Track Weight Loss Progress by Taking Pictures

28 Responses

  1. Starving Goat says:

    Good advice Tyler,

    I used to weigh myself incessantly and it would even stop me from drinking water because I feared I was putting on real weight.

    After all if the scale says it’s true it must be true.

    At least I can laugh at my stupidity these days 😀

  2. So true! The scale does lie. I like to see lower numbers, of course. But what should be (and is) more important is how my clothes feel on me. If I’ve been good about walking, I’m toner and my jeans feel better. The weight might be the same, but flab makes a difference.

  3. Taylor Miles says:

    I can’t agree with this enough… some weeks i wouldn’t lose a thing on the rotten scale and for over a month during my journey to lose 80 pounds i wouldn’t see the scale move an inch, but i would see my appearance change. TAKE PICTURES!

  4. Jollyreaper says:

    Agreed. Weight lifting especially screws with the scale. Take measurements and use the calipers to compute body fat.

    Fitness is like religion in that everyone has a personal take on it and there’s a lot of dogma. One thing that I hear a lot of is that lifting is also good for the fat burning, not just getting muscley. Lifting ups the metabolism more than cardio. Don’t pick one over the other but do both.

    Also remember that you can’t target fat loss, your body does what it does. Keep doing right and the fat will eventually go. You can target the muscles under the fat for toning.

  5. Found you on the Problogger website. I will be tracking your progress as I have bookmarked you. Keep up the great work. :)

  6. Wendy says:

    This is my first time posting but I’ve been following your posts for the past few months of my weight loss. You inspire me so much and I can so relate to your posts. I’ve lost almost 40 lbs and have about 15-20 to go. I have been eating healthy 99% of the time but I overindulged with Chinese carryout on NYE and stepped on the scale the next day and I was up 5 lbs and could believe my eyes. It took a few days before it went down. My New Year’s Resolution is to not obsess over the scale because you can lose inches and fat and not necessarily lbs. Thanks for motivating me and keep up the great work…you look fantastic.

  7. Mike says:

    I have very few “before” pictures. Like most who are/have been on the obese+ end of the scale, I avoided being in front of the camera. Taking progress pics is one of those things that I really wish I had done more. I have a few before pics I have dug up, none really too flattering, and most not “posed”. I have a few on my blog now, but need to add more. I have gotten better lately though about having my picture taken, since I finally don’t think I look like a total slob.

  8. theantijared says:

    You are looking good! Keep up the good work man.

  9. Tyler says:

    At least it’s in the past! It seems though for me that the more water drink, the more weight I lose, so I’ve always tried to drink more regardless. I do see where you’re coming from, though.

  10. Tyler says:

    Flab makes a huge difference, I never knew how big of a difference it would be until I lost 100+ pounds. Then I was like, “Oh, I like what the scale says, but I’ve still got a lot of fat!”

  11. Tyler says:

    Good advice, indeed.

  12. Tyler says:

    I can 100% attest to what weight lifting does for your metabolism. The first 14 months of my journey, pretty much all cardio… if I looked at a cookie, I’d gain a pound. As soon as I started weight lifting I’ve been unrestricted, able to eat pretty much anything and lose the weight within a day or two. I’ve been able to very quickly bounce back from big meals, within 24 hours usually, something that was impossible when I was doing just cardio.

  13. Tyler says:

    Glad you found me. Thanks for the kind comment!

  14. Tyler says:

    Thanks, Tony. You don’t look too bad yourself!

  15. Tyler says:

    Harsh words, but deep down I don’t think when I was 344 pounds I thought I was a slob. I thought I had control of my life, but really, it was all an illusion. Only now looking back (from the outside in) do I realize how bad it became.

  16. AFG says:

    Yes, photos are a great idea! I took it up a notch and recorded a bunch of videos of me in the gym – weekly when I first got started. Talk about a reality check. It took everything I could to edit those suckers. I still do some videos occasionally and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

  17. Jason says:

    This very thing is plaguing me this week! I finally had to put the scale away so I wouldn’t obsess over it. Two weeks ago I gained 2 lbs, and this week I didn’t gain or lose anything. But over the course of these two weeks, I’ve lost over 6 inches from my arms, legs, waist, and hips. So something’s happening, and the scale can’t see it. I’m even thinking about not using the scale every week – maybe every two or more – and using a tape measure and my sense of well-being to determine how I should feel about my progress.

    What *is* it about that number?!

    Thanks for the post!
    -j

  18. Julia says:

    I couldn’t agree more – TAKE PICTURES!

    For me, if I get “off track,” I look back at my progress photos and remember JUST why I am making these healthy changes. It’s important to see changes in yourself because the scale can be deceiving!

  19. Lisa says:

    My scale says I’m up about 2 pounds but that’s weird because all the holiday photos look skinnier than before! I hate the scale. I weigh myself once a month to check in but I usually go off photos and how my clothes fit instead.

  20. Rudy Torres says:

    Dang Tyler! You nailed it buddy. The day after Thanksgiving I stepped on the scale and it read 8 lbs above. I couldn’t believe it. I had worked hard to loose those first 12 lbs and to gain it almost all back after just one weekend. I almost quit right there and then.

    After some pouting I realized that there was no way I could have eaten that much turkey, potatos, stuffing, etc. I went back to my notes and saw that I hadn’t gone over my calories by much. I learned something that day…THE STUPID SCALE IS A LIAR!

  21. SueB says:

    I agree! It’s amazing how the scale jumps after I’ve had a meal that’s high in sodium. It’s just important to not let it get you down and that you continue with the program, whatever that may be!

  22. Rob McCance says:

    Good points. I’ve seen a 10 pound swing in a single day before. It was indeed a bad food day, but c’mon 10 pounds!

    I’ve also lost like 6 lbs on a 90 minute run before. Also, unfortunately this case, not going to stick!

    Pictures are an excellent idea to keep you going.

  23. Madeline says:

    What a great idea! With all the holiday weight/being snowed-in activity, the scale has been a bit discouraging now as it has not moved one bit! I’ll definitely give this a try — maybe where the same clothes each time! Thanks!

  24. Sheri says:

    Tyler, your absolutely right scales DO lie! I can gain like that overnight easily and what I didn’t know a few months ago was it was not real.

    Now, if you eat out of control regularly it will be real and it will add on quickly.

    However, I had to give up weighing weekly because it was hurting my maintenance and hurting me mentally. That number I so loved would be farther away and I’d call myself FAT….I finally realized I was not fat anymore and its time to treat myself nicer because I DESERVE IT! I had lost 60 pounds, but to maintain that 60 pounds I had to eat less than 1300 calories daily and that was not logical. Almost impossible for me to maintain, so I had to face fact the scale will go up and that is okay as long as I’m still in my size 10’s. 😉

  25. Tyler says:

    Chinese food will definitely push the scale up, I know that all too well. I love Chinese food, particularly a buffet nearby, and I still visit about once every couple of months.

  26. Cat says:

    And don’t underestimate the power of a measuring tape. Between the way clothes fit and the measuring tape, these can be a better way of measuring your progress especially if the scale isn’t going the way you think it should.

  27. chacha1 says:

    Hi Tyler, that meal was probably closer to 3000 or even 3500 calories, but more importantly it was probably full of sodium. So yeah – that scale is telling you you’re retaining water, not that you’ve “gained weight.”

    I think the much better unit of measure, for people in a normal weight range, is a tape measure. Once your waistline is a smaller number than your chest measurement, it does become much more about how you look and feel than about how much you weigh.

    Continuing congratulations on your success!

  28. Laura says:

    Great post, Tyler! Of course I know that that muscle weighs more than fat and you can’t use the scale to track all your progress, but this was a really great reminder to me of all that on a day when I wasn’t particularly happy with the number I saw on the scale :)