Weight tracking is an integral part of the whole process of weight loss. Without keeping track of your weight, it would be impossible to know whether your weight loss efforts are paying off or not and whether you need to make some adjustments. Weight tracking typically entails weighing yourself regularly, recording the results, and plotting your results on a graph. This way, you can see how your weight changes over time and identify any patterns by using a weight loss tracker template.
Generally, there are different ways to track your weight. For example, you can use a pen and a paper/notebook, a spreadsheet, or you can use a weight loss tracker template to make your work easier.
This article is a complete guide to weight tracking, including the significance of weight loss tracker template, the different ways to measure your weight, the importance of balanced weight, how to plan weight loss and tips to help you remain consistent with achieving your overall health and fitness goals.
Significance of Weight Loss
Generally, there is more to weight loss than just looking good and attractive. It is vital to lose weight because it can significantly impact your health. When you are obese or overweight, you risk developing several chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some form of cancer, for example, breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy body mass can help reduce your risk of developing these diseases, and it can also improve your mood, energy levels and increase your lifespan.
In addition to improved health, weight loss can also positively impact your performance. For example, when overweight, you may find it challenging to move around and exercise. Losing weight can help to improve your energy levels and make it easier for you to perform tasks that require physical strength or endurance, such as household chores and regular exercise while preventing possible injuries. In addition, when your weight is under control, you are likely to perform better at work and home.
Lastly, weight loss tracker template can provide great satisfaction. When you realize your weight loss goals, you feel happy and accomplished. This positive feeling can motivate you to keep going and helps maintain consistency.
How to Measure Weight
There are two major ways to measure your weight: Body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI)).
These areas are discussed in the section that follows:
Body fat percentage
Body fat percentage can be defined as the percentage of your total body weight that is made up of fat. This method of measuring weight is considered to be the most accurate because it takes your entire body composition into account, including muscle, bone, and water weight. There are a few ways to measure your body fat percentage.
- Calipers: This method requires a qualified professional to use specialized calipers on your skin to measure the thickness of a fold of fat. You place a fold of skin at the measurement site, such as the waistline, back of your arm, or the back, then pull it away from the body and use the caliper to measure its thickness. The results are then used in an equation to determine your body fat percentage.
- DEXA scan: The DEXA scan method uses a specialized x-ray machine to measure the percentage of fat, muscle, and bone in your body. The DEXA scan is considered the most accurate way to measure your body composition. The scan is produced by sending low levels of radiation through your body, providing a map of the different areas of your body and whether these areas are made up of fat, muscle, or bone.
- BIA: The bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) uses a small electric current to measure the impedance or opposition to your body’s electricity. The level of resistance encountered by the current as it flows through your body is related to the total volume of water in your body and so indirectly to your muscle and fat mass. Therefore, BIA is considered less accurate than the other two methods as it does not consider muscle mass and bone.
Body mass index (BMI)
Another great way to measure your weight is using the BMI method. BMI uses height and weight measurements to estimate underweight, average weight, overweight or obese. Unfortunately, the body mass index method is not always accurate. It does not consider your body composition (fat and muscle), which can vary significantly between individuals depending on their age, gender, etc.
Calculation of BMI
To calculate your BMI, take your weight in kilograms (kg) and divide it by your height in meters.
BMI= Mass in Kilograms/ height in meters) ²
BMI = 87/1.75 = 44.7
Classification of BMI
The CDC- Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following classifications for underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese:
- Underweight: < 18.5
- Normal weight: 18.5-24.9
- Overweight: 25-29.9
- Obese: BMI of 30 or more
The CDC further classifies obesity into three classes:
- Class 1 obesity: BMI between 30-35
- Class 2 obesity: BMI between 35-40
- Class 3 obesity (extreme/severe obesity): BMI >40
What does it tell?
The Body Mass Index is a measure of your weight relative to your height, and so it can be used to indicate whether you are overweight or obese. A high BMI can put you at risk for health problems such as heart disease, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other conditions. Hence, it is significant to maintain a healthy weight by eating a diet that provides the nutrients your body needs and engaging in physical activity. To assess whether you are at a healthy weight, meet with a doctor or other qualified health professional to measure your BMI and discuss what it means for your health and the best course of action.
Importance of Balanced Weight
Keeping a healthy weight is essential for your overall health and physical well-being. If you are overweight, your heart has to work harder to push blood around. This may result in higher blood pressure, which can put a lot of strain on the heart if not regulated.
The following is the relationship between maintaining a balanced weight and the likelihood of preventing your risks for developing chronic health conditions:
Weight and blood pressure (heart disease and stroke)
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing high blood pressure which strains your heart too much because it has to work harder to pump blood around the body, increasing your risk of developing hypertension. It can cause the outgoing vessels of your heart, also known as the arteries, to narrow down, leading to restricted blood flow.
When your blood flow is restricted, you may develop serious health threats such as a stroke, which often results from a blood clot or blockage limiting blood flow to the brain. Having a balanced and healthy weight is key to keeping your blood pressure under the required normal range and reducing the strain on your heart.
Weight and blood sugar (type II diabetes)
Type 2 diabetes is a severe disease that affects how your body uses glucose or sugar. A type 2 diabetes prognosis means that your blood sugar levels are too high because your body isn’t producing enough insulin or your cells aren’t using insulin properly. This can damage your blood vessels and the heart, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other severe conditions. Sustaining a healthy and balanced weight is among the crucial steps to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal safe range and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How to Plan Weight Loss
Several factors can impact how much you weigh and your likelihood of developing chronic diseases. Genetics, for example, might have an impact on your body composition from birth. The environment you grew up in might also impact your body weight and overall health.
However, specific considerations to ensure balanced body weight results in several health benefits:
To shade off excess weight and maintain balanced body weight, you need to make healthy eating choices. This means opting for nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein sources. It is also vital to limit unhealthy foods such as processed foods, sugary drinks, high-fat foods and tweak your calorie intake.
Generally, if you reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 calories, you will lose 1 pound every week (500 x 7=3500). In addition to making better food choices, drink plenty of water because it is an essential part of a healthy diet. Water helps you stay hydrated and flush toxins from your body which can contribute to the significance of using weight loss tracker template.
Another great way to lose weight and keep it off is by increasing your physical activity levels. Aim to build up to a goal of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day and track your progress in a 5-day weight loss tracker template each week, or 60 minutes per day for three days each week. If this seems to be a lot, keep in mind that you do not have to do it all at once but progressively and consistently.
You can also try taking a 10-minute walk during your lunch break, going for a 15-minute walk after dinner or before watching tv, or parking your car further away from the store when shopping. Engaging in these activities can result in more calories being burned than consumed, a major determinant of weight loss.
Enrolling in a gym can be a great way to increase your physical activity levels and lose weight. Gyms offer a variety of machines and equipment that can help you work out all the major muscle groups in your body. In addition, most gyms offer group fitness classes that can help you stay motivated and challenged. Remember to use a weight loss tracker template to log all your gym activities and track your weight loss goals and accomplishments.
Jogging and walking
Given that you are not a gym person and joining a gym is not an option, you can consider taking up jogging or brisk walking. Jogging helps tone the leg muscles while increasing cardiovascular fitness simultaneously. On the other hand, regularly walking helps maintain a healthy weight and can be done indoors or outdoors.
The other excellent way to get rid of extra weight or obesity is by indulging in sports. Most sports are intense physical activities that help you to burn extra calories quickly and efficiently. Engaging in sports helps you control your cholesterol levels, improves your blood circulation, strengthens your immunity and bones. Some of the best intense cardio sports include running, cycling, racquetball, rowing, hockey, soccer, basketball, rugby, flag football, among others. You can track down all your activities on a weight loss tracker template according to your age and abilities.
Change your workouts
If you are already attending a gym, try to change your workout routine regularly to avoid cardiovascular and muscular plateaus. If you do not know how to create your workout routine, consider hiring a personal trainer or ask for help from the staff at your gym. Also, use a weight loss tracker template or journal to block cardio workouts, heavyweight lifts, strength workouts, etc. Finally, consider changing your intensities throughout the week to hit all your energy systems in different ways, ensuring a smooth, consistent, and progressive journey towards achieving a balanced body weight.
Use of SMART goals
Setting a realistic target weight loss goal is important because it helps tailor your diet and exercise plan to meet your objectives while remaining motivated throughout the process of achieving them. When setting a weight loss goal, it is crucial to consider your starting weight and set a lower target. This will help ensure that you lose weight at a healthy rate and minimize the risk of developing chronic diseases in the process.
The following SMART criteria will help you set feasible weight loss goals:
- Specific: Your weight loss goal should be clearly defined. For example, state in your preferred weight loss tracker template that you want to lose 3 pounds in 2 weeks rather than plainly stating that your goal is to lose weight.
- Measurable: Your goal should also be quantifiable. For instance, if your weight loss goal is to lose at least 3 pounds in two weeks, note down your initial weight in your weight loss tracker template, then measure and block your progress every other two weeks to determine if you are meeting your weight loss goals.
- Attainable: Ensure that the goals you set are attainable, meaning that they are realistic and possible for you to achieve. If you set unviable goals, you are not likely to achieve them, which can be demoralizing in the long run and could not justify the use of weight loss tracker template.
- Relevant: Your weight loss goal should also be relevant to your lifestyle and current health condition.
- Time-bound: There should be a specific timeframe or deadline for meeting the specific weight loss goal. For example, if you aim to lose 15 pounds in 6 months, include that timeline in your weight loss tracker template to keep you motivated to achieve your goals and hold you accountable whenever you are not sticking to your routine schedule.
Weight Loss Tracker Templates
Shedding off excess weight and maintaining a balanced body weight are essential for your general health and well-being. By staying fit, you not only look good, but you reduce your risks of developing serious health diseases that may result in death if left uncontrolled.
- To lose weight the healthy way, you should set your weight loss tracker template goals following the SMART criteria to ensure that you are not setting yourself up for failure.
- In addition to setting SMART weight loss goals, you should consider making better and healthy eating choices, increase your physical activity levels, enroll for a gym membership, consider jogging and walking, and make sure to change your workout routine to avoid muscular/cardiovascular plateaus and add these number in your weight loss tracker template regularly.
- Finally, make use of a weight loss tracker template to help you track your weight loss progress, identify patterns, determine things that are working for you and the parts that are not leading you up to your long-term weight loss goals and help keep you motivated and inspired to achieve your weight loss goals.