Weight Loss Aids

pe02547_The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

The obesity epidemic is a result of lifestyle changes brought on by the easy availability of food, inexpensive unhealthy convenience foods and government subsidized foods, as well as a decrease in physical activity.

Obesity Rates on Developed Countries around the World

clip_image001The United States leads the way in obesity percentage with more than a third of the population considered obese. Canada is also at the top and a large portion of European countries show surprising growing numbers.  France and a handful of its neighbors maintain decent rates, while Japan is the lowest.

Percentage of Obese Population by Country

“…Americans are at the forefront of technological progress and also at the forefront of one of present-day civilization’s major afflictions–being overweight”.

The overweight rates in America have also grown, with overweight and obese people projected to be 74% of the population in 2020.

Overweight Rates per Country

clip_image002Obesity has a severe economic and personal impact on individuals and affects how much money you make and your healthcare costs while it shortens your life.

clip_image003“Take this method, make it your own, and show the world how to reverse the pattern of excess weight and obesity.”

Get started today by calculating your True Weight!

The Best Weight Calculator for You

Whether your weight loss goal is to shed belly fat or lower your risk of heart disease, a few at home calculations can help keep you healthy and on track

Unless you drop serious cash on futuristic weight loss equipment, don’t expect your bathroom scale to give you meaningful numbers. Interpretation is up to you. Luckily, body weight and calorie calculators can add context to those digits, taking into account factors like your age, gender, height, body fat positioning, and activity level to help you determine if your weight is a risk to your overall health.

While crunching numbers doesn’t replace a visit to your doctor, it can help you determine a strategy and help you chart your progress along the way.  Weight loss calculators aren’t always perfect but they can be useful for tracking over time, and they are slightly more interactive than your bathroom scale.

It’s tough to decide which at-home test you can trust to tell you if you’re fit or not. On my site there are many useful calculators that can actually help you track your progress as you lose weight.

To determine if your weight is “normal”, the body mass index (BMI) is a tried-and-true weight metric. Invented in the late 1800s, the formula uses weight and height to calculate a number that indicates if you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. While this formula is a fairly reliable indicator of obesity and health risks, it doesn’t measure your percentage of body fat.

Going one step further, an “ideal weight” or “healthy weight” calculator, can tell you what a healthy weight range is for your height.

Plug your weight and height into an online calculator and you’ll get a number indicating whether you’re underweight (below 18.5), normal (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25 to 29.9), or obese (30 and above). These standards were set in 1985 by the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel, which concluded that the BMI was an appropriate measurement of obesity. For all you math geeks, the formula is Weight (in pounds) / [Height (in inches)]2 x 703.In my books I go into more detail on this matter with easy to read charts.

How can knowing your BMI help you manage your weight?  For average to overweight individuals who want to lose weight, BMI can be used as a motivation tracking tool to see changes over time. For example, BMI can be used to set a weight loss goal like, “My goal is to be in the ‘normal’ weight category by such and such a date.

Since BMI uses total body weight, rather than estimates of fat and lean body mass separately, it does not discriminate between the overweight and the athletic or more muscular body types.  It also does not take into account age, gender, or muscle mass. It would not be a useful tool for heavy-muscled athletes, the elderly, pregnant women, or teenagers. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that BMI also fails to predict health risks for individuals who fall in the “skinny fat” category, those who have a normal, healthy BMI and likely appear thin but have a high percentage of body fat.

The waist-to-hip ratio measures where your body stores fat. The ratio compares the circumference of your waist with that of your hips.

You can calculate at home by measuring your waist and hip circumferences and dividing the numbers. Wrap a tape measure around the smallest section of your natural waist, usually just above the belly button, and record the number. Then measure your hips around the widest part of your bottom. Finally, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. For example, if your waist is 30 inches and your hips are 29, the ratio is 1.03. According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 0.8 are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers because of their fat distribution. And men with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 1.0 are at increased health risk for the same reason.

This test can help you determine if you’re an apple or a pear shape. A ratio of 0.8 or above indicates that you are an apple shape. A ratio of under 0.8 means you are a pear shape. Previous research suggested that those with central obesity (apple shape) were 3 times more likely to suffer from heart disease than those with more generally distributed fat.

How accurate is it? Current research suggests that you’re better off sticking with BMI. A new study published in the British medical journal The Lancet studied 220,000 people over almost 10 years and found that your risk for cardiovascular disease is not increased by carrying fat around your waist as opposed to on your hips and thighs. Carrying excess weight anywhere puts you at greater risk for heart disease, the researchers concluded.

The body adiposity index (BAI) is a new test proposed as an alternative to calculating your BMI.The BAI can be used to find your percentage of body fat.

To calculate it yourself, first convert your measurements into metric numbers. Here’s how: Hip circumference (in inches) x 2.5 = hip circumference in centimeters. Height (in inches) x 0.025 = height in meters. Then plug your metric measurements into the BAI formula: [(Hip circumference in centimeters) / (Height in meters x square root of height in meters)] – 18.

For example, if you’re a 150-pound woman with 30-inch hips and you’re 5’5″, the math would look like this:

Hips: 30 x 2.5 = 75 cm
Height: 65 x 0.025 = 1.625 m
[75 / (1.625 x 1.275)] – 18 = approximately18% body fat

American Council on Exercise says an “acceptable” range for body fat for women is 25 to 31%, and for men 18 to 25%. You’re considered obese if your body fat is 32% or greater for women, and 26% or greater for men.

If you don’t want to pick up a calculator, let my online calculator do the math for you. Click on this link

You can also try a new feature included on many new bathroom scales, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology. BIA is a common way to estimate your percentage of body fat. The device, which starts at around $100, sends a mild electric current up through one foot to the waist, then down the other leg to measure your percentage of body fat.

The BAI is more accurate than the BMI because it takes into account body fat without factoring in weight. This method has promise as it takes into account many factors: gender, age, height, weight, and hip circumference.

How accurate is it? This new test has been checked against a Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) machine, which is regarded as one of the most accurate ways to calculate body fat, and the BAI numbers were proven to be accurate, at least in Hispanic and African American populations. More research needs to be done with other ethnicities before it’s widely considered a valid measure of body fat.  Until this method has been scientifically determined by the medical community to be an accurate body composition assessment, you should stick with the more common methods such as BMI, body fat analysis, and waist-to-hip ratio.

And in terms of the BIA scale, the device reportedly is very sensitive to hydration (dehydration can cause it to overestimate the percentage of body fat), which can affect its accuracy.

To determine how many calories you need, the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), also known as Resting Metabolic Rate, calculator measures the number of calories your body would burn if you sat still all day and didn’t eat anything.

Once you know how fast or slow your body converts fuel into energy, you can use that information to determine the number of calories you need to consume to lose, gain, or maintain your weight based on your daily activity levels. Don’t worry if your metabolism needs a boost. Cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improve your fitness, and make your body a more efficient calorie burner.

The formula used to calculate your BMR takes into account your weight, height, age, and gender. The Harris-Benedict equation is the most widely used formula for BMR. I go into great detail on this formula and how to calculate and to use in my book ‘Get fit Stay fit’ but for ease a quick reference you can check out the math by using one of my on line calculators.

Or try a more simple formula for quickly determining how many calories to eat on any given day to maintain your current weight: On days when you’re taking it easy and not exercising, multiply your weight (in pounds) by 15 and subtract 500 from that number. And on days that you’re active, use the same calculation, but multiply your weight by 18.

How it can help you manage your weight: The number you get from the equation gives you the total number of calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight. To lose weight, shave off 500 calories daily to lose 1 pound per week, or 300 calories daily to lose 2 pounds in a month. Modifying calories according to activity levels is a good health habit. It helps you to realize that on low-activity days, fewer calories are needed to maintain your weight.  It emphasizes the calories in/calories out formula.

Take these equations with a grain of salt. They are just guides to help you reach your fitness goals. It’s hard to predict activity levels, and if you’re planning your caloric needs for the day and things go sideways, you may be eating too much or too little.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !