Weight Loss Fitness Program
Weight Assessment & BMI
Are you overweight?
Do you need to lose 10 pounds or 100?
Are you ready to . . .
Yes to all of the above? GREAT!
Now let's cut to the chase. Obesity is an unpleasant word. It sounds dreadful and most of us don't care for the images the word inspires. And I doubt you really want to call yourself obese.
- Lose the excess weight?
- Change your lifestyle?
- Modify your behavior and thoughts about eating?
- Find a weight loss fitness program (includes healthy eating and exercise)?
But if you're going to be successful in losing weight, don't try to fool yourself. Face the brutal facts and call it what it is. If you're obese . . . say so. If you're overweight . . . say so. If you look fat . . . admit it. If you can do this you have just catapulted your chances of successful and permanent weight loss. Because regardless of how great your weight loss fitness program is, if you don't mentally accept the fact that you're overweight or even obese, then you're sabotaging yourself.
So how much weight should you lose? Before you can answer this, you need to take a few measurements.
Obesity is an excessive amount of body fat. And "overweight" refers to an excessive amount of body weight that includes muscle, bone, fat and water. So you need to know how much body fat you have. BMI will assess overweight and obesity. It's also less likely to misidentify a person's appropriate weight than a weight-for-height table.
- How much do you weigh, in pounds? Ideally weigh yourself naked and on an accurate, high quality scale. (See Tips to calibrate your bathroom scale)
- What is your height? Don't stretch it! Be accurate.
- Measure your waist. How many inches all the way around? Place a tape measure around your bare abdomen just above your hip bone. Be sure the tape is snug but not compressing your skin. It also must be parallel to the floor (have someone help you or measure yourself in front of a mirror). Relax, exhale and measure your waist in inches.
Now calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Before you launch into a weight loss fitness program you must know your starting point. Go to the Body Mass Index Table and based on your height and weight, find your BMI. Here are two examples:
What do these numbers mean?
- Find a height of 68 inches (5 ft 8 inches) in the far left column. Read horizontally to the right to a weight of 177 pounds. Now read straight up that same column to the BMI of 27 at the top of the table.
- Find a height of 68 inches (5 ft 8 inches) in the far left column. Read horizontally to the right to a weight of 144 pounds. Now read straight up that same column to the BMI of 22 at the top of the table.
But what does your waist measurement tell you? Health care professionals are not only concerned with how much fat you may have, but also where the fat is located on your body.
- A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. And many health care professionals consider a BMI of 22 as ideal for optimal health. The goal of your weight loss fitness program should be to reach a BMI in this range.
- If your BMI is 25 to 29.9 you're considered overweight.
- And if you BMI is 30 or higher, you're considered obese.
Excess abdominal fat is an important independent risk factor for disease. If you carry fat mainly around your waist, you're more likely to develop obesity-related health problems. Some of these health problems include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Obese men are more likely to develop cancer of the colon, rectum, or prostate. Women who are obese are more likely to develop cancer of the gallbladder, uterus, cervix, or ovaries.
Have you selected a weight loss fitness program to help you concentrate on your "trouble spots?" You may have more health risks than people with lower waist measurements if . . .
Take an honest assessment of yourself. Consult with your health care provider for the best weight loss fitness program for you that includes an exercise plan and healthy eating habits. And do whatever is recommended to get you back to a healthy weight for a long and enjoyable life. You've nothing to lose but the weight!
- you're a woman and your waist measurement is 35 inches or more
- you're a man and your waist measurement is 40 inches or more