“I’m in shape. Round is a shape.” - Garfield the Cat
One of the biggest problems that many people, including a large percentage of doctors, focus on is keeping your weight below a certain number. The idea is that this will reduce your risk of diseases that tend to show up in people with higher levels of body fat, such as diabetes. This seems to make sense. The only draw back is that focusing only on weight may not be the best idea for you. There may be more here that meets the eye.
Let's take a look at what the experts say about maintaining a healthy weight so we can help you find out whether you're okay now or you've got some trimming to do, and how best to monitor yourself as you trim away.
Many people believe that being fat can lead directly to a reduced lifespan and an increased risk of disease.
This is an idea that the media reinforces frequently with headlines that directly connect deaths to obesity. This is why doctors and health organizations recommend trying to keep your weight at a specific level.
Unfortunately, no one really knows whether diabetes, heart disease and similar conditions that often occur in heavier people are caused be the extra weight or if the weight gain and the diseases occur because of other factors, such as inactivity and genetics.
That means while weight charts can be a beneficial place to start, they shouldn't overrule other healthy indicators.
The body mass index (BMI) has been around for a while and has a few caveats to be aware of.
Doctors recommend maintaining a BMI of about 19 to 25 for most people. One of the caveats is this method of measurement isn't always relevant. In fact, BMI was designed to keep track of body mass for large populations, not individuals. BMI doesn't measure how much body fat you have either.
That means that some people with little muscle mass and lots of fat may show a healthy BMI, while folks who have a lot of muscle and less fat may be listed as obese.
Keeping tabs on your body weight and taking BMI's are just a couple of measurements to help you find your healthy body weight. Remember, this is just one important factor of a healthy body.
Another important measurement is simply measuring your waistline. In fact, this is a better way to predict possible healthy issues that may be coming your way.
You see, when your belly and other organs are surrounded with fat, giving you a large waistline, you are priming yourself to develop obesity-related health issues as you get older.
The numbers you want to avoid:
Exceptions to the above:
It's highly recommended that you talk with your doctor. That way you'll have a better understanding what is most appropriate for you.
Now that we got that under our belt, let's turn now to the best way to weight and measure yourself. A simple routine but very important in helping you find and work your way to a more healthier kilo/pound of you.
To start, you need to have a decent scale. I'm using a Tanita Ironman. It's really nice. It measures not only weight but body fat %, basal metabolic rate (BMR), muscle mass, visceral fat, and my favorite, metabolic age. The last one is really nice when it reads 10-years younger than you are. 🙂
Tanita Ironman Body Composition Scale
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It's best to weigh and measure yourself about three hours after rising, having a meal or after doing a hard workout. You want to be completely naked.
To give you an idea. I usually measure myself once a week in the late morning. Also include taking the waistline measurement at this time too.
Taking your readings in a consistent manner will give you the most accurate readings. Then you can see a more accurate percentage of change over time.
All this should be done in consultation with your doctor. Once you have established where you are now with your weight and the healthy weight goal you want to achieve, you can start using healthy body strategies that will help you best reach your healthy weight goal.
Ken D Taylor is an active aging member of the human race. His mission is finding ways to make each trip around the sun filled with healthy days– his story