Body Weight, Body Fat and Waist Circumference

If you are trying to lose weight, or wanted to maintain it, then you need to understand what body weight and body fats are.

Body weight consists of three things – bones, muscles and fat. On the average, a healthy female’s bones consist 12% of total body weight, muscle or lean tissue is at 35% and body fat at about 27%. The remaining weight is composed of the skin, tendons, blood, organs, and connective tissues.

Unknown to many, body fat is actually lighter than muscle. This is why physical exercise can actually make you gain weight instead of losing it. This goes to show that weight loss

exercise isn’t always about lessening your body weight.

Unlike muscles, fat needs lesser energy to be maintained. This is why it is important to maintain your body fat percentage if you are looking to have a healthy weight loss. Body fat percentage is basically the amount of body fat tissue in your body. For example, if your total body weight is at 160 pounds and you have 32 pounds of fat, then you have about 20% of body fat percentage.

Now you’re probably asking, what’s the need to calculate body fat? Well, the higher your body fat percentage, the greater is the risk of getting health related illnesses such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and many others.

While it is true that a high body fat percentage is already a cause for concern, it is also important to know where the fat is stored. Fat stored around our middle (also called visceral fat) is the worst case. According to several studies on health, excess abdominal fat is linked to high blood sugar, high cholesterol level and high blood pressure. It increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to a study published at Anne Collins, gender is a strong determinant of body fat distribution. Men tend to store fat around their middle (hence, the apple body shape), while women store fat around their pelvis, thighs and butt (the pear body shape). Aside from gender, there are also several hereditary factors which affect the tendency to accumulate extra weight in the midsection. Also, age is a strong factor, but this is linked primarily to the lack of exercise – old men and women no longer exercise because they tend to get tired easily.

How do you know if you have too much fat in your midsection? Well, the answer is pretty easy – check your waist circumference. For women, an unhealthy waist circumference is at 35 inches and for men, above 40 inches means that you’re already overweight.

One Response to Body Weight, Body Fat and Waist Circumference

  1. David says:

    I’m starting my weight loss plan and of course, I would like to know how much weight did I lose after 2 weeks and how my body changed. But I don’t know what to measure(legs and arms probably) except my weight. I heard that you need to measure your neck too. Is this true and If it is, why? And when do I need to measure myself? 1 week, 2 weeks, …? And is there anything else I need to know about measuring?

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