Do you get on your scale every day? If you do, you know that the numbers go up and down on a daily basis. Most of the time I tell my clients to throw the scale out! There are other ways of measuring your progress.
- Body Mass Index (BMI). According to the CDC Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. The CDC recognizes this form of screening because it is inexpensive and gives a fairly reliable indicator of fatness in adult and teen populations. You can calculate it by math or you can Goggle BMI Calculator and the computer will do the math for you. According to the BMI method over 30 is considered obese, 25 – 30 overweight, 18-25 is considered healthy and less than 18 is considered underweight. An exception to this equation might be the highly trained athlete who has more muscle than fat, so their BMI would be high.
- Waist to Hip Ratio. Knowing your ratio is one way to determine your risk of heart disease and obesity – related illnesses. This ratio tells experts how much body fat is distributed throughout the body. People who carry excess weight around the waist are often at risk for heart disease.
How to Calculate Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio
Measure your waist around the narrowest point between the ribs and the hips. It helps if you look in a mirror and measure after you've exhaled.
Measure your hips around the fullest part of your buttocks with your heels together.
Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. For women, a healthy waist-to-hip ratio is .86 or less and, for men, a healthy ratio is .95 or less.
- Pinch Test or Caliper Testing. An expert pinches your skin at different areas and measures them with calipers. The results are plugged into a formula to determine your body fat. Acceptable numbers for women is somewhere between 25-31% and for men 18-25%.
Find results by visiting your own closet. Try on a pair of pants that used to fit tight, or a shirt that was a bit snug. Use a tape measure and measure your arms, thighs, chest, and hips. Even if you are not losing pounds you are losing inches. Just because the scale fluctuates on a daily basis, whether it is more sleep at night or more energy during the day; pay attention to the improved signs your body is making.