Start accurately tracking body measurements to highlight your progress

  • 2 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

When it comes to tracking body measurements, the scale isn’t the only tool to monitor your weight loss or fitness progress. Following your body measurements is a simple and quite motivating strategy that allows you to note when you lose fat or gain muscle.

Tracking body measurements

What tracking body measurements can do for you

Body measurement tracking can provide a powerful incentive. Of course, there will be days (or weeks) when the scale doesn’t budge. But seeing inches lost (or gained, in the right places) can help you see how your eating and exercise efforts are paying off in terms of body fat loss or muscle mass gain.

In particular, waist measurements can help you see how you improve your health by shedding risky belly fat. Of course, you can note looser-fitting pants as an indicator of progress, but body measurements will give you specific numbers you can compare over time.

Did you know you can track your body measurements with MyNetDiary?

It’s easy to track your body measurements and generate reports with a Premium MyNetDiary subscription. Here’s where you find body measurement tracking:

Android: On your dashboard, under “My Health”
iPhone: Go to the “Me” tab, then “Measurements.”
Web: On your dashboard, scroll down to “Health.”

You can select the measures you would like to track. For example, many people follow their waist, hip, and thigh size to check progress as part of their weight-loss plan. Likewise, people looking to build muscle may monitor their bicep, thigh, and chest changes.

How to take accurate body measurements

Measuring tape

You can use a soft, nonstretchable, sewing or tailoring measuring tape. You can also purchase a measuring tape specifically designed for body measurements. Many are retractable, with a locking pin, and are designed for ease of use with one hand–beneficial if you don’t have a partner to help you.

The measuring tape should be firmly against your body to stay in place but not create an indentation. Take measurements twice for accuracy and use the average of the two readings.


Wear form-fitting or little to no clothing at all (if you are in a private setting).

Body position

Take your measurements, standing up straight with feet together. Relax without flexing your muscles or “sucking it in.”


Try to be consistent about when you take your measurements, such as first thing in the morning. Take your measurements before a workout, not after. Body measurements do not change quickly, so measure weekly at most.

Specific body measurement methods


This measurement holds the most value for assessing health risks. A larger waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, even within a normal weight range.

Find the top of your hip bones (iliac crest). Place the measuring tape just above the top of your hipbones and bring it together at the front of your abdomen, keeping the tape parallel to the floor. Exhale normally, then note the measurement.


Standing with your feet together, measure around the widest part of your hips (your buttocks). Make sure the tape is flat and parallel to the floor.


Ask someone else to do this measurement for you. Allow your arm to relax and hang to your side, with the palm facing the thigh. Next, measure around the midpoint of your upper arm, between your elbow and the top of your shoulder, keeping the tape parallel to the floor.


If you do this alone, measure in front of a mirror to ensure the tape measure is level. Without a shirt, wrap the tape measure around your chest, just below your armpit. Measure the widest part of your chest (or bust). Don’t puff out your chest or exhale excessively.


Wrap the tape measure horizontally around your neck, just under the larynx (“Adam’s apple”), about one inch (2.5 cm) above where your shoulders meet your neck.


Standing with legs slightly apart, measure around the widest part of your thigh, keeping the tape parallel to the floor.


While seated, place your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Then, measure the widest part of your calf, keeping the tape parallel to the floor.

Note: For the biceps, thigh, and calf, measure the same side of your body (left or right) for consistency.

More tips for tracking your body measurements with MyNetDiary

Related content:

Diet and exercise tips to lose belly fat and gain muscle

What your waist circumference and obesity tell you about health risk

Measure success beyond the scale to track loss progress

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Weight Loss->Body composition
May 8, 2023
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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