It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to drop 10 pounds or if you’re trying to drop 100 pounds, one of the most important things to do to keep yourself on the right path and motivated is to track your weight loss progress. Now, we’re not huge fans of measuring weight loss through the scale alone, but we do have to admit that it can give you that little boost of confidence you need, especially when you’re not seeing huge changes in the mirror just yet. Calculating for weight loss percentages is easier than you think.
In addition to tracking weight lost, it’s also a great idea to track the percentage of body fat that you’ve already lost, which you can simply refer to as your weight loss percentage. Some people seem to be turned off by this because it sounds complicated and because they’d rather just hop on the weighing scale and be done with it. However, it turns out that calculating for your weight loss percentage isn’t that difficult at all. In fact, all you really need to do is grab a piece of paper and a pen.
Tracking Your Weight Loss Percentage
If you want to really make weight loss percentage tracking a part of your weight loss regimen, then you’ll have to establish a routine for it so that you get the most accurate picture of your progress as possible. The easiest way to get this done is to pick one day every week to be your official “weigh-in day”. It really doesn’t matter what day in the week you choose as long as you stick to it.
On your weigh-in days, you should try to consistently weigh yourself in the morning after you relieve yourself in the bathroom. By doing so, you ensure that you’re getting a measurement that isn’t being influenced by the food you’ve eating for the day. For example, weighing yourself at the end of the day could make it seem as if you’ve gained weight because all the food you’ve eaten throughout the day is still sitting in your stomach. By weighing yourself in the morning, your stomach is empty and, ideally, your bowels and bladder have been emptied.
Once you’ve taken your second measurement on week two, you’ll be able to start calculating for your weight loss percentage.
Calculating for Weight Loss Percentages
Figuring out the percentage of weight loss is as easy as applying your current weight and previous week’s weight into an equation. The equation is simple:
Weight Loss Percentage for the Week = [ (Previous Week’s Weight – Current Weight) / Previous Week’s Weight] x 100.
You can also use the same equation to figure out your total weight loss over a prolonged period of time or over the months if you’d rather track your progress monthly. If you want to calculate for your weight loss percentage since you started, you’d apply the same equation with different values such as this:
Current Total Weight Loss Percentage = [ (Starting Weight – Current Weight) / Starting Weight] x 100.
See what we mean? It’s simple and easy as pie once you plug everything into a calculator. Hey, if you’re a math genius, you can even calculate everything manually if you want. Like we mentioned earlier, you can use this equation to track multiple milestones such as week over week weight loss, month over month weight loss, quarterly weight loss and your one-year weight in.
Is Weight Loss Percentage the Same as Fat Loss Percentage?
This seems to be a common question that fitness professionals get asked and the simple answer is: no. It’s simple and doesn’t take much brain power to figure out what your weight loss percentage is, but the truth is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you’re losing is fat.
For example, the first month is typically when you’ll see huge numbers drop from the scale, but that’s typically because you’re losing a ton of water weight that your body’s been clinging to. It’s also possible that you’re losing muscle mass. Naturally, this means that your fat loss percentage will be different from your overall weight loss percentage.
Figuring out your fat loss percentage is far more complicated to calculate on your own, and when you first start out, there’s really no other way to figure it out apart from visiting a weight loss or fitness professional. Some ways to compute for fat loss percentage would be to use skinfold calipers or body scans.
These are typically done at sports clinics or doctor’s clinics, and repeated trips are needed to figure out how much of what you’re losing is actually fat. Honestly, testing can be costly, but if your body fat percentage and/or BMI is a huge concern for you, then it could be worth the investment to take multiple trips to the doctor.
What Loss Percentage Should I Expect to See?
There isn’t really a standard recommendation or average percentage that people refer to when they’re tracking weight loss. Additionally, weight percentage lost will vary from person to person depending on their starting weight, so it’s hard to put an average or an expected average value for that as well.
Generally speaking, when it comes to expectations, it’s best to go by pounds lost. The standard is 1 to 2 pounds a week for people who don’t need to lose much weight, but for heavier folks who really need to start trimming down, it’s not uncommon to see averages of 2 to 3 pounds lost per week. A good goal to set for yourself is to lose 8 to 10 pounds a month.
When it comes to fat loss, a maximum of 1 percent of body fat per month is a healthy rate of fat loss to expect. For individuals who are morbidly obese, it may be okay to lose up to 2 percent of your body fat per month. Anything more than that could be dangerous. At the end of the day.It’s your best bet to see a weight loss professional so that they can give you realistic goals that are healthy and manageable.