How To: Before & After Photos

Maybe in the past you've followed all the guidelines, you were consistent with your exercise and you thought you were eating clean, but when you stepped on the scale you were shocked to find you've only lost a couple pounds. All that hard work and nothing to show for it! Don't fret!! The number on the scale doesn’t lie, but it also doesn’t tell the entire truth. What’s missing is that it doesn’t tell you if you’ve lost fat, gained muscle or are retaining water.

Looking at yourself everyday in the mirror makes it difficult to see the full changes that are progressing. Photo's and measurements will help you stay motivated and see the true progress you've made.

8 Helpful Hints for Taking Successful Photos

Helpful Hint #1: Wear tight or revealing clothing

To compare the changes, you’ll need to see the changes. It’s impossible to do this if you’re wearing a baggy t-shirt or shorts. Form-fitting activewear/swimwear is best. Your stomach area should be visible, as this is a great indicator of weight loss and/or muscle gain.

Helpful Hint #2: Be consistent with your outfits

If you can’t wear the same outfit, at least wear something similar every time you take your picture. If you’re proud of your progress, you might want to show others, so we encourage you to avoid posing in your underwear.

Helpful Hint #3: Choose a PLAIN backdrop

Make sure there is no clutter, patterns, bright colours or distracting objects in the background. Also, use the same spot for each time you take your progress shots.

Helpful Hint #4: Eye-level photos

No mirror selfies. If you find this challenging, ask someone you feel comfortable with to take your photo or use a timer function. Make sure to position your body straight and centre to fill the frame.

Helpful Hint #5: Include 3+ different angles

To understand the full scope of how your body is changing, it’s important to capture your front, side, and back. For consistency, always choose the same side each time.

Helpful Hint #6: Consistent lighting

Try to take your photo in natural daylight. If that isn’t possible, ensure that your room is well lit and there is as much light as possible. Take your photo at the same time of day every time.

Helpful Hint #7: Maintain good posture

Stand up straight, with your shoulders back and down and arms relaxed at your sides. Recreate the same pose each time.

Helpful Hint #8: Take your photos monthly

It’s important to take your photos once every 4 weeks and schedule it on the same day each month.

Take your time getting your photos right — you’ll appreciate it down the line. This is your journey and you should take pride each step of the way. Clear, well-captured progress photos will really help you see just how far you’ve come and will propel you even further to reach your fitness goals.

How to Take Accurate Measurements

Common Body Measurements:

Bust: Place the measuring tape across your nipples and measure around the largest part of your chest. Be sure to keep the tape parallel to the floor. For women, be sure you always use the same bra when measuring each time.

Chest: Place the measuring tape just under your breasts/pecs and measure around the torso while keeping the tape parallel to the floor.

Waist: Place the measuring tape about a 1/2 inch above your bellybutton (at the narrowest part of your waist) to measure around your torso. When measuring your waist, exhale and measure before inhaling again.

Hips: Place the measuring tape across the widest part of your hips/buttocks and measure all the way around while keeping the tape parallel to the floor. 

Thigh: Measure around the largest part of each thigh.

Calves: Measure around the largest part of each calf.

Upper arm: Measure around the largest part of each arm (above the elbow).

Forearm: Measure around the largest part of each arm (below the elbow).

Neck: Measure around the largest part of the neck.


Tips for Measuring:

  • Use a flexible measuring tape, such as plastic or cloth.

  • When taking measurements, stand tall with your muscles relaxed and feet together.

  • Apply constant pressure to the tape (so it doesn't sag) without pinching the skin.

  • Measure under the same conditions each time, such as wearing the same clothes (or none at all).

  • Measure yourself in front of a mirror to make sure the tape is positioned correctly.

  • If possible, have someone else do the measuring for you.

  • To ensure accuracy, remember to take measurements in the same place on your body each time.

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