walking for weight loss

Walking For Weight Loss - Measuring Your Success


When following a walking for weight loss program, you need to have a system of measuring if your actions are being effective or not. If you don’t monitor the changes that you’re experiencing then you’ll never know if what you’re doing is working or not.


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Unfortunately most people will simply jump on the scales every couple of days to see what’s going on, but this is a BIG mistake.

The problem is that you’ll never really know what you’ve lost.  We don’t want to lose muscle because this slows down our metabolic rate and we don’t want to lose water because this makes us dehydrated making weight loss so much more difficult. But if you just use the scales to measure progress, how will you know what you’ve lost?


Using weighing scales can determine if your overall weight is down, but that tells you nothing if what you have lost is mainly water, which is incidentally what nearly all initial weight loss from diets is. 


Losing body fat should be the goal of any walking weight loss program and its success can only be measured by the amount of fat lost, not an overall reduction in body weight.


My advice is to get rid of the scales and instead use these methods of measuring your fat loss...

  • Take photos of yourself before you start, preferably in just your underwear. It’s much easier to be objective when you look at a paper copy of yourself.  
  • Use a favourite item of clothing to be your guide.  Anything that’s a little snug to begin with is perfect as you’ll be referring back to it once a week or so to see if progress is being made. 
  • A fabric tape measure may well be one of the most effective techniques as you can measure around many places to get your results. I would suggest as a minimum you measure around the widest part of your hips and the narrowest part of your waist, or in line with your belly button.  

When measuring around the waist, don’t tense or pull in your tummy muscles, just stand relaxed. When measuring your hips, stand with your feet together.

Take your measurements a couple of times to ensure accuracy

  • Use skinfold calipers to get your body fat levels. If you’re a member of a gym, the instructors there should be able to do this for you. Alternatively you can buy a cheap set of plastic calipers online, they should only cost between $20.00 - $30.00 and you usually get a ‘how to’ manual thrown in. 

If you’re still determined to use weighing scales to chart your walking for weight loss progress then do so, but use other methods as well and never just rely on weighing scales alone.


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