is often a result of making small changes
to your daily habits.
But how do you figure out
how much you’re supposed to weigh?
Trying to determine the exact number of pounds that you should weigh is tricky, because standard bathroom scales weigh your muscle tissue as well as your fat tissue — even though a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat (and looks a whole lot better).
Many people use the BMI, body mass index, as an indicator. BMI can sometimes be helpful in giving you a general idea; however, the BMI method is often not good for people of extreme heights or people who strength-train at the gym — because it doesn’t account for muscle tissue or bone mass.
How to Figure Out Your Ideal Weight
The absolute best way to determine your ideal weight is, oddly, not to focus on pounds at all but rather your body’s percentage of fat:
- ▸ in most cases, it’s healthiest for men to have body fat between 6% and 17%
- ▸ for women, it’s usually best to have body fat between 14% and 24%
More important than which method you use to determine your level of body fat, is that you stick with the same measurement method. For example, if one method reveals that you are at 28% body fat, well, maybe you are really 27% or maybe 29%, but what will probably be accurate is how much you’ve gained or lost. If it says you’ve lost 6% or gained 6%, that number will probably be accurate if you’re using the same measurement method.
How Can You Lose Fat?
- ⊙ I’ve shared before that there is a fairly simple formula for figuring out how to lose a pound each week, permanently
- ⊙ and I’ve also explained how preparing internally for change can help to easily make external changes to our appearance, including helping us to lose fat and get into shape
- ⊙ I’ve also previously revealed that certain menu items, such as freshly made green smoothies, are startling in their ability to reduce belly fat specifically
There are two tools that you’ll need to help you track your fat loss. One costs about $50, the other costs about $1.
Get a Bathroom Scale with a BIA Feature
In the old days, we could only use calipers — or special scales that weighed us in water — to determine our true percentage of body fat. Fortunately, today we have other options! Many bathroom scales that you can buy today at your home-accessories store include a BIA feature (Bioelectric Impedance Analysis) that reveals your current level of fat. Your hydration levels may create a margin of error in the figure, but if you measure at the same time of day (such as when you first wake up in the morning), that can help to minimize the already-small risk of error.
Get a Measuring Tape
You’ll need to get the cloth or soft-plastic kind of measuring tape that tailors use (not the metal ones that handymen use!) in order to measure your waistline. The measuring tape won’t tell you your percentage of body fat, but it will tell you how many inches you’ve gained or lost in your waist, and in some ways this can be even more important.
When I measure my waist area, I measure in two places:
- the skinniest part of my waist, right underneath my bottom rib, when I suck my stomach in as hard as I can
- the widest part of my waist — I run the tape over the center of my bellybutton and then around the widest part of the “love handles”
Write down both numbers each time you measure and you will have an accurate idea of whether or not your gaining or losing fat in your waistline. Research reveals that a slimmer waistline means a longer life, so this is an important area to track meticulously.
You’ll perhaps think I’m kidding, but sometimes what’s also helpful is to keep one pair of your favorite skinny jeans in your closet. When you slide those jeans on, how well those jeans fit — or don’t — will give you a fast indication of your current fat percentage that is strangely more accurate than what the most expensive lab equipment would tell you!
Do Smoothies Make You Fat?
Whether smoothies make you fat or thin, depends on the smoothie.
A freshly made green smoothie can help you reach your perfect weight.
On the other hand, when some people say “smoothie” what they really mean is some low-quality, overly sweetened powder from a can they got at the grocery store, mixed with milk and a banana. Those kind of smoothies can make you fat. But a freshly made green smoothie will help you get leaner, stronger and healthier.
What Matters More in Calories: the Quantity or the Quality?
There are so many differing opinions on whether the number of calories or the quality of calories is more important for losing fat and improving health.
The truth is, simply: both.
People who still believe that only the number of calories matter do not understand about inflammation. Many of the modern world’s most common diseases are linked to chronic inflammation. Yes, excess calories can convert to fat, but what is also true is that the healthier you are the better and more efficiently your metabolism works. To keep your body’s various systems running optimally you need to stay out of their way and let them do their job. A diet full of inflammatory foods can impede your systems’ optimal functioning:
“…inflammation is the body’s natural response to irritants.
When the irritants don’t let up because of diet…
the immune system can spiral out of control and increase the risk for disease.
A growing body of research is revealing how abdominal fat
and an unhealthy diet can lead to inflammation.
Some scientists are investigating how certain components in foods might help.
Dietary fiber, for instance, may play a protective role against inflammation”
~ Laura Landro / WSJ
Green Smoothies Are an Easy Way to Give Your Body the Nutrition it Needs
It’s a very good idea to, periodically, take a fresh look at our daily habits: what are we eating and drinking?
We think we know what foods we’re consuming each day, but do we really?
I like run features like this every now and then, because by being exposed to different nutrition ideas, we are inspired to see our daily diets in a new way. Many people find freshly made green smoothies to be anti-inflammatory and healing. I get such a kick out of this video, that really shows you what the blender lifestyle is all about! 15 green smoothies in 3 minutes — wow!
Yes, believe it or not, not everyone needs to burn ample amounts of fat tissue. In fact, some people need to add weight — sometimes they could use a little more body fat but usually what they most need is an increase in muscle mass. If you’re one of these folks, then it seems important to share with you that there are two excellent ways I know of to gain weight:
- ◕ nuts and seeds
- ◕ strength training
Though I’m a huge fan of Pilates and yoga, if you’re wanting to gain weight than you need to hit the gym and do some good strength training exercises! It will add much-needed muscle tissue onto your frame and help you to feel — and look — great. By the way, if you happen to be a smoker, and you want to gain weight, then quit smoking and you will absolutely add on a few pounds (plus, you’ll live a longer and happier life). If you happen to have medical insurance, you might be able to check yourself into an all-paid 8-day cessation program, and walk out of it a rested, fit, non-smoker! How cool is that!?