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One of the trickiest parts about health and fitness is trying to figure out if the changes you have made to your lifestyle are actually making a difference.
Being able to accurately measure and monitor your progress is important. It allows you to understand which changes are making a difference so you can maximise your results and achieve your health & fitness goals.
Week 4 of the Tanita 12 Week Challenge is all about how to measure and monitor your progress accurately!
While it’s easy to get excited about checking your progress on a regular basis, your body will need time to adjust to a new routine. It is unlikely you’ll see results immediately after making a lifestyle change.
Measuring should primarily be about collecting data, enabling you to make changes as needed in order to improve your health & fitness routine. It’s important to keep this in mind, because it’s easy to fall into a habit of weighing yourself every single day which can be detrimental for a myriad of reasons.
Firstly, our total body weight fluctuates on a day-to-day basis due to factors like our body’s hydration levels, our exercise routine and the digestion rates of different foods we’ve eaten. Since we usually eat different meals each day, drink different amounts of fluids and do variety of exercise throughout the week, these fluctuations make sense.
Secondly, weighing yourself daily can become an obsession (and can be extremely discouraging) when health and fitness is supposed to be a positive and motivational endeavour. Measuring your progress once a week will allow for much more consistency and remove the possibility of making overly reactive changes to your routine when you don’t need to.
TANITA TIP: Measure yourself at the same time every week for more accurate results.
Finally and most importantly, our total body weight measurement is not actually a true representation of our overall health and fitness. Your health and fitness is more than a single number. While total body weight has traditionally been the main measurement, our understanding of our bodies has progressed significantly over the years - meaning there’s a better way of tracking your health & fitness levels.
You’ve no doubt heard of BMI (Body Mass Index) before.
Over the years, BMI has become a common yet very generalised way of assessing an individual’s overall health. This is done by dividing someone’s weight to the square of their height, and - depending on what this figure is - placing them into one of four categories (healthy, underweight, overweight or obese).
However this system does not take into account muscle density or all types of fat. As a rough indicator, it’s also often inaccurate for those who are outside the “normal” height range.
Body Composition is much more comprehensive.
It takes into account percentages of bone, fat, water and muscle throughout the body, allowing for a much more accurate breakdown of an individual’s overall health. It’s important that all of these metrics are reported on accurately to gain a true insight into overall health.
Let’s say, for example, your overall goal is to lose weight, and you’ve been exercising regularly for 3 weeks. A body composition monitor is able to show you that you’ve lost weight and gained muscle. However if you are using a standard set of bathroom scales that measures only total body weight, it might appear that you’ve not lost “weight” at all - or even gained some - as muscle weighs more than fat.
This can be extremely misleading and disheartening, so it’s imperative you have the right tools to provide the right information the whole way through.
Tanita’s body composition monitors accurately measure bone, fat, water and muscle and present these metrics in an easy to understand way. Several models also connect with the Tanita smartphone apps, meaning all your data is collected and stored on your phone for you to access at all times.
Having a comprehensive breakdown of each of these stats allows you to make specific changes - you might find that you need to drink more water or to focus more on strength exercises to increase muscle. This significantly speeds up your progress, as opposed to the trial and error approach needed from only measuring total body weight.
The tagline for Tanita’s 12 Week Challenge is “More Than A Number.”
This was chosen in part because even though it’s important to measure and monitor your progress, your overall health and fitness comes down to more than just how much you weigh. Data should be used to motivate you and support your fitness goals, not be the only thing to care about.
Remember that you’re More Than A Number - there’s 8 weeks left in Tanita’s 12 Week Challenge so be consistent and keep going!
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