I'm just starting paleo, and I'd like to keep track of body measurements (such as waist, hip, etc.) as I go along to see what changes. I'm just not sure which measurements to take? Ideally, things I can measure myself at home. Is there a suggested list anywhere?
I keep an excel spreadsheet with the following measurements:
These are I believe the same metrics used to P90X to track your progress (I could be wrong). You should measure both waist and hips because depending on your body shape you could be losing more in one place verses the other. Same deal with your thigh.
As for your neck, measurements should increase over time as your gain more muscle.
I use a waist ribbon, it was cut to the size of my waist when I started and I color it in for the loss. Making it tangible pleases me.
Neck, chest (breast area), upper mid arm, waist, hips, upper mid thigh are all good measurements points. just do one side of your body for arm and thigh, no need to do both. Say just right side only.
I don't know what you should measure, but I measure thighs, hips, abdomen, waist , upper arms and chest. And I do it relatively infrequently as I pretty much stay off scales - max weighing is X1/month - and away from measurements as any regular thing. For me it encourages a view of what i am doing as short term goal oriented. I need to live and view what i am doing as long-term "forever." I also make myself be patient in this way. It encourages a headset for me of " this is what I do, this is how I live." I also believe that if I search out good info and do the right stuff, it will work. And it does. First measurements after getting back to consistent strength/resistance interval training was done 7 months post beginning. Lots of inches off and the most came off abdomen - 3.5!
I know others who feel that measuring everything frequently is how it works best for them.
I don't count calories or macronutirents either. It doesn't work for my temperment and is crazy making and unhealthy for me.
I am just sharing my experience.
The single most important measure I use is 'the ability to fast 16-24hrs and still do intense exercise at the end of it'. This indicates a healthy metabolism (metabolic flexibility).
In my pre-paleo days I used to get ravenous between my midday and evening meal. I would have hunger shakes as I prepared the evening meal and be gorging on toast/nuts/fruit whilst preparing the main meal. This, despite being an eater of complex carbs/healthy whole grains with their 'slow release of energy'!
After going paleo, now I just don't get hunger shakes and can complete the measure above. (Actually I think maybe a month or so ago I got a mild hunger shake after racing off on a hard 15 mile bike ride over some hilly terrain - something I did out of the blue with no prior preparation - but no where near as bad as in my pre-paleo days).
I think 'Paleo' is more about metabolic health rather than a number.
I keep it simple. I measure my waist in two different areas: around my natural waist and around my belly button. I also measure my hips.
I think measuring the waist is key because excess weight around the abdomen is a key indicator of health (or lack of health).