hard and flat surface that doesn’t have carpet underneath (carpet can cause fluctuations in measurements).

  • Stand still, barefoot and keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet

  • For women, bear in mind that your weight can fluctuate during the month so keep an eye on the total trend and patterns over time

We highly recommend getting a set of digital scales as they provide the most balanced and accurate way to measure body weight. In addition to measuring total weight, digital scales also measure fat, BMI, muscle mass, bone mass, water, protein etc. The digital scales connect to an app on your phone and can be used by multiple people in the same household. Most scales start from about £25.

Example digital weighing scales for weight loss measurement

The following are examples of digital scales recommended by our medical team:

(NB. these are suggestions only; we have no affiliation with the companies that provide these scales).

RENPHO digital weighing scales and App
image from Amazon

Accurate body measurements for weight loss

Numbers on a scale aren’t the only way to track your progress with weight loss. We also recommend combining it with body measurements to help you see how your body shape and composition is changing over time.

The key zones to measure are explained in the picture below - we suggest tracking these every two weeks and recording your measurements. We’ve also got a few suggestions on some tape measures to get you started.

  1. Use a flexible measuring tape (non-elastic) with clear markings for measurement in inches or centimeters.

  2. We recommend doing the measurements in your underwear. However if that’s not practical then wear fitted clothing. If you do wear clothes, remember to wear the same clothing next time you measure yourself - this will give the most consistent results.

  3. As you take the measurements, make sure that you’re not compressing or squeezing the skin around it. The tape should feel snug but not tight

  4. Check the tape if flat all the way round; there should be no twisting as it crosses your body

  5. If you start taking measurements in centimeters, stick with that! It can be confusing to switch between centimeters and inches so choose one measurement and stick to that

Where to take body measurements

Chest: Wrap the tape around your chest, inline with your nipples. For women, we suggest measuring without a bra however if you do want to wear a bra try and avoid a padded bra.

Arms. Measure around the mid-point of your upper arm, between your elbow and your shoulder. Try and keep your arm relaxed. We find putting your hand on your hip is a good way to do this.

Waist: This measurement is best done after a big exhalation when your lungs are empty of air. There are two ways you can find the best spot to measure:

  • Wrap the tape measure around the narrowest part of your waist

  • Wrap the tape measure in a spot two fingers above your belly button

Hips: Find the midpoint of your thigh, between your knee and hip bone. Wrap the tape measure here and note the measurement

Where to take body measurements
image from Amazon

Example tape measures for accurate body measurement

The following are examples of measurement devices recommended by our medical team. At their simplest, they can be a soft measuring tape designed for body shape (a tailor's measuring tape would be suitable). At the more complex end, they’re digitally enabled to connect to some of the weighing scales listed above. Choose whichever you’ll find easiest to use.

Body Tape Measure for Body Measuring Fat Measurement

RENPHO Body Tape Measure for Weight Loss

Body Measuring Tape set, Dual Sided Retractable Tape Measure & Fat Measuring Clip

(NB. these are suggestions only; we have no affiliation with the companies that provide these scales).

Weight loss measuring tape
image from Amazon

Final tips on weighing and measuring yourself

Try and follow these guidelines each time you weigh yourself or take body measurements. Try and be consistent with the day and time that you take the measures and with the clothing you’re wearing. Be patient - it can take several weeks for our body shape to change with weight loss medication.

If you need any help with accurate weight measurement for weight loss or any other aspect of your weight loss journey, please book an appointment with one of our experts. They can advise on measurement, diet, exercise, side effects etc. These appointments are free, 100% confidential and included as part of your monthly prescription.

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Published: 14 June 2024