How to Measure Inches for Weight Loss

Use a flexible tape measure for taking body measurements.

Most people use the weight listed on a scale as the determining factor of whether they are healthy or not. Measuring the body at the start of a weight loss plan and periodically during the process allows you to see the areas of the body that are losing inches and help you make judgments on where to focus toning exercises. Keep a notebook that lists the measurements and date taken to help track your progress. recommends tracking your waist measurements during weight loss as this is an indicator of your risk for heart ailments and diabetes.

Step 1

Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waist area of the torso to take the waist measurement. This point is approximately 2 inches above the hipbone.


Step 2

Measure the hip circumference by placing the measure tape right above the pubic bone at hip level. Wrap the tape over gluteus muscle so you are measuring the widest area of the hips.

Step 3

Measure the chest by wrapping the measuring tape under the armpits and around to the front of the chest at the widest part. Ask someone to assist you with this measurement so you can keep your arms down against the side of the body for a natural measurement.

Step 4

Wrap the measuring tape around the thigh at the highest point of the muscle. This point is just under the pubic bone. Measure each thigh and record the numbers separately.


Step 5

Measure the calf muscle by wrapping the measuring tape around thickest area of the muscle. This is approximately the halfway point from the knee to the ankle. Measure each calf and record the numbers separately.

Step 6

Measure the bicep area of the arm by wrapping the measuring tape at the point halfway from the elbow to the armpit. Keep your arm relaxed to get a measurement of the arm in a natural state. Measure each bicep and record the numbers separately.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible measuring tape

  • Notebook

  • Pencil


The United States Government Weight-Control Information Network recommends pulling the measuring tape snug without compressing the skin to get an accurate measurement.