How To Measure Inches For Weight Loss

When trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to keep track of the inches you’ve lost as well as the number on the scale. Increasing your physical activity and changing your eating habits to lose weight can result in a change in your body composition. You can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. As a result, your pants size may decrease more quickly than your weight. Paying attention to your weight loss can help you stay motivated and encouraged as you lose weight. Find out more about “How To Measure Inches For Weight Loss.”

how to measure inches for weight loss

How To Measure Yourself

Make sure to use a tape measure that is both flexible and inelastic. A cloth measuring tape or one designed specifically for taking body measurements, such as the MyoTape Body Tape Measure, are both good options.

Take your measurements at least twice for accuracy. To get your final numbers, take the average of both measurements.

Pull the tape measure so that it sits on the skin’s surface but does not compress it for all measurements. Every four weeks, record your measurements in this progress chart to see if you’re losing weight. It’s possible for some people to lose inches without losing weight. This could indicate that you’re losing fat while gaining muscle.

Where to Measure

Here’s where to measure different body parts:

  • Waist: Locate the natural waist or the narrowest point of your body.
  • Abs: Find the widest part of your torso, which is often around your navel.
  • Arms: Find the midpoint between your shoulder bone and elbow of your relaxed arm while standing up straight.
  • Calves: Measure midway between the knee and ankle.
  • Chest: Stand with your feet together and your torso straight, and measure the widest portion of your bust.
  • Hips: The widest portion of your glutes is here. While standing sideways, look into a mirror. Make sure the tape is perpendicular to the floor.
  • Thighs: The widest portion of the thigh is a good place to start. Look for the midpoint between the glutes’ lower end and the back of the knee, or use the fullest part of your thigh.

Waist Measurement

The most common way to determine how many inches you’ve lost is to measure your waist circumference. It’s also a good predictor of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, according to McKinley Health Center. To do this at home, you’ll need a measuring tape. Place the zero end of the tape measure on the top of one of your hip bones. Wrap the tape measure around your waist, parallel to the floor, at the height of your hips. You want the tape measure to be snug against your bare skin rather than your clothing, but don’t press it into your skin. Read the number of inches on the tape where the zero point meets the back of the tape.


Take the measurement at the side of the ribcage, underneath the arm, with the tape measure in line with the nipple.

Hip Dimensions

As you lose weight, the size of your hips (or buttocks) will change. The measurement is taken around your buttocks’ thickest area. While standing with your legs hip-distance apart, wrap the tape measure around your buttocks, parallel to the floor. This measurement can be taken without taking off your clothes. Make certain that the tape measure is snug but not too tight.

Arm Circumference

As you lose weight, the circumference of your arms changes as well. For this measurement, having an assistant is beneficial. Between your elbow and shoulder, find the point on your upper arm that is in the middle. A small dot on this midway point with a marker can be helpful. Bend your elbow and rest your forearm comfortably at your side while sitting, or bend your elbow and rest your forearm comfortably at your side while standing. Wrap the measuring tape around your arms parallel to the floor and read the measurement where it crosses over itself with your assistant. Wrap the tape around your arms parallel to the floor and read off your measurement at arm’s length as you place the zero on the marker dot. You can do this measurement on your own, but it will be difficult if you only have one hand.

Mid-Thigh Measurement

During weight loss, you’ll most likely lose inches around your mid-thigh. To determine thigh circumference, measure from the top of your kneecap to the crease of your thigh and groin region. It’s a good idea to mark this center point once more. If you’re doing this measurement by yourself, sit with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Wrap the measuring tape around your thigh’s midpoint.

Taking Dimensions

To track your weight loss, take your body circumference once or twice a month. It’s a good idea to take these measurements first thing in the morning. Keep a journal of your measurements and weight loss. To reduce their risk of chronic disease, women should keep their waist circumference under 35 inches, and men should keep their waist circumference under 40 inches to reduce their waist circumference.

Related: How to Lose Inches without Losing Weight

Final Thoughts

Weight loss is often associated with how you look in the mirror, how your clothes fit, or what the scale says. However, these aren’t always accurate measures of success. Body measurements are a helpful way to track inches lost during weight loss.

When taking any measurement, be sure to use a measuring tape and measure the same spot on your body each time. Consistency is key for accurate tracking. Also, be sure the measuring tape is snug against your skin but not pressed into it. You can measure over clothing if necessary, but be sure the clothing isn’t adding bulk. Take measurements once or twice a month for the most accuracy.