Keeping track of your progress is always important, no matter whether you are training for an event, learning to play poker, or even looking to lose weight. Tracking successful weight reduction is sometimes trickier than you’d think. Focusing mainly on weight and step on the scales every day could be misleading, cause pointless nervousness and undermine your motivation for no valid reason. The scale isn’t necessarily your friend. You might wish to lose weight – but the scale also measures muscles, bones and internal organs, as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Therefore weight or body mass index are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is particularly true if you are just coming off a long period of semi starvation, as your body might want to restore your lost muscles etc. Starting weight training exercise and gaining muscle may also hide your fat loss. Losing fat and gaining muscle means great progress, but you might miss this if you only measure your weight. Therefore it is smart to also track the disappearance of your stomach fat, by measuring your waist circumference. Here is how to do it: Put the tape measure around the middle, slightly above the belly button. Exhalation and relax. Ensure that the tape measure fits comfortably, without compressing your skin. I recommend aiming for excellent, but it is not always realistic. Young people can usually accomplish this, but for some middle-aged and older women it can be a big victory to go all the way to decent. Measuring progress. I suggest measuring your waist circumference and weight prior to starting your weight reduction journey and after that maybe once a week or once a month. Write the results down in order that you could track your progress. If you would like, you can measure more areas: around the buttocks, the chest, the arms, legs, etc. Note that your weight may fluctuate down and up several pounds from day to day, depending on fluid balance and digestion contents: Do not worry about short term changes, follow the long term trend instead. If you can, try to check other important health markers when starting out, such as these: Blood pressure level. Blood sugar. Cholesterol profile. These markers are almost universally improved on a low carbohydrate diet, just before the major weight reduction. Re checking these health markers following a few months can be wonderful for your motivation as they will usually show that you are not just reducing weight, you are gaining health too. PS: Do not have a tape measure at home? Try these options: use any piece of string. Wrap the string around your waist and cut the string to suit your waist on day one. This string could magically appear to get longer and longer each week you wrap it around your waist. Comparing how an old pair of jeans fit is also a good option. It usually takes years or decades to gain a lot of weight. Attempting to lose it all as quickly as possible by starving yourself does not necessarily work well long term, instead it can be a recipe for yo-yo dieting. To succeed, you need something which works long term.