Sunday, May 31, 2015

How To Know If You're Fat

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Body weight, whether in pounds, kilograms or stones is often the most popular determinant of a persons fatness. Truth be told, 1 to 4 pound fluctuations in body weight can be caused by factors outside of body fat or muscle mass. Decreases or increases in the amount of fluid in the body combined with the amount of matter in the colon can play a huge influence in short-term weight loss or weight gain. This is why diets promising the loss of 5 lbs in a week often involve the  taking of some sort of tea or supplement or food that contains diuretic or laxative or in some cases both.

How to know if you are fat
Fat is an essential component of the diet and body. However, a person needs just the right amount of fat to meet basic needs and not so much to hamper health, mobility and longevity. 

First step in determining whether you are fat is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), eaTacker has a great tool for this called BMI weight analyzer.  Enter you current weight (in pounds or kilograms) and height (in ft/in or cm) and hit the 'Get BMI' button. Get a piece of paper and write down the number and take note of whether you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese.

Keep in mind, BMI does not take into account body composition
(muscle mass, fat mass, bone density, hydration status etc,), as such it not suitable for persons under 4 ft, children, persons under 19 years, certain ethnic groups and persons with a high muscle mass.

Second step is to determine your waist and hip circumference. This provides clarity on whether the stored fat in the abdomen or hips poses a risk to your health. For instance, fat stored primarily within the abdomen  has been shown to increase the activity of catabolic hormones that increase your risk of developing diabetes type 2, hypertension, stroke or other cardiovascular issues.
Follow the directions in the video if you are unsure as to how to measure your waist and hip circumference.
Record this number and take note whether it is within the healthy range.
    ✔  Healthy waist circumference in women is  less than 35 inches or 88 cm   (for Asian women less than 31 inches is healthy)
    ✔  Healthy waist circumference in males is  less than 40 inches or 102 cm  (for Asian men less than 35 inches is healthy)
   ✔  Healthy waist-to-hip ratio in women is less than 0.80 
   ✔  Healthy waist-to-hip ratio in men is less than 0.90

Third step is to determine your body fat percentage using a calliper, bioelectrical impedance scale, bod pod or hydrostatic pool. Knowing how much fat is under the skin in key parts of the body lets you know where fat is stored and distributed the most. Fat storage varies among men and women but it is useful to know how much of your body weight is muscle tissue and how much of it made up of mostly fat. 
If using a calliper then be sure to check out the video. Use a body fat chart or on-line calculator to know what your body fat percentage is. Record this number and take note whether it is within the healthy range. 
*** If you plan to calculate it manually, using the measurements then be sure to check out the formula here
The other tools [bioelectrical impedance scale, bod pod or hydrostatic pool] can be used for more accuracy however, getting them done may be pricey compared with the calliper. 

Chart sourced from Tanita
Fourth step, review all the numbers [BMI,waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and body fat percentage] and their respective ranges to decide whether your current weight is within the healthy weight range or  outside of it: underweight, overweight or obese, for all the measures.

Example: If you followed the 4 steps above then the paper you wrote down the numbers on should look like this:
Name: Savi      Age: 34 y     Sex: Female     Weight: 240 lbs                Height: 5 ft 7 in

: 37.5                                                   Interpretation: BMI Chart says this is obese

❐ Waist circumference: 40 inches      Interpretation: Not healthy 
❐ Hip circumference: 46 inches
❐ Waist-to-hip ratio: 40/46 = 0.86      Interpretation: Not healthy 
❐ Body Fat % via calliper = 39%         Interpretation: Obese

Based on the results, Savi's weight is outside the healthy range on all measures. As such, to answer the question 'Am I fat?' Yes, she is.

Just remember being fat is not the end of the world but it is suggested you monitor other indicators of your health such as blood pressure, dietary intake, blood sugar, blood fat profiles and others. If being overweight and obese is not where you want to be, be sure to find credible nutrition, fitness and medical professionals to help you embark on a healthy weight management path.

If all of this was too much work, Constance Brown-Riggs R.D says you can try the unscientific “pinch method” to determine if you have too much body fat.  Just find your waist and pinch the skin at the waist. If you pinch more than an inch, you  have too much body fat.

Hope this post helps.
Thank you for reading! 
Leave a ⓒⓞⓜⓜⓔⓝⓣ below.

For more clarity check out  Business Insider's video: How To Know If You're Fat.

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