Simple method to figure out if you have a weight problem
One effective and simple method to figure out if you have a weight problem is as follows: With a tape, comfortably measure the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the umbilicus (belly button). Waist circumference, perhaps surprisingly, is the best and simplest anthropometric measure of total body fat.It is better than BMI (body mass index), which fails to factor in how muscular you are, and is also the best indicator of intra-abdominal fat mass (the dangerous type of fat around your internal organs strongly linked with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).
Waist size gives a good indication of the amount of fat you’re carrying, particularly around the stomach area. Abdominal fat is considered an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Your waist size is also a powerful indicator of insulin sensitivity, as studies clearly show that measuring your waist size is one of the most powerful ways to predict your risk for diabetes.
If you're not sure if you have a healthy waist circumference, a general guide is:
For men, between 37 (94 cm) and 40 inches is overweight and more than 40 inches is obese
For women, 31.5 (80 cm) -34.6 inches is overweight and more than 34.6 inches is obese
The other tool, which many experts are now leaning toward as the most accurate measure of obesity, is body fat percentage. As it sounds, this is simply the percentage of fat your body contains, and it can be a powerful indicator of your health. Too much body fat is linked to chronic health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Too little body fat is also problematic and can cause your body to enter a catabolic state, where muscle protein is used as fuel. A general guideline from the American Council on Exercise is as follows:
ClassificationWomen (% fat)Men (% fat)
Obese32% and higher25% and higher
Body fat calipers are one of the most trusted and most accurate ways to measure body fat. A body fat- or skinfold caliper is a lightweight, hand-held device that quickly and easily measures the thickness of a fold of your skin with its underlying layer of fat. Taken at three very specific locations on your body, these readings can help you estimate the total percent of body fat within your entire body.You can also use a digital scale that determines body fat,.These are particularly useful to determine whether you are gaining or losing fat. Although the absolute value may be off, the direction you are going (whether your body fat is going up or down) will be very accurate, and this is an incredibly useful measure of whether you're nearing your health goals or not.
Remember that it is FAR better to monitor your body fat percentage than it is your total weight, as the body fat percentage is what dictates metabolic health or dysfunction – not your total weight.