Taking Measurements?

What's the best way to take measurements?
trainerAsk Personal Trainer

A: Body measurements are a great way to see localized circumference changes. Of course, better-fitting clothes tell you that you've lost inches, but the tape measure tells you how many. As for locations, I suggest measuring the key areas where you are looking to lose weight. The following list gives you five specific anatomical locations for taking accurate measures.

1. Upper Arm: measured between the shoulder and elbow with your arm at your side

2. Abdomen: measured at the level of your belly button

3. Waist: measured at the narrowest point above your belly button, but below your breast bone (sternum)

4. Hips: measured at the widest point of the hip or buttock region

5. Thigh: measured at the maximal girth of the thigh

Tape Measure Tips
Remember that your measurements are only as good as your technique. Observe these guidelines:

1. Make sure the tape measure is even. A crooked tape gives crooked readings.

2. For the abdomen and waist, maintain normal breathing and take the reading at mid breath.

3. Take measures directly against the skin where possible. Otherwise, wear something form-fitting. Bulky clothes will add inches to your measures.

4. Pull the tape so that it's snug. Don't force it or pull it too tight. This will give you an artificially low reading.

5. Take measurements between meals. This will ensure your stomach is not distended and falsely increasing the reading.

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