A few decades ago, manufacturers realized that appealing to someone’s vanity or “vanity sizing”could help them sell clothes. They started lowering the size numbers as the average weight of American women started to increase. Ergo, grandma’s size 8 is our size 2. This is one of the many reasons that makes it hard to lose weight because we are lulled into a false sense of size comfort.
Ignore what the tag tells you (it’s lying) and use a single pair of jeans or a dress to tell you if you are slimming down. Does it fit better? Can you get more fingers between the waistband and your belly?
Other ways of gauging your weight loss:
Can you use BMI to judge if your size is optimal? BMI categories are generally regarded as a satisfactory tool for measuring whether sedentary individuals are underweight, overweight or obese with various exceptions, such as: athletes, children, the elderly, and the infirm. But, the current BMI formula can lead to confusion and misinformation. The height2 term divides the weight by too much when people are short, and by too little when they are tall. The result is short people being told they are thinner than they really are, while tall people are made to think that they are fatter than they are.
Here are some more alternative ways to gauge your ideal or best for you size:
Being overweight is one thing. But researchers have found that even people of a healthy weight are at risk for premature death. Why?
It’s all about body fat—and where it’s stored on your body.
A 10-year study found that normal-weight people with excess fat around their midsection have a higher mortality rate than people with smaller waists. In fact, the study found that as waists grew by 2 inches, the risk of dying prematurely increased by 17 percent for men and 13 percent for women.
Another study found that women with a waist size of 35 or higher had nearly double the risk of dying from heart disease than women who reported a waist size of 28 inches or less.
To measure your waist: Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs. Breathe normally. Place a tape measure between these points, wrap around your waist, and check the measurement.
Body Composition Analysis
Body composition is the relative proportion of lean mass (including bones, tissues, organs and muscle) to fat (essential and non-essential) in the body.
- A body fat percentage of 6-13% in males; 14-20% in females is considered an “athlete”
- A body fat percentage of 14-17% in males; 21-24% in females is considered “fit”
- A body fat percentage of 18-24% in males; 25-31% in females is considered “average”
- A body fat percentage of 25% and higher in males; 32% and higher in females is considered “obese”
I personally hate getting on the scale because I those numbers can play tricks in my head but I like following the body fat %, especially visceral fat as it not only show general progress but also let’s me know I am decreasing my risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, fatty liver and death from all causes.