5 Easy Ways to Tell If You Are Overweight

How Fat Are You?

Here are 5 easy ways to tell if you are overweight.

  1. From Dr. Oz’s TV show, measure your height and your waist. The waist should be less than one half of your height. My height is 5 ft.2 inches or 62 inches. One half of 62 is 31. My waist should be 31 inches or less. It is 35. OUCH!
  2. One of the most common ways to determine if you are fat is the BMI (body mass index). According to the chart, my BMI should be under 25. It is 29. Obese is 30. That is a little too close. Not good news.

If you are very average BMI works, but it is very flawed. It looks at your height and weight but does not differentiate between muscle and fat. It does not tell you your body fat percentage. Your body fat percentage is the most important. Ideally, it should be 15 to 25%. A fit person will be 21-24, acceptable is 25-31 over 31 is fat. My body fat percentage is 42%.

The next 3 ways to find out if you are overweight are based on your body fat percentage.

  1. Get a scale that uses electrical impedance to measure the percentages. Fat is an insulator, it slows the electric current down. This tells the machine how fat you are. They are fairly expensive.
  2. Calipers which measure skin folds will also do the trick, and are pretty accurate. You have to follow the instructions carefully and measure the folds in the correct spot.
  3. Lastly, you can use the circumference method. Take three measurements:

Neck, Waist at the narrowest point, hips at widest.

My neck is 34.5 cm or 13.5 inches (cm times 0.393700787= Inches), waist is 90cm or 35.4 inches, and hips are 109cm or 42.9. I also measured my upper arms, just as a reference. They look too large to me, but I have not found any chart that says where they should be. The right arm is 42 cm or 16.5 inches; the left is 44 cm or 17 inches. I would be happy at 15 inches. With these measurements, go on-line for a calculator. Try to find a military body fat calculator. On line, I was calculated at 42% body fat.

Now, where should you be? This is a little trickier. I want to be at 31 % body fat this is in the acceptable range but not at all thin. Skinny does not feel safe or healthy to me. That is part of the reason I became fat in the first place. Back to the calculators, I played with the measurements until I found what measurements would give the desired results. ( Made each measurement smaller by one inch until the calculation came up with the desired body fat percentage.) The neck I left alone, height, and age I can’t change. But if my waist were 30 inches instead of 34.5 and my hips 38 inches instead of 43, I would be on target. Going back to BMI, on that chart I should be just under 136 pounds so say 134. Currently, I am 158 pounds. So simple math tells me I MUST lose 24 pounds. A little more wouldn’t hurt but 24 is the goal, (not 30 as in a previous blog post).

• Based on this my goal is:

Upper Arms 15 inches waist 30 inches hips 38 inches weight 134 pounds

Take the time to take YOUR measurements. Find out where you are, where you should be, set your goal.