When Do You Need to Lose Weight and How to Get Started
When it comes to weight loss and getting fit everyone has their own opinion as to when it is needed and how to go about accomplishing it. As you walk through life, you’ll stumble across some people who tell you that your weight doesn’t matter really, however, they are wrong. Weight does matter.
Often the issue is how much weight matters and when to go about changing it. Some people who are a few pounds overweight are perfectly fine with their weight, and they would never change for anybody. Other people struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem issues and these are often directly related to being overweight. Some people only truly find happiness once the weight loss process begins.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about your weight, whether its 10 lbs or 50 lbs. then it may be time to make real change in your life. Once you start the weight loss process, you will instantly begin to feel better.
The 800 Calorie HCG Diet includes foods which are naturally full of vitamins and nutritious goodness. There are 6 breakfasts, 20 snacks and lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. These factors alone will contribute to you becoming a healthier and happy person. However, the majority of happiness through weight loss comes once you start to see real results. There is nothing better than getting into a pair of jeans that have been hanging around for a few years. There’s no other moment greater than stepping on the scales to see that you’ve lost a couple of pounds during the last week. Better still, this process happens each and every week as you continue your weight loss plan – thus giving you more time to be happy.
Losing weight, for most people produces a lot of happiness for most people. If your weight has produced feelings of low self-esteem, or just feel down in the dumps about your weight, then start your weight loss campaign today, and you’ll soon see the happiness come flooding back into your life. The most difficult thing is to get started.
A New Simple Way to Determine if You Are Overeating or Actually Overweight
Many patients I see are concerned that they might be obese or simply overweight and are not sure how to tell the difference. Its easy easy to determine if you are overweight or actually obese, look at a BMI chart as given below or on a BMI calculator. If you BMI is 25 or more, but less than 30 then you are overweight for your height. (It does not matter how old you are or if you are a male or female, it does matter if you are very muscular.) If your BMI is 31 or more you are obese. It’s that simple.
But how about if you are less than 25. You have gained weight. Are you overeating? Are you at risk of becoming overweight or obese? It’s important if you have a family history of obesity, (one obese parent gives you a 60-70% chance of obesity, 2 parents almost guarantees it), hypertension or diabetes.
What if one of your children is gaining weight? If you are overeating, maybe its time to make some changes in the family. Here is a simple formula to tell if you are overeating. Simply look at the BMI graph below. The green line falls on the 24th percentile and the red on the 25 the percentile. If your BMI is 26 or greater you are overweight. If it is 23 or lower you are “normal.” However, if it falls between the 24 to 25th percentile you are probably overeating and need to make a few changes.
To Lose or not Lose Weight?
It depends not only on your weight and height, but on how much of the fat is around your abdomen and if you have any other metabolic problems. Fat around and inside the abdomen causes serious medical problems.
Obese or Overweight?
The first issue is the definition of obesity. Although I tell my patients that their ideal weight is the weight they feel comfortable with and the weight they can maintain without feeling anxious or deprived, everyone wants a number. We need to be careful here, because “ideal weight” based on fashion trends, celebrities’ physical appearances, or an idealistic body image rarely reflects healthy weight.
BMI vs. Scale vs. Body Fat: Which is Better?
Ideal Weight Tables for Men and Women
You may have been to your doctor’s office and saw a table of “ideal weights.” These tables were constructed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance company many years ago. Although new methods have become more popular, you can get a quick idea about your body weight from the tables:
Metropolitan Life Ideal Body Weights
This system classifies individuals by their “frame” size: small, medium and large. Bone mass and muscle mass all play a part in determining your optimal weight. Measuring your wrist gives you a quick idea of body frame.
Measuring Wrist Circumference to Determine Frame Size
This is very easy, simply take a tape measure and circle the wrist at the smallest diameter just above the wrist joint as seen below.
Normal values for Men – Small Frame: 5.5 to 6.4 inches, Medium Frame: 6.5 to 7.4 inches, Large Frame: > 7.5 inches
Normal values for Women – Small Frame: < 6 inches, Medium Frame: 6.1 to 6.2 inches, Large Frame: > 6.25 inches
The Ideal weight tables are useful because they give the dieter an idea of what they should weigh. The BMI and waist circumference methods only tell the dieter if he is overweight or obese. I make one more addition to this table and use the range within each number to correct the table for age. For example, a 5′ 4 inch women with a medium frame should weigh 124-138 lb. The 124 refers to a young women from 16 to 35 years, while the 138 is from a women over the age of 39 or 40.
BMI is A More Modern Technique to Determine Weight Status
More recently the Body Mass Index (BMI) has gained favor. BMI is calculated from an individual’s height and weight using a table or an Internet calculator. The accepted definition of obese in adults is a BMI equal or greater than 30. Overweight is considered to be a BMI of 25 or more. Below 25 is “normal” and 40 or more is morbidly obese.
Values from 27 to 29 are considered borderline indicating overeating. When complications for weight gain are present such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or arthritis of the knees, hips or ankle, the 27-29 BMI is considered abnormal requiring treatment.
Waist Circumference is the Most Advanced Technique to Evaluate Weight Status
Even better than the BMI determination is simply measuring your waist using a tape measure. Recent evidence suggests that it is the fat deposits in and outside of the abdomen that directly influences the development of complications from obesity. Here is the simple relationship between waist size and risks from obesity:
How to measure waist circumference
- Take off your shirt and loosen your belt
- Position the tape mid-way between the top of your hip bone and the bottom of the rib cage
- When taking measurement, the abdomen should be relaxed and you should be breathing out
- Record the measurement
Measure your waist, measure your risk
If your waist circumference is above the cut-off point indicated, your health can be at risk. Ask your healthcare provider to check your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels as part of a full cardiovascular and diabetes assessment. Circumference of the waist relates your obesity to significant medical problems.
Waist Circumference indicating risk from obesity: Women more than 35″, Men more than 40″.
Body Fat Weight-Numbers That Will Give Your Overall Health Picture
There are a lot of numbers that can be used to determine your overall state of health. Your weight is one such number, but it doesn’t tell the entire story. Another useful number is your body fat weight; in other words, what percentage of your weight is comprised of fat. Knowing that percentage will give you a better idea of how healthy your weight is, and how healthy you are overall.
Body fat weight can be measured in several ways, but they each have their pros and cons. A full immersion in a pool of water is the most accurate way to know how much of your body is pure fat, and how much isn’t. While it’s a very accurate test, it comes with a fair amount of expense and inconvenience. Calipers can be used to pinch the skin in various places, but they are open to human error, and aren’t as accurate as they could be.The US Navy has develop a simple system that only needs you to measure a few areas of your body and plug the values into an on-line body fat calculator. Its available on line at various web sites. Look for How to Find Body Fat.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI is calculated using nothing more than your height and weight. This makes it an easy thing to calculate, but it also means that there can be flaws with those calculations for certain people. For example, of you are a bodybuilder and have a high percentage of muscle mass, then your BMI may be artificially inflated, and it won’t reflect the true nature of your overall health. However, most people will find that the Body Mass Index will give them a rough idea of how healthy their current weight is.
This leads to the question of how somebody who is in great shape physically can weigh more than somebody who has a high body fat weight. The reason for this is that the same volume of muscle weighs more than the same volume of fat. Muscle is denser than fat, and it that’s why a muscular person, who appears thinner and more fit, can weight more than someone who looks flabby and unhealthy. To put it another way, how much you weigh isn’t the only way to judge if you’re obese.
If you are doing a lot of exercise while trying to lose weight, then you may wonder why the scale isn’t reflecting how you feel. Understanding that fat and muscle each have a different density explains it. You may be working out a lot, and looking trim, but if you are adding a lot of muscle at the same time, then the scale may not budge. The main thing is to not let this fact discourage you. As long as you are continuing to exercise and getting healthy, you can pretty much ignore the scale.
Knowing your body fat weight percentage is really the key to knowing how healthy your weight is. All of those other methods for determining your weight have their place, but it’s your body fat that will give you the best possible number for determining what your “true weight”
This is the most definitive measurement to determine if the belly fat has produced obesity related medical problems because it relates the extra weight to body function. Excess food is stored in every increasing fat cell around and inside the abdomen. Its the fat cells inside of the belly that make new dangerous chemicals that go into the blood stream. Studies reported in Science in October 2008 suggest fat cells can even make more fat cells.
Clumped together, the fat cells just below the skin of the abdomen-surrounding all of the vital organs-are no larger than a bar of soap, but are the cause of all obesity-related medical problems. Since measuring the inner fat is difficult and expensive, researchers use the circumference of the waist as a good proxy since it correlates with the critical amount of inner fat responsible for the development of all of the complications related to obesity.
Dr Annemarie Koster reports in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2008:
“The association between waist circumference and mortality among 154,776 men and 90,757 women aged 51-72 years, all -cause mortality was assessed over 9 years of follow-up (1996-2005). After adjustment for BMI and other co-variants, a large waist circumference was associated with an approximately 25% increased mortality”
- Men: You are at risk if your waist circumference is 40 inches or greater
- Women: You are at risk if your waist circumference is 35 inches or greater
Risk Factors and Heart Disease in Overweight or Obese Individuals
The presence of risk factors related to heart disease must be considered when you are evaluating whether or not you need to lose weight. If you have three or more of the conditions listed below, you are at high risk for cardiac problems. Moreover, if you also have a high BMI or a large waist circumference, you are considered to have metabolic syndrome. Here is a March 2009 update on risk factors from the American Heart Association:
- Age: males older than 45 years and females older than 55 years
- Family history of heart disease
- Cigarette smoking
- High blood pressure
- Elevated LDL cholesterol
“Burn” the fat- reduce the problems: The good news is that when one is losing weight, the fat deposited inside the abdomen is the first to be used and burned for fuel. However, the only way to start this process is by reducing the food intake or significantly increasing the amount of exercise (we are talking about daily hours of real working out in the gym) in order to create a calorie deficit. The decrease of just an inch or two in waist circumference corresponds to a relatively large reduction of fat in the abdomen, and consequently significantly reduces health complications caused by obesity.
Metabolic Syndrome = 3/5 risk factors + high BMI or high waist circumference:
About 15 years ago, scientists from medical schools at several universities began to notice an unusual group of health problems occurring together: hypertension, high cholesterol, high fat content in the blood, diabetes, and an unusual collection of fat around the waist (instead of being equally distributed over the body). This cluster of medical problems is known today as metabolic syndrome.
25% of Americans have Metabolic Syndrome: More than 25 percent of the U.S. population has metabolic syndrome. Some researchers believe that if obesity continues to increase with no significant improvements, 80 to 90 percent of us will suffer from Metabolic Syndrome by the year 2030.
First signs of Metabolic Syndrome can be a stroke or heart attack: Very few complications of the Metabolic Syndrome can be detected before it becomes too late. The first is often a heart attack or a stroke; other individuals will find out during a routine health evaluation that they have developed diabetes or hypertension. Metabolic Syndrome is caused by genetic predisposition, environmental factors. too much food in and too little energy out.
The HCG Diet is Very Effective against Metabolic Syndrome or for Obesity Complicated By Large Waist Line
The HCG diet using the 800 calorie food plan is extremely effective for weight gain primarily focused on the abdomen. The hormone produces fast and effective weight loss by assisting in burning of abdominal fat. The first thing a dieter notices is their pants feel looser and they feel less bloated around their middle.
Richard Lipman MD is a endocrinologist and board certified internist who has treated more than 10,000 overweight patients in his Miami office with his new 800 calorie HCG diet for the past 10 years in Miami, Fl