These statistics are alarming yet many Australian’s still do not approach weight loss in a healthy, sustainable manner.
How can you assess whether you are overweight or obese?
Your waist circumference should be 80cm or below for women and below 94cm for men.
A waist circumference above 88cm for women and above 104cm for men places them at a high risk of chronic disease.
This is a good indicator of abdominal adiposity. Any measurement exceeding those above places you at an increased risk for lifestyle related disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Waist to hip ratio
Calculating your waist to hip ratio can also indicate how much adipose tissue you hold around your abdomen. To get work out your figure, divide your waist measurement (cm) by your hip measurement (cm). A calculation outside of the following figures put you at an increased risk:
- Women: 0.8
- Men: 0.9
Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index (BMI) is another good guide to a healthy weight. However, BMI does not account for how much of your weight is fat or muscle or where you are holding it. For this reason, it is good to use BMI in conjunction with waist circumference. Someone can have an overweight BMI but be very muscular. Alternatively, some people can have a healthy BMI but can be holding all of their weight around their abdomen. The healthy BMI range is between 18 – 25.
The fit of your clothing
Sometimes all it takes is to notice that your clothes are feeling tighter than they used to. Despite our best wishes, no, they probably haven’t all shrunk in the wash. If you have noticed this, it may be time to take a closer look at your weight and get back to where you were instead of buying larger clothing.
This is an obvious one. Jump on the scales and see if your weight has increased. Remember, if you have cut back on exercise (particularly weights) but still weight the same, it’s possible that you have lost some muscle and replaced it with fat. Ask yourself if you look less toned. Similarly, if you have upped the exercise yet weigh more than you used to, you may very well have gained muscle and lost fat – don’t get discouraged! Even if you don’t see the result you would like to, keep in mind that your increase in activity and healthy eating is still a very positive change!
How to keep motivated
Some people find it easier to stay on track if they have written their goals down and record their progress as they go. The Dietitians Association of Australia have developed a good chart to get you started (see ‘further resources’ section at end of blog). Set small, achievable milestones for yourself rather than having one, large daunting goal.
When you’re struggling…
Acknowledge barriers and come up with strategies to counteract them. For example:
Problem: You have been working long hours at work and don’t have time to prepare a healthy dinner when you get home.
Think rationally: Don’t be immediately overcome by the barrier. This is a very common issue but we need to remember that it is important to make time for health. If we don’t and an illness arises as a result, we will be forced to spend far more time and money on managing that condition than we would have in preventing it.
Solution: Brainstorm some solutions. A good one is preparing meals in bulk when you have some spare time and refrigerating portions for the week/ freezing portions for use even further down the track. This can also save a lot of money and food waste.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about healthy eating, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.
- Dietitians Association of Australia. Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (AHWW)