Welcome to my podcast “Is my weight normal? Tips for a flat stomach”. I hope you all had a great, healthful, and productive week. As always, you can check out my Living Well Community page on Facebook to look for ideas and tips on how to live a healthy, rewarding and above all, happy life. If you’re a new listener don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast, so you’ll be notified about my upcoming episodes. You can also join my blog that precedes each podcast by clicking on the link in my show notes. Check out the script for my podcast. It’s available on my website beyondyourscale.com in the blog section. If you’re a subscriber to my blog, you will automatically receive an email with the link to the script. Enjoy!
Today’s podcast follows up on my blog “What is my ideal body weight and fat percentage?” Normal weight or ideal weight - what's the difference? Go to my blog at beyondyourscale.com lo learn why the two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference.
But before I go on, I want to give you the google buster question for this podcast. 51% of Americans say this about their weight. What is it? As always, I will give you my answer at the end of the podcast or you will find it on my Facebook group “The Living Well Community”.
Body Fat Percentage: How Much Body Fat Is Ideal?
Am I really too fat? Or too thin?
If your stomach and muscles are in top shape, your weight becomes (almost) a minor detail. Let me define overweight and tell you whether you actually have too much on your hips or too little in your abs.
Suppose you weigh 80 kilos at a height of 1.75 meters, which would be about 175 pounds at 5.5 feet. According to the old formula "ideal weight = height in centimeters (175) - 100 - 10 percent = 67.5 kilos" or about 150 pounds, that would be pretty steep. We’re talking 25 pounds overweight here. Although this formula has long since disappeared into the mothball of nutrition experts, the current body mass index does not gloss over anything either: 26.1 – by definition, clearly overweight. From the age of 25, it is said, there is a risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, joint wear, and tear, etc. when you’re overweight.
But here it comes: You stretch a tape measure around your waist and measure an abdominal circumference of 35 inches - and the cardiologist congratulates you on your low heart attack risk. Why? Because you're a regular at the gym. Instead of guts, you have a washboard, not an ounce of fat sticking to your ribs. Based on all the measurements so far only the muscles weigh heavily. So what does all this mean?
Weight is not just weight and fat is not just fat
This puts us right in the middle of a dilemma. On the one hand, the first glance often reveals an increased body fat percentage. On the other hand, a lot of pounds does not automatically mean morbid obesity, fat is not the same as fat and a big belly is more dangerous for our health than expansive hips.
Nevertheless, according to the CDC, 1 in 5 adults are obese and 70 percent of American men over 45 and 55 percent of women are overweight. So stay tuned to hear whether the increasingly urgent warnings from the experts also affect you. Find out if your weight is normal and I’ll introduce you to the common "tools" for character control and tell you what they are good for and how to use them correctly.
Body fat depends on many factors: But how do you calculate your body fat percentage and reduce it? There are different calculation methods available to you which I will cover later in this podcast together with tips on how to keep your body fat in check.
What percentage of body fat (PBF) is healthy and when does it get risky? When stars and starlets lose weight and their in-shape celebrity butts flicker across the screen with a six-pack you can only dream off, you’ll see it happen on all TV channels.
But celebrities have many different methods available to them: some rely on intensive endurance and strength training with a celebrity personal trainer at their side, while others mainly use the method of fine-tuning their diet with the help of celebrity dietitians and coaches
Kim Kardashian lost almost 40 pounds of body fat – by eating a strict 1800-calorie daily diet, and she also did some hard kick workouts. Robbie Williams lost over 20 pounds in just a few months on a strict vegan diet.
However, since VIPs always have a role model function, experts are alarmed. After all, fat cells are not only responsible for a higher BMI, the Body Mass Index based on the ratio of weight to the square of height and unloved hip pads, but also protect the organs, among other things.
Insufficient fat reserves can also lead to immune disorders: the adipose tissue is an important factor in the immune system. The messenger substances from the adipose tissue have a variety of effects on the immune system.
How much body fat is healthy?
The optimal percentage of body fat, in short: PBF, depends on individual factors such as age, gender and physique. On the internet, you can find plenty of charts that show you the ideal amount of body fat. I will add a link in the show notes.
If the percentage is too high, the unfavorable blood values and blood pressure usually also increase, which often results in calcification of the blood vessels.
It also increases the risk of other diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. You can calculate your body fat percentage with a body fat calculator. Check out the link in the show notes.
Above all, a sizable abdominal circumference is not without consequences - because the fat on the stomach, also known as visceral fat tissue, is not harmless.
Important to know is that slim people can also have a high proportion of body fat, because fat is also stored inside the body, for example in the muscles and around your organs. I call them the skinny fat people.
On the other hand, a body fat percentage below 6 percent in men and 12 percent in women can cause disorders in the organism.
Body fat – where it is located is also important
A nice round bottom is not only a visual benefit! A higher percentage of body fat in the buttocks and hips can protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
This has been confirmed by scientists from the University of Oxford in Great Britain. The researchers had evaluated several large population studies that had examined the relationship between increased body fat percentage in the buttocks, hips and thighs and various blood values.
In short: A large waist circumference or thick padding around the abdomen can release harmful fatty acids and send cytokines into the body, which can cause inflammation.
Hip, thigh, and buttock fat, on the other hand, recaptures these acids, preventing them from attaching themselves to the liver or muscles, where they can cause numerous health problems.
Find out in my upcoming blog why belly fat, also known as hidden fat, is so dangerous and how to lose it! Don’t forget to subscribe at beyondyourscale.com or click on the link in the show notes.
Body fat in the right place will result in better blood lipid levels, less blood vessel calcification, and reduced stiffening of your arteries.
And so, what appears to be bad news turns into good news, because we all know how difficult it is to get rid of the padding around our butt and hips.
According to these new findings, it is therefore no longer necessary - as long as the belly fat does not become too much. From now on, your motto should be above all: Belly off!
"Fat pads around the liver or heart are undesirable and can exist without being seen from the outside," said Jimmy Bell of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre.
Studies are increasingly showing that a person's health does not depend on total body fat, but on where the fat stores are stored.
To check your physique therefore always requires a complete plan - nevertheless: Reducing your abdominal circumference with suitable workouts can be a good start.
Reduce body fat - that's how it works
In order to lose a pound or two in the right places, you don't have to do a radical cure. After all, that would be counterproductive, because strict diets, for example, slow down your metabolism and reduce your basal energy consumption which then triggers the yo-yo effect. In addition, very strict nutritional programs and intense diets are usually not good for your health either.
In order to lose body fat sustainably, you should only moderately limit your daily energy intake instead - or burn enough calories through exercise and physical activities.
The best way is to reduce your body fat percentage through more sensible nutritional choices.
Experts recommend a daily deficit of between 500 and 800 calories for everyone who wants to lose weight, whether men or women. But in reality, how high is your daily caloric requirement?
You can calculate that quickly and easily with calorie calculators on the internet. Look for a link in the show notes. To reduce your body fat percentage, you then subtract at least 500 calories from the calculated total requirement - this gives you your ideal energy input per day for slimming down.
Another way to reduce body fat percentage is through exercise and physical activities.
If you don't find it easy to lose weight through nutrition, then you still have a second option - using more energy which means burn more calories.
This can be exercises such as running, cycling or swimming, but everyday physical activities also have an impact.
In my upcoming blogs and podcasts, I will give you exercise ideas and training programs for every goal and for various exercise disciplines not only limited to fat killer plans for losing weight, but also for increasing stamina and performance.
Strength training increases the basal metabolic rate. Therefore, another way to target the waistline and boost your metabolism is with muscle building. After all, muscles are your body's furnaces - the more you have, the higher your daily energy requirement or basal metabolic rate will be.
A nice side effect: You beef up in the right places - including a firm buttock and a strong six-pack.
These different ways of measurement methods can help you to calculate your body fat percentage.
If you want to be in the know: The bio-impedance analysis provides detailed information about your body composition. On the internet, like Amazon, or in many home goods stores you can easily buy body fat scales for home use. In addition to your weight, these body analysis scales will also measure your water, muscle, and body fat percentage.
So, you can see immediately whether your workouts have actually left some of your unloved love handles on the running track or whether you have simply lost water or even muscle tissue - which is very counterproductive if you want to reduce fat tissue. The more body fat there is, the greater the challenge.
The measured value is put into a formula in connection with previously entered data such as height, body weight, age, and gender. However, these are not always accurate depending on the product. But then again, they will always be as inaccurate today as they are tomorrow. Therefore, use them as a good reference to see whether you’re headed in the right direction.
If you want to have more exact values, you can definitely get them from a body composition check, which some doctors and sometimes fitness gyms carry out.
There, the impedance current is not only conducted through the lower body, as with most household body fat scales, but also through the upper body by means of extra electrodes. This gives more correct results. However, physical activity, nutrition or drinking habits and the menstrual cycle can also influence the results.
Near Infrared Method or Interactance
Here, an infrared head is aimed directly at a predetermined point on the biceps. However, this method is not exactly accurate, because the complete body fat content is determined from a subcutaneous fold measurement, which is the fat under your skin.
The skinfold measurement with a caliper is the most cost-effective method. You can get calipers for skinfold measurement online for less than $10.
It is also very accurate but it’s important to always measure at exactly the same points in order to achieve comparable results. Since it might be difficult to do it properly on your own, you should have a partner help you with this - always the same person if possible.
Nuclear spin tomography
Since this method, in contrast to simple skin fold measurements and other at-home methods, is very costly, I will not go into more detail here, but only mention it for the sake of completeness.
Is BMI still meaningful?
Weigh, calculate or measure? What is the best way to find out whether you are overweight, where the fat is and how dangerous it is to your health?
The Body Mass Index (BMI) was used as the absolute guideline for years. In order to determine it, body size and mass are set in relation to each other. The shortcoming of the BMI is, that it does not differentiate between muscle and fat percentage, so that a well-trained, muscular athlete, for example, comes off far too poorly. It doesn't work well with children either.
American researchers have now developed the so-called Body Adiposity Index, or short BAI. It puts the hip circumference in relation to the height and makes it possible to determine the percentage of body fat.
But according to a JAMA article researchers compared the significance of the two indices. Their verdict: the new BAI is not superior to the old BMI when estimating the percentage of body fat.
BMI is even more closely related to body fat distribution. "Especially in male study participants, the assessment of the percentage of body fat using the BAI was inaccurate," the study said. According to the researchers, it makes sense to also measure the waist circumference to determine the diabetes risk.
Here is to show at a glance how to calculate BMI and BAI correctly
This is how you calculate the BMI
Weight in kg divided by the square of the height in meters
A BMI up to 25 is considered normal. Above 25 means you’re overweight and over 30 you’re obese. Since calculating your BMI involves several conversions, it’s easier to use a calculator on the internet. Look for a link in the show notes.
This is how you calculate the BAI
hip circumference in cm divided by (height in m times the square root of height in m) minus 18 = body fat percentage. As a result, women should not have more than 35%, men not more than 22%. Needless to say, it’s easiest to use a calculator on the internet, for which again you will find a link in the show notes.
Waist circumference is an indirect indicator of intra-abdominal fat tissue, often called visceral fat. A large waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease because of excess abdominal fat.
To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around your body at the top of your hipbone at about the level of your belly button. You are at increased risk for health problems if you are:
A man with a waist measurement greater than 40 in or 102 cm.
A woman with a waist measurement greater than 35 in or 88 cm.
Your waist-to-hip ratio compares your waist measurement to your hip measurement. Higher ratios can mean you have more fat around your waist. Your waist-to-hip ratio might give you a better picture of your health than your weight or your BMI alone. A good rule of thumb is that your waist should be smaller than your hips, no matter your weight or BMI.
According to science here are 3 simple rules that really help you to lose weight and body fat fast.
Of course, there are many ways to lose weight, but unfortunately most diets leave us hungry and unsatisfied. If you don't have a lot of stamina, you will quickly let yourself be guided by hunger pains and throw your weight loss plans overboard.
But there is a way that promises to shed the pounds. And that in just three steps and in a healthy way.
• Significantly reduce your appetite
• Lose weight without starving yourself
• Boost your metabolism
All you have to do to lose weight fast is to follow these three rules
Rule 1: Eat more whole grains and less sugar and starch
Most importantly, eat less sugar and starches, which are refined carbohydrates. Foods with these ingredients have a strong effect on your insulin balance. Because, in case you didn't know, the hormone insulin is the biggest cause for fat store in your body.
So, when we lower insulin levels through a low-carb diet, fat has more time to get out of fat stores. The body starts burning these fats instead of carbohydrates. To find out more about a low-carb diet listen to my podcast #48, “Eating Low Carb. What are the rules, and can it help you lose weight”?
Another benefit of low insulin levels is that the kidneys flush excess sodium and water from the body. This not only reduces flatulence, but also water retention.
If you follow this tip, you can lose up to five pounds of body fat and water in just one week - sometimes even more!
Rule 2: Eat more protein, healthy fats, and vegetables
All of your meals should contain at least one source of protein and fat and be served with lots of vegetables. If you stick to this rule, you automatically eat the recommended amount of carbohydrates.
The importance of protein cannot be stressed enough. Because just by eating them, your metabolism burns up to 80 to 100 more calories per day.
Diets with adequate protein-intake can also help you think less about food. It also helps reduce the craving for a late-night snack and makes you feel so full that you automatically eat fewer calories in a day.
You can eat as much vegetables as you want without a guilty conscience. Because no matter how much of it you eat, you will never consume more carbohydrates per day than you need.
A diet based on whole grains and vegetables provides all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need to live a healthy life.
Eat two to three times a day. If you're still hungry at night, eat a fourth meal like a snack.
Don't be afraid to use healthy fats just because they are fats. You should never be on a low carb and low-fat diet at the same time. Because you would definitely feel bad and that endangers the success of the weight loss.
Plus, there's no reason to avoid healthy fats. Because studies show that saturated fatty acids - contrary to popular belief - do not increase the risk of heart disease if consumed in moderation.
Bottom line is, that every meal should consist of one protein source, one healthy fat source, a serving of whole grains and plenty of vegetables. This automatically puts you in carbohydrate range, that lowers your insulin level. Besides, the fiber in whole grains and vegetables will slow down your digestive system and make you feel less hungry.
Rule 3: Exercise three times a week
In order to lose weight with this nutrition plan, you do not necessarily have to do competitive sports. But of course, exercise helps your body lose fat and, most importantly, stay toned.
It is best to exercise three to four times a week. If you go or plan to go to the gym, a combination of thorough warm-ups, strength training, and stretching is perfect.
Weight training burns calories and keeps your metabolism going, which in turn helps you lose weight. Studies have shown that you can even build muscle while losing a lot of body fat.
If you're not the "gym freak", you can of course also do cardio workouts and keep fit by swimming, running, hiking, or walking. In short, the best thing to do is strength training. But if that's not your thing, you can also do cardio.
Belly fat is considered a health risk and many people also perceive it as disturbing in their own body. So, use these tips to get rid of it!
And here is today’s answer to my google buster question “51% of Americans say this about their weight. What is it?”
According to a Gallup poll in 2021, Americans' self-described weight remains roughly the same as the previous year with 41% saying they are overweight, similar to the 42% reporting this in 2019. Meanwhile, just over half (now 51%) continue to say their weight is about right, while a small percentage (6%) report being underweight. I have included a link in the show notes with more details for this poll.
So here you have it. Re-listen to this podcast, if you have to, and start or continue firing up your metabolism with fruits and vegetables. Picture yourself a year from now. You won’t regret it!
I will address the cost and best methods of preparing or cooking vegetables in one of my upcoming blogs.
I also want to remind you to leave me your email if you wish to receive a link to my blogs and podcasts. If you still feel overwhelmed keeping your health and weight in check, I want to remind everybody that I’d love to Skype or Zoom with you for more ideas of how I can help you start the new year right and create a Living Well, healthy, and happy lifestyle for you and your family.
Check out my great packages & as always, our first get together is free! You can find the link to all my personalized coaching services in the Show Notes. Take a look and let me know how I can help.
And, of course, I am continuing to work hard so you can join me for my upcoming digital course: “28 Days To A Healthier You”. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the journey how to live a better, healthier, and happier life. Don’t forget to check out my show notes and my website BeyondYourScale.com for tips, recipes and so much more information.
Take care for now and thank you so much for staying tuned. I love having you & look forward to getting to know you better soon! Have a safe & happy rest of the week.