Many times during a fitness or weight-loss journey, we become discouraged because of the lack of progress we are seeing in front of our eyes or on the scale. This feeling is normal, especially given the fact that you look at yourself every day and may not readily see how your physique is transforming. If you are just getting started or a long time fitness enthusiast, one of the best things you can do monitor changes, is take progress pictures.

Progress photos allow you to go back in time and see a visual representation of your former physique. This is a wonderful way to gauge and track progress. Depending on your goals and starting place, using the scale is not the best indicator for change as it does not take fat loss or muscle gain into account. You would be surprised at how some individuals can gain a few pounds of muscle and look leaner than they did in an image where they actually weighed less. Below are a few progress photo tips that are great if you are simply trying to get in better shape or step on the competitive stage.

  • Take pictures once a week or once every 2 weeks. Taking them each day will not show visible change as clearly.
  • Take pictures in the same location. Having the same lighting will show progress more accurately over time. Different lighting will make you appear softer or leaner, so keep it consistent.
  • Take pictures wearing the same outfit, this makes it easier to see changes over time. Preferably an outfit that shows your shape.
  • Download a free photo timer app on your smart phone and place on a tripod or table to take hands-free pictures. Now you don’t need to awkwardly ask your friends to take your pictures for you.
  • Download a free text app on your smart phone or free software online to add dates and weight at the bottom of a picture. This will help you have a reference point when looking back on your progress.
  • Start an album in your phone or on your computer with all of your progress photos so that you can easily access them in one simple spot.
  • Stay consistent! We all have bad weeks, don’t be afraid of tracking your progress if you had a few slip ups—that is part of your journey. If you skip tracking your progress, it will become a habit. Hold yourself accountable, take the pictures and understand why you had a rough week with dieting or training. This will help you learn to avoid falling of track in the future.

Remember that we all start somewhere. So if you feel a bit embarrassed of where you are starting or of having added on excess body fat—it’s OK! Taking your progress photos is the first step in saying that you are ready to make a change and continue on your journey of living a happy and fit life.

Angeles Burke,
IFBB Bikini Pro
AFFA Certified Group Fitness
Fitness and Wellness Director at Celsius, Inc.
Bombshell Fitness
IG: @AngelesBurke
Twitter: @AngelesBurke