Measuring Weight Loss with Waist-to-Hip Ratio

If you’ve ever seen weight loss pictures of before and after, you’ve seen that quite often the people are holding a measuring tape around their waist. But why is this? While it certainly looks good that the waist area has become smaller, could there be a connection between your waist measurements and your weight? The simple answer is yes.

Measuring Weight Loss

Measuring your waist and hips can be a helpful way of tracking your weight loss progress and body fat percentage.

For many people, the abdomen is the area on their body where they gain weight first. It’s an area that is filled with a certain kind of fat – fat that is receptive to hormones and to diet changes. As a result, when you’re losing weight (whether you like it or not), this is the first area where the weight loss is apparent. Conversely, this is also an area where weight gain also shows up first.

The circumference of your waist is actually an important measurement of your health too. When you store fat in the abdomen, it’s not like other parts of the body. Fat in the abdomen can actually be stored around the organs, which can cause hormonal changes that can lead to other problems. For example, if you store a lot of fat in your abdomen, it can increase your risk of heart disease and even some cancers in women and in men. Other studies have shown that people who have a larger stomach circumference than their hips can also be at a higher risk of long term health issues – diabetes, for example. In fact, women are not supposed to have greater than a 0.8 waist-to-hip ratio. You can find this measurement by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement. You can do this very easily as well by using the Waist-Hip Ratio Calculator.

You have also probably heard about the two common body types used to describe people’s waist-to-hip ratios: apple or pear. Studies have shown that people who are pear shaped with bigger hips than a waist are healthier than apple-shaped people with larger waist than hips. And this may be another reason why all of those weight loss pictures point out the shrinking waists.

It can help for you to take measurements of your waist and your hips frequently as you lose weight. This way, even if the scale does not show that you are losing weight, you can see when you are losing inches and body fat. This becomes really apparent if you calculate your Body Fat Percentage based on your weight and waist size (you can use the handy Body Fat Calculator to see what yours is). Often, if you’re building muscle at the same rate you are losing fat, you might be shrinking, though the scale doesn’t register the change yet. Keeping measurements will help keep you motivated, stay on track and give you a better understanding of your overall weight loss.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Muscle Weighs More than Fat – A Common Weight Loss Myth”, “Helpful Weight Loss Calculators” and “The Truth About Losing Body Fat”.


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