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Women's Health

Discover everything you need to know about women’s nutrition in this section devoted solely to woman’s issues. Topics covered include weight gain during menopause, and tips on how to detect and avoid breast cancer.

How to Take Women's Body Measurements

Learning how to take accurate body measurements can help you track your progress, assess body fat percentage, and select perfectly-tailored clothing even while on a weight loss diet.


A healthy diet plan can enable you to gain a healthier body image while losing excess pounds. Even after a small amount of weight, while the changes in your body shape and composition may not be readily apparent to the eye, a tape measure can help reveal the truth - and often yield a pleasant surprise. Learning how to take accurate body measurements can help you track your progress, assess body fat percentage, and select perfectly-tailored clothing even while on a weight loss diet. Use the following guidelines to take accurate women's body measurements from head-to-toe.

General Tips for Taking Body Measurements

When taking women's body measurements, use a cloth measuring tape rather than a rigid metal tape which may skew measurement readings. Avoid using a measurement tape that stretches, as this may result in inaccurate measurements. In addition, ensure that the tape measure is held level around the body and roughly parallel to the floor. It is recommended that you take body measurements while standing and against bare skin as opposed to over clothes. Lastly, after you have taken a measurement, write it down to ensure that you don't forget it. Observing your body's transformation over time can motivate you to achieve your weight goals.

After you learn how to take body measurements, don't allow measurements that are larger than you predicted to cause you to unhealthily strive to attain a particular body shape or size. Instead of aiming for an unrealistic body ideal, use all body measurements as a guide to bolster your progress toward good health.

Specific Body Measurements

Chest: With one end of the tape measure around the fullest part of the bust, wrap the tape measure under the armpits, over the shoulder blades, and back to the front for an accurate chest circumference.

Waist: Circle the tape measure around your waist—like a belt at your natural waistline. Your natural waistline is where a crease forms when you bend to the side. When taking your waist measurement, relax your breath and don't suck in your stomach.

Hips: Starting at one hip, wrap the tape measure around the widest part of the hipbone, around the rear and around the other hip before returning back to where you started. Standing in front of a mirror for this measurement can help you ensure that your tape measure is level behind you. With your hip and waist measurements, you can calculate your waist to hip ratio, an important predictor of health.

Thighs: Circle the tape measure around the widest and highest part of your thigh before wrapping it back around to the front. This measurement in particular should be performed while standing for optimal accuracy.

Inseam: The inseam simply refers to the length from the uppermost point of the inner thigh down to the ankle. While taking this measurement without bending the tape measure can prove difficult when performed by yourself, you can estimate your inseam by measuring the inseam on a perfectly-fitting pair of pants you already own. Alternatively, ask for help from a friend or a fitting expert at a woman's clothing store.

If your existing diet isn't measuring up to your weight loss goals, turn to bistroMD's diet delivery service for a nutritionally-balanced weight loss program featuring gourmet entrees that are physician-certified to help you achieve your optimal weight.

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on November 14, 2015. Updated on November 24, 2015.


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