Taking your body measurements after pregnancy is a great way of keeping track of your changing body shape as you get fitter. When you strength train and burn fat you increase muscle tone and mass. This may be reflected as weight gain on the scales so there may be times when you weigh a little more however your body is toning up.
The scales don’t tell you how much muscle you have or how fit you are. Muscle takes up less space than fat in your body and is more metabolically active, so the more muscle tone you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. When you see your weight as a number of the scale it doesn't tell you how much fat you have lost. Where you will see fat loss and muscle tone is in your measurements, how your clothes fit and how your body looks.
To have a complete picture of your progress when tracking your body measurements, measure yourself in the key different places as depending on what body part you are targeting.
Top Tips for Accurate Measurements.
- Take a cloth, soft tape measure (not a metal or stretchable one) and ensure the tape is not twisted or uneven.
- Wear minimal amount of clothes (ideally just underwear or none at all).
- Take your measurements first thing in the morning before you have eaten so you are avoiding any after meal bloating.
- Stand in front of a full length mirror so you can see the tape and keep it straight. This helps when it comes to measuring your hips as it can be difficult to see if the tape is straight.
- Pull the tape measure so it is snug around the part you are measuring but not too tight. Keep tape close to your skin without depressing it.
- Avoid sucking in your tummy, keep your breathing relaxed (avoid holding your breath) otherwise the reading won't be an accurate, reflective measurement.
- Write your measurements down each time so you can see your progress for extra motivation. You can use this handy guide to record them and help you be consistent.
How and Where To Measure.
Lower Tummy - Navel (belly button)
Take a tape measure behind your back and around your body at the belly button, record the measurement where the end of the tape meets the remaining length.
Measure around the natural waistline, the narrowest part where your waist comes in and the natural fold you have when you bend over to one side. Take the tape measure behind your back and bring it around, so you measure the circumference, recording the measurement where the end of the tape meets the remaining length.
Put your feet together and wrap the measuring tape straight and snug around the widest part of your hips. Your hip measurement is the point at which the end of the tape meets the remaining length.
Measure above your elbows, take the tape measure around your arm at the fullest part.
Measure around fullest part of upper leg while standing.
Other Things to Note
How Does Your Core Feel?
Every 2 weeks, take a good look at your tummy muscles standing in front of the mirror and turn to the side and look at the side profile. Many women when they've had a baby would rather not do this and I remember not wanting to look in the mirror at my tummy myself after having my babies, but it's important you do. What you are looking at is the shape and your posture. Then record how they feel and look. There is a little section on the handy guide below for you to add your notes.
How Do Your Clothes Fit?
This is a great way of seeing your progress and how much you are toning up around your waist. Try on your clothes and note whether they feel loser or tighter. Again, you can record this on the handy guide below.
For some, the figure on the scale is seen as the measurement of success or failure with slimming down or losing weight. It's important you do not use the number on the weighing scales as your only indicator as it is not telling you how much stronger your core is, on in the case of a diastasis recti, whether this has healed or your connective tissue stronger, nor does it tell you how much more muscle tone or energy you have or how fit you feel!
Download your Body Measurements Tracking Chart Here
Or click the image below.