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There Are Better Ways To Measure Body Fat Than BMI

by: Stefan Simonovic

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Body weight is something all people on the planet are concerned with. Ok, except maybe big beautiful women singles, they feel comfortable in their own skin. Joking aside, when body weight becomes a serious health issue, a lot of people tend to rely on the legendary BMI (Body Mass Index).

However, BMI is not exactly the best way to determine your fat levels. It's good for your overall mass that includes your lean tissue (muscles, bones, tendons, ligament, and organs), but it's not particularly good when it comes to measuring your body fat. Therefore, if you're worried about your health and you want to know your life expectancy, forget about the BMI and check out some of the better methods to measure your body fat.

Measuring Your Waist Circumference

Is the old-fashioned tape measurement really better indicator than BMI? Actually, it is! Measuring your waist circumference is a better way to determine your fat levels simply because this way, you're focusing solely on your abdominal fat, instead of muscles, bones and the rest of your lean tissue. This method can help you figure out if you should contact your doctor regarding some potential heart and cardiovascular diseases. If you're a woman, you're at risk if your waist circumference is 35 inches or more. If you're a man, you should contact your doctor if your waist is over 40 inches wide.

Waist To Hip Ratio

Since we're already talking about the importance of waist circumference and abdominal fat, it would be a shame not to mention the importance of waist to hip ratio. This is a great way to figure out how much excess weight you're carrying. Also, waist to hip ratio can indicate potential problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and other vicious cardiovascular diseases. What you need to do is take your tape measure and determine your waist circumference. Next, find the widest part of your buttocks and measure the width. Then, divide the perimeter of your waist by your hip measurement.

Men should have 0.95 or lower, and women should have 0.80 or lower. Anything over this limit may cause serious medical issues, so make sure to contact your doctor if your waist to hip ratio is alarming.

The Bod Pod Method

At first, this method may look like something from a science fiction movie, but it's actually one of the best ways to determine your fat levels. Experts say that it's very similar to underwater weighing, except in this case you don't have to get wet. All you have to do is sit in an egg-like chair that uses air displacement to measure your overall weight, body fat, and lean mass. To be fair, this method is a bit expensive, but you can't put a price tag on your health.


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA scan is mostly used for determining bone density. However, this amazing instrument is also pretty useful when it comes to calculating the muscle and fat mass. The best thing about DEXA scan is that it can determine how much visceral fat you have, and we all know how bad this type of fat can be. This dangerous "inner" fat that is located in your abdominal area can cause serious and potentially fatal diseases.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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