My wife and I moved from Asia to the USA and immediately did some traveling after arriving here. We went about a month with no training and my diet was hit or miss (mostly miss).
The wake-up call to get my diet back in order came when I tried on an old pair of slacks. They were tight in the waist. I couldn’t wear them for fear of reenacting this Subway commercial:
These before-mentioned pants were probably a bit snug on previous (leaner) versions of me. Regardless, I couldn’t ignore the obvious: weeks of no exercise and bad eating has taken it’s toll. I’m not obsessed with wearing those slacks again, but I definitely need to drop a few pounds of fat.
There’s a point to my story: it’s helpful to have objective ways to measure your progress. Stepping on the scale is the most common way, but probably not the best–it doesn’t give you much useful information on change in body composition.
Brad Pilon recommends having a DEXA/DXA scan or Bod Pod measurement done once a year to measure body fat–this is probably the best way for those who want precise feedback. You can get a general idea of how things are going just by measuring your waist every once in a while. Another option is to take pictures of yourself for comparison (not really objective, but you can usually see improvements and/or needed improvements by comparing photos of yourself).
Don’t forget to include some form of measurements in your fitness journey. This will help you celebrate your accomplishments and warn you when you are moving in the wrong direction.