They say a picture is worth a hundred words and we couldn’t agree more…especially when it comes to progress photos!
When you’re on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, it’s easy to get disheartened when you step on the scales and the numbers have barely moved. But taking photos at every stage gives a great visual reminder of how far you’ve come!
Why are progress photos so important?
Not only can progress photos show weight loss in ways that the scales and measurements sometimes can’t, they’re also a great motivator to keep going as you can physically see how you’re achieving your goals.
Shantelle van der Leeuw (pictured above) says, “It’s easy to see all your flaws and not appreciate the hard work and dedication you have put in to get to where you are – take photos! They are a true reflection of your dedication and hard work and the best motivator to keep going!”
Not only that, but you can take them in the privacy of your own home and can share them with whoever you want!
Jessica Hay, who is an aspiring marathon runner says the photos she takes are so great on those days when she’s feeling frustrated with her weight loss.
“Taking pictures and keeping the ones you loathe the most are so important on a journey like this. This comparison helps me see the changes that I so often fail to see.”
8 tips to take before and after photos that will showcase your weight loss success
When working towards a weight loss goal it can be easy to focus only on the numbers but they aren’t the only indicator of success. Yes knowing the number on the scales has changed is helpful, you should also take your measurements regularly to see how those have changed but the best way to illustrate the changes is before and after (or progress) photos.
We have collected 8 tips to help you take the best before and after photos to help you track your weight loss.
1. Choose your outfit wisely
What you wear in your before and after photos is really important as you want to show off as much of your body as possible so as to showcase the changes that come with weight loss. Now we understand that standing in your underwear to get your photo taken isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but perhaps you have some favourite activewear you could wear.
Just make sure not to wear anything too baggy that hides your shape, this may be what you feel most comfortable in. But imagine yourself after you have lost weight, are feeling amazing and are rocking some amazing form-fitting active wear or outfit and you want to see how far you have come but the only photos you have you are hiding under an oversized tee. It will only be for a few moments for the photo.
2. Wear the same thing in every photo
This may sound crazy considering your aiming to lose weight and therefore you will hopefully need new smaller clothes in the future, but we aren’t saying the exact same clothes. If you are wearing active wear or underwear in your before photo make sure you are wearing active wear or underwear in your after or progress photos.
Keeping the clothes consistent will allow for a more accurate image of any changes that have happened during your weight loss journey.
3. Choose a plain background
This may sound simple but we all know how hard it can be to find a spot in the house, especially in front of the mirror if you don’t have someone to help take the photos for you, which is plain and not full of clutter. The thing is if you have clutter in the background of your photos it may distract from the changes in your body.
Find a spot with a plain wall in the background, no clutter, no pictures (if you can) and then use this spot as the spot you take all your photos throughout your journey. The cleaner the photos the more of the changes you will notice as you progress.
4. Take photos from multiple angles
You will be losing weight from all over your body as you go through your weight loss journey even if you are focusing on one area, which means you need to take photos from multiple angles. The best way to do this is to take a photo front on, side on (both sides preferably) and from behind that way you have a 360 view of your body changing.
5. Full body is best
This is simple the more of your body you photograph the more changes you will notice. One week or month you may not think you have lost any weight because you still have a belly but then you look at your photos and notice your arms and legs are more trim and toned.
Taking full-body photos will allow you to track the changes that will be occurring all over your body. It may be easier to ask a trusted friend or family member to help you take the photos to make sure you
6. Lighting is important
If you can’t see yourself then how are you going to track any changes to your body, finding a great spot with natural light will highlight and help showcase all changes. If you can’t find natural light just make sure it’s well-lit so that shadows don’t hide any possible changes.
7. Picture perfect posture
Slouching or leaning will not show you any changes in your body as you start to lose weight and although it may be your standard posture for photos (especially if you are self-conscious), it won’t help you track changes in your body.
So stand up straight with your arms loose beside you and legs shoulder width apart head up looking straight ahead, and keep this posture for all photos no matter the angle.
8. Take photos regularly
And the final, but probably most important tip, is to take these photos regularly. Daily might be too much and you’re unlikely to see any differences, weekly you could see some differences but this may also change week to week. It may be easiest and most effective to take photos every month.
Pick a day each month, add a reminder in your phone and take them.
The best piece of advice we can give when it comes to tracking your progress is to stay consistent with all the information. Wearing the same clothes, with the same background, using the same angles and do it at particular intervals will help you track your progress.
Knowing your BMR
Aside from progress photos, another great way to track your weight loss journey is by knowing your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
This is an estimate of how many calories you would burn if you were to only rest for 24 hours. It’s basically the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning, from breathing to your heart beating.
To learn more about your BMR and BMI, read this article about Understanding BMR & BMI.