As the days go by during your weight loss and fitness program, it's natural to want to know how you are progressing. After all, the whole point of putting yourself through your training routine and nutrition plan is so that you can reach that perfect weight you have set as your goal. There are a number of progress evaluation techniques you may employ that will give you a clearer picture of the progress you're making.
You shouldn't pay too much attention to the scale. Just because the scale isn't moving in a downward direction as you had hoped, doesn't necessarily mean you're weight loss and fitness program is a waste of time. Before you step on the scale each morning, it's important that you know the difference between body weight and body fat. Checking your body weight will only tell you whether you gained or lost weight. It tells you nothing about fat loss or muscle gain.
So theoretically, it's not unusual for someone setting out on a new weight loss and fitness program to see the scale go up, which could show that they've gained muscle while losing body fat, yet they typically cannot understand the weight gain and think they are not making progress. Really, they've made fantastic progress and are exactly where they want to be. By using body fat measurement instead, you'll get a much more accurate idea of what's going on.
It is also important to assess your overall workout volume. For example, it is a good idea to know how much total weight you actually lifted over the entire workout session. A good tip to use for working this out is to simply multiply how many sets you're doing for each workout by how many reps, multiplied by how much weight you are lifting. Do this once a week. Then, over a period of time you are able to compare your results. You should notice that there is an overall upwards trend, which means your body is becoming stronger and as your weight loss and fitness program progresses you become fitter, you are able to tolerate a higher amount of overall volume. A great pointer that you're heading in the right direction.
Taking notice of your recovery rates is another good indicator of how well you're progressing in your weight loss and fitness program. At first you may take days to recover from your workouts in the gym, and you should make notes on how long recovery takes. Before long you will notice faster recovery rates, and feeling that you could go back in the gym almost immediately. This also serves to demonstrate that you are making good headway and that your overall weight loss program is progressing well. Don't be tempted to step up your program intensity as your recovery notes will count for nothing.
Together with your strength levels, you should also keep notes on your endurance capacity. Are you now able to run faster than before you embarked on your weight loss and fitness program? Or perhaps you can now bike for 30 minutes straight whereas in the early days you could only bike for 15 minutes. If this is the case it's a clear indication that you are moving forwards in at least some aspects of your overall weight loss program. And if you're keeping a check on your measurements you will no doubt be noticing you have lost inches off your waist, thighs, hips, and arms.
So make sure you keep these assessment tips in mind if you want to get a good overall picture of how your weight loss and fitness is progressing. Don't take too much notice of the scale, your workout volume, recovery rates, strength levels and measurements will offer a more accurate picture in showing that you've definitely made progress.