Measure Your Body Fat.
With three weeks into the new year, too many Americans have picked up five (5) or more pounds of weight in body fat. You undoubtedly know that as we age it is increasingly more difficult to shed excess weight so the annual battle begins. BTW, the Center for Disease control report nearly 38% of Americans are obese with another 30% considered to be overweight. The CDC estimates that ¾ of the population will be overweight or obese by 2020- only four years away.
Obesity has been cited as a contributing factor to approximately 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year and has increased health care use and expenditures, costing society an estimated $117 billion in direct (preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to weight) and indirect (absenteeism, loss of future earnings due to premature death) costs. This exceeds health-care costs associated with smoking or problem drinking and accounts for 6% to 12% of national health care expenditures in the United States.
The European Society of Cardiology has confirmed that visceral fat which surrounds your internal organs places your health in a dangerous situation. In fact, visceral fat was found to be more dangerous than being in high range of the flawed Body Weight Index (BMI), the oft-used standard of measurement by doctors. They found that cardiovascular deaths were nearly three times higher for those that had big bellies but were of normal BMI and having a normal waist to hip ratio. This ratio should be no greater than 0.90 for men (0.85 for women).
Calculating Your Ideal “Weight”
Your ideal size can measured in several ways. To determine your waist to hip ratio, measure the circumference of your waist and the smallest part of your natural waist located above your navel. Then, measure the circumference of your hips at the widest part. Dividing the waist measurement by the hip measurement will give your ratio.
Another way to get a reading if you are overweight is to measure the circumference of the smallest part of your waist, i.e. above the navel and below the ribs. A waist less than 37 inches keeps you out of the danger zone. A range of 37 to 40 inches means you are overweight while anything above that range means that you are obese.
Since BMI does not consider how muscular you are (ask Arnold Schwartzenegger) and cannot indicate your internal abdominal fat mass. Your waist size tips you off about the amount of fat your lugging around in the stomach area which predisposes you to cardiovascular disease and makes you a candidate for a stroke. It also makes you more sensitive to insulin making you at risk for diabetes.
Ideal Body Size as Body Fat Percentage
Another indicator of your health is a measurement of the percentage your body contains. Many health care practitioners now feel this may be a more accurate indicator of well-being. Whereas too much body fat links you to many chronic diseases, too little body fat may cause your body to utilize your muscle protein as fuel to nourish itself.
There are several ways to measure body fat as a percentage. Very common is to use a skinfold caliper which measures the thickness of folds of skin in three locations of your body. Some practitioners have an electronic device for this purpose. A very complex but very accurate measurement technique is water immersion of your entire body. You pays your money, you takes your choice!
A Guideline on Body Fat Percentages from the American Council on Exercise is:
Obese 25% or higher
Monitoring your body fat percentage is preferred to measuring your total body weight as a gauge to effective metabolisms or dysfunction. You should arrange to have your body weight percent-age measured periodically and at the time of your semi-annual medical checkups. Doing this may save you a lot of pain and hardship in the future.
Lose Weight NOW!
If after breaking out your wife’s tape measure or buying one of your own, you do NOT meet the above criterion of less than a 37 inch waist, do you not think it is time to do something about it?
We recommend that you start by getting a copy of our FREE e-book and start by simply moving on a regular basis. Where you go from there is up to you. By following the 7 Days to New You dietary plan, you will start on a positive path toward weight loss and weight control.
Do you want to become another CDC statistic?