How to measure your success best

The problem with the scales

Have you ever experienced this: You took heart and stepped on the scales, but again the display does not show what you expected? Let’s be honest: Many of us connect our well-being to a simple number on a small device. Because we learned it that way. Because it gives us quick information. Because we can do it always and at any time. Because it is simple.

… Too simple! Although weighing has always been the measuring method number 1 for most of us, it is not meaningful on its own.

This is because the body weight is a more complex phenomenon and reflects the sum of quite different and also variable components of your body: Bones, muscles, organs, fat, water, blood etc. All this is reflected in this number which you call your body weight.

Considering that your body consists of about 60% water, which is influenced by countless factors (among others salt/caffeine consumption, carbohydrate intake, sport, stress, time of day, female cycle), every fluctuation literally weighs a great deal. All of this cannot be fully represented by your scales.


Why weighing (alone) is not enough

Sometimes nothing seems to happen for weeks – at least not on the scales. But maybe already in your body! In the meantime you may have built up muscles and lost fat without this being reflected in your body weight. And this fact opens the door to other methods to measure your success!

That does not mean for you to throw your scales out of the window at the next opportunity. It is not an devilish device or an infamous liar. But it tells only half the story, if at all. It is blind to other aspects that are at least as important as the weight. You cannot see the wood for the trees.

Then why should I measure?

The weight should therefore be only one part of the information about your body. If health is a puzzle of 20 pieces, body weight is just one of them. So we should try to complete this puzzle. And in this way measuring other parts of the body is a promising step. And you don’t need fancy equipment for that either, anyone can do it: A simple tape measure is enough.

Measuring allows you to see and document the changes even if the scale indicates a standstill or is driving you crazy. You can see how quickly and, above all, where you lose fat. Not even a body fat analysis can do this, because it cannot distinguish between “good” fat (under the skin) and “bad” fat (on the belly). Sure, measuring alone still doesn’t tell you anything about the exact composition of your body, but it’s a complex matter. However, decreasing measurements while staying the same weight are an indication that you have gained muscles while losing fat. From now on, you will also measure your progress in inches instead of only pounds.


How do I measure correctly?

The best way is to measure the parts of your body whose changes you want to monitor. Chest, waist and hips are considered to be more or less standard, upper arms and thighs a useful supplement. The same applies here as with the scales: It’s quality not quantity that counts! Measure yourself only 1-2 times a month, best always under the same conditions: In the morning or between, not directly after the meals and naked or always in the same, tight-fitting clothes.

And as stupid as it sounds: Write down your results! This is the only way to track your progress over time. That’s why we built the new feature in our BodyFast app. Then you only need a measuring tape made of fabric which should be soft and flexible. We recommend this body tape measure:

And you’re ready to go! Stand relaxed in front of a mirror, keep your legs closed and breathe normally. It’s even better if a friend, the partner or a family member helps you. It is best to work your way through from top to bottom. Don’t over-tighten or over-loosen the tape measure and measure only one side of your body at a time.


Where to measure

Upper arm

Measure the upper arm at the widest point halfway between elbow and shoulder joint.


Miss the chest at the widest point. For most men this is under the armpits, for most women at the nipple line.


Measure the waist at the narrowest point, about 1 inch above the navel. Close the legs, exhale gently and measure the value at the end of exhalation.


Close the legs and measure the hip at the level of the pelvic bones – at the widest point.


Measure the thigh at the widest point halfway between knee and hip.


Measuring success – What really counts

You may be asking yourself: Are my measurements normal? YES, OF COURSE! Just as the BMI is not very meaningful because it does not sufficiently do justice to human diversity, so every human being has a different body shape. A comparison with others is neither possible nor necessary!

Probably you are striving for a certain target weight or some supposedly ideal measurements. Be certain: You don’t have to get it out of your head once and for all. But ask yourself some questions: Is it really the number alone that counts in the end? A few figures that will make you forever happy? Doubtful! Rather, it is about consciously perceiving the change of the body and experiencing personal progress first-hand.

Success does not measure itself in pounds or inches. Success is when you are proud of yourself and your development and are comfortable in your own skin!



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18 thoughts on “How to measure your success best

  1. Joanna Reply

    Thanks for this article. I’m following a method based on BMR (the just cut it method), 7th month now, and I’m halfway through. I knew that I there would come day, when I will stop losing pounds so I wanted to check my body composition. I have downloaded your app and it’s the best 🙂

    • Jenny M. Post authorReply

      Hi Joanna,
      Thank you for your feedback and congratulations on your successes!
      What might also help to overcome a plateau is to vary your weekly plan a bit to avoid habituation and be more effective.
      Keep going, you’re on the right track 😉

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Shannon, thanks for your feedback.
      When losing weight, body fat is broken down evenly across the body, so you will definitely also get rid of back and belly fat.
      Kind regards, your BodyFast-Team

  2. Amélia Reply

    I have done intermittent fasting for 4 weeks now with no sugar rash, over eating, compensating or so on and I have experienced no change on the scale. Am I the only one? I would like to read other people’s similar experience to decide if it is worth continuing.

    • Quirin Salomon Reply

      Hi Amélia,

      It often takes some weeks until the body adjusts itself to the new eating habit of intermittent fasting. Therefore it is possible that you don’t lose weight in the first weeks. That differs from person to person.
      Do not doubt yourself or give in!

      I have a few tips for you:

      + If you didn’t lose weight, you should consider prolonging your fasting hours or fasting more often. That’s what our Coach does – he adjusts your fasting plans according to your goals and progress. But you can also choose a different week plan manually.
      + Intermittent fasting is no fast “wonder diet” which often leads to a yo-yo effect. It is a long-term change of your eating habits. That’s why weight loss can take some time.
      + In the eating periods you shouldn’t overeat – or eat more than you would usually eat without fasting.
      + If you have acute food cravings: stay active, go for a walk, meet friends and drink lots of water (two glasses are recommended).
      + You should avoid sugar and sweetened drinks also in the eating periods. If you really want to eat sugar, then directly after a larger meal, to let your blood sugar regulate itself better. This also reduces the hunger during fasting periods.
      + Sports are fine as well! Try to move while your fasting as this is very efficient with regard to fat burn! But please take care of yourself because your energy level might be lower.

      On top of that please do not focus too much on the number you see on the scales. Your body weight alone is not meaningful and adequate to track your success.
      + It could for example be changes with regard your water household that indicate a weight gain (even if you lost fat).
      + Additionally, training people gain muscles and loose fat at the same time. As muscles are heavier than fat you will see a climbing number on the scales even though you lost fat.
      + Measure your hips, waist and thighs, enter the figures in the app statistics and track them over time. These numbers are much more meaningful as they show you if and where you lost fat.

      I hope that this info helps you a bit to go on and believe in yourself!

      Kind regards,

      Your BodyFast-Team



    • Jenny M. Post authorReply

      Hola Eugenia y bienvenidos a BodyFast!
      Dependiendo de la región en la que vivas, puede haber otras opciones de pago, como tarjetas de crédito prepagadas. Visita el App Store para más información. Te deseamos todo lo mejor para tu viaje de ayuno 🙂

  4. JOHNSON Angela Reply

    Where do I go in the app to see the beginning to the end layout. What I can expect in my first 3 months. Is the 3 month design to help me reach my goal.

    • Quirin Salomon Reply

      Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your question on how to use the BodyFast App!
      You can see the overview of your overall progress when you go to the “Me” tab. Also, you can decide with which pace you want to head into your fasting journey. The Coach proposes you fasting plans depending on your goals, your progress and your individual statistics.

      Here, some more info about what to expect from Intermittent Fasting with the BodyFast app:
      The BodyFast app is based on the method of intermittent fasting which means eating with breaks, not more and not less. With this healthy and natural form of nutrition, we give our body the time it needs to digest and metabolize food without being disturbed by a constant supply of new intake. This also gives it more room for processes such as fat burning and detoxification, the intensity of which is increased by fasting. Weight loss is more or less a very welcomed positive side-effect of intermittent fasting.

      And that’s how it works: At certain times, for example from 8pm to 12pm the next day, you fast, meaning eating nothing. The rest of the time, there are no restrictions on what to eat (which is not equivalent to how much to eat).

      So how to get started with the BodyFast app?

      1) After the download, you should enter your personal data and your fasting goals. This is especially important if you go for the BodyFast Coach, an intelligent algorithm which analyses your progress and develops a new fasting plan individually for you each week. Additional challenges and small tasks support you in reaching your feel-good weight and get or stay healthy.

      2) After the onboarding is done, you will see the main screen, where you have three categories of plans with varying difficulties. The difficulty is indicated by the dots:

      Standard: 16-8, 14-10, etc.
      Special: Varying fasting periods for maximum efficiency and to prevent getting used to one rhythm including counterproductive habituation effects.
      Autophagy: Longer fasting periods for maximum effects of autophagy – which helps to cleanse and repair your body cells.
      And last but not least the Coach: The Coach will calculate your individual week plan, based on your age, weight, exercise level, progress and goals. Scientific research about intermittent fasting is the basis for BodyFast. Weekly challenges, small tasks for your health, fitness and well-being give BodyFast the final touch.

      3) Select the plan you want to start with. The fasting times are marked by the colored bars and also listed under the diagram. You might want to shift the fasting schedule by tapping on “Move period” and using the + and – buttons to fit your daily routine. Please note that you can still shift the schedule later during the week if you need so. Coach users have one Joker day each week to take a complete break from fasting.

      4) And then: You are ready to go! Just click “Start Week” and enjoy BodyFasting 🙂

      I hope this helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to send us an email at

      We wish you a happy new year!

      – Your BodyFast team

  5. Lisa S Reply

    Hello! I was just looking over your website considering downloading the app when I came across your articles. Let me say that the information you provide is invaluable. I’m extremely impressed with this as obviously it shows you’re providing more than just another app. You’re providing education. As a nurse, I always want to understand things. Understand why things are or why things happen. You provide me with this and for that, I’m definately going to download your app. You definately stand out above the rest! Thank you!

    • Jenny M. Post authorReply

      Hi Lisa!

      Thank you very much for your kind words, much appreciated! BodyFast is not like any other app, we strive to make the world healthier and happier 🙂
      Stay tuned for some more interesting articles to be published in the upcoming weeks! You also might want to follow us on Instagram where you will find even more valuable content.

      Happy BodyFasting!

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