November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It is a great time to reflect on
your current lifestyle and habits, and make sure you are doing everything
in your power to prevent this disease. Diabetes prevention begins with
maintaining a healthy weight, but do you know what your ideal weight is?
You may admit that you need to lose a few pounds, but do you know if you
are actually clinically overweight or even obese?
Overweight vs. Obese
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is an assessment of weight relative to height.
In both men and women overweight is defined as having a BMI over 25.0
and obese is a BMI of over 30. Unfortunately, most people will not take
the time to calculate their BMI, instead relying on how they look in the
mirror. Our visual assessment tends to be inaccurate, as we frequently
underestimate exactly how overweight we actually are, or simply refuse
to admit we might be obese.
The list of medical conditions associated with being even a few pounds
overweight is growing. Excess belly fat in men has been linked to osteoporosis
and a high BMI may be a better indicator of cardiovascular disease risk
than high serum cholesterol levels.
Calculating your BMI
BMI chart to determine your current BMI and identify what is your ideal healthy
weight. Remember, your BMI should be less than 25.
For some with athletic and strong body types, the BMI chart may not be
accurate. If you think this might represent you, test yourself using a
body fat analyzer. A body fat test can determine exactly how much of that
extra weight is fat, muscle, and in some cases, even bone. The most accurate
results will be obtained at a professional facility, like a doctor’s
office or gym, where someone can analyze and explain the results to you.
Healthy body fat ranges vary depending on age and gender. Typically, under
20 percent for men and 25 percent for women is considered healthy.
Identifying your ideal weight may take a little time, but it’s the
first step in taking charge of your health and reducing your risk for
insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes and other diseases. Maximize
your chances of success by discussing your goals with your physician so
he/she can monitor your progress and provide guidance and support. Remember,
achieving a healthy weight is the best thing you can do to for your health.