How to Take Accurate Before and After Measurements

How to Take Accurate Before and After Measurements

I know.... you are standing there holding the measuring tape and wondering... where EXACTLY am I supposed to measure?  I can't tell for sure just by looking at this picture... and I want to get it right!  Believe me, I feel your pain! Relax... it is actually not that hard.


Don’t worry…taking body part measurements is super easy. All you need is a flexible tape measure (fabric, not metal!) and a method to record and track your results like one of my above measurement trackers. You can find fabric tape measures at almost any art & craft or fabric store near you.

When taking your measurements, you need to measure with the same tightness and same spot each and every time – otherwise, you are not going to get accurate readings. The measuring tape should neither be too tight nor too loose. If skin is starting to bulge out from over and under the tape measure, you are measuring too tight, and if it’s moving around freely, you don’t have it tight enough.

Here are the body parts you should always measure and how to measure them properly:
  • Neck – Measure around the smallest part of your neck.
  • Chest– Measure around the fullest part of your bust, under your armpits and around your shoulder blades.
  • Arms – Measure around the largest part of your arms (flexed or not flexed, just make sure to do it the same every week.)
  • Waist – Measure around the smallest part of your waist, if you don’t have a pronounced wasistline and you’re fairly straight, measure at the belly button.
  • Hips – Measure around the widest portion of your hips.
  • Thighs –  Measure the circumference of the the fullest part of your thigh, usually about three inches from your crotch.
  • Calves – Measure around the largest part of your calf (flexed or not flexed, just do it the same each time).

Muscle weighs more than fat and does not take up as much space, which means you could lose a ton of fat and not lose much weight on the scale if you’ve been putting on lean muscle mass. What commonly happens when people begin a new fitness program is that they lose fat and replace it with muscle. This means the scale could remain the same even though you’ve lost five pounds of fat and replaced it with five pounds of muscle. A good thing to always remember is this: losing inches is a better tracker of success than losing a ton of weight.  Taking your body part measurements will let you know if you are building muscle and losing fat, while a scale is just not smart enough to figure that out!