Healthy Byte: What Should I Really Weigh?

I see this question pop up quite frequently in the MFP forums & I thought this article did a particular nice job so here you go! 🙂

(Photo Courtesy of Peter Dazeley / Getty Images)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 69 percent of the population is overweight or obese in the U.S. While it’s easy to point fingers at this problem, figuring out what you should weigh — for a healthy heart, and reduced risk of stroke, diabetes, and osteoarthritis — isn’t itself that straightforward. “The ideal body-weight calculations that the medical community uses is unrealistic for a lot of people for all these different reasons,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How muscular a person is, bone density, where they carry weight, and genetics should all be figured into estimates of their ideal weight. But the most common measurement, Body Mass Index or BMI, doesn’t take any of this into account. While BMI is really easy to measure (just go to the government’s online calculator and plug in your height and weight), it doesn’t directly measure body fat or take account of bone and muscle.

“A lot of athletes just based on weight versus height versus age may show up in the obese category, but clearly they’re not obese,” says Nolan Cohn. So, is your BMI accurate? We put together an informal test to give a sense of how well that number matches reality for you.

1. Measure your BMI and note where you are on the scale.

  • If you’re “underweight,” start with a -1.
  • If you’re “normal”, start with a 0.
  • If you’ve “overweight” start with a +1.
  • If you’re obese (and not a serious athlete*), you should probably stop here and see your doctor.

2. Now, measure your hip-to-waist ratio.

Some experts actually put more stock into hip-to-waist ratio than BMI. This is because people who carry their weight in the middle are more likely to face adverse health problems, particularly cardiovascular issues.

To find your hip-to-waist ratio: Divide the circumference of the smallest part of your waist (usually above the belly button) by the largest area of your hips (probably over your butt).

  • If your ratio is less than 0.9, keep your score the same.
  • If it’s at 1.0 or higher, add 1 to your score.

3. Take your genes into account.

Arguing that someone is just naturally large tends to be met with disbelief, but there is no denying that genetics impact body composition. Yes, there are many people who carry more fat than they should for optimal health, but there are also people who are built to be larger. Nolan Cohn says she has a female client who was about 250 pounds who slimmed down to 170.

Based on this woman’s height, standard calculations would put her ideal weight around 130. “If her doctor didn’t know where she was, he’d tell here that she’s overweight now,“ says Nolan Cohn. However, this woman looks and feels great at her current weight and her blood work shows she is healthy. She is an example of someone who is structured differently than the average person.

  • Do you come from a big, healthy family? If so, subtract 1 from your score.
  • Are you much bigger than most of your family, or the same size but they have a fair amount of health problems? If either of these sound like you, add 1 to your score.
  • If you are skinny but come from a healthy, skinny family, add 1 to your score.

*4. How athletic are you?

The approximate healthy weight range for a 5’10” man spans from about 129 pounds (if he has a slim build) up to around 183 pounds (if he has a large build). However, a competitive bodybuilder will usually weigh around 210 pounds at this same height but may reach 270 pounds. He would be obese by BMI standards because it couldn’t account for the fact that he is carrying so much muscle and so little fat.

Sumo wrestlers, who weigh upwards of 400 pounds, often live long, healthy lives, according to published research. It’s a similar story for linebackers, many of whom weigh over 300 pounds. Not only are they active, much of their weight is muscle rather than fat. Although their BMI would show these men are obese or even morbidly obese, they can still be medically healthy.

  • Do you lift weights ever day or have some serious muscle? Subtract 1 from your score
  • Run a lot? Keep it the same.
  • Couch potato? Add 1.

5. Your Results

This test should be a practice that helps you understand the limitations of BMI and many factors that go into finding a healthy weight. In other words, do not make major health decisions based on this score. What the test should reveal is if you need to make life changes, and see your doctor in the process: If your final score is in the positive and you’re overweight (or near overweight) according to the BMI scale, you’re probably carrying more than is good for you — possibly a dangerous amount. If it’s negative and you’re underweight or near it, you should also be concerned as being underweight can also have severe health effects.

Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”

~ Albert Einstein, Physicist

Healthy Byte: Fitness Secrets From the World’s Best Trainers

Get fitness secrets from the experts. (Photo: iStock/pixdeluxe)

In fitness (and in life) arming yourself with the best information available can help you conquer any goal – often in less time and with even better results than you imagined. And there’s no better resource for that advice than the health and fitness pros whose careers depend on getting people results. To help you reach your potential, we asked top experts to share the very best tips, mantras and motivation secrets they’ve learned along the way.

1. Forget About the “Fat-Burning Zone.”
“Stop worrying about the exact percentage of fat you burn during exercise (i.e. staying in the ‘fat burning’ zone), and instead focus on the total calories burned from fat (which include the calories you burn after an intense strength session). To burn more fat over a 24-hour period (and not to mention, get in great shape), go as hard as you can, as long as you can.” – JC Santana, owner of the Institute of Human Performance (IHP) in Boca Raton, Florida.

(Photo: iStock/MilosJokic)

2. Exercise in the Morning.
“Has your busy schedule taken over your workout routine? Fit in fitness first thing. Research shows that people who work out first thing in the morning work out more often. Why? Because you’re less likely to make excuses when you get it done before something else can get in your way.” – Elizabeth Burwell Hendrix, co-owner of High Performance NYC training facility in Manhattan.

(Photo: iStock/Eva Katalin Kondoros)

3. Set a Hard Deadline.
“Parkinson’s Law states that the perceived complexity of a task expands to fill the time you allot it. So if you don’t set hard deadlines and timelines, you’re not going to be as focused or productive as you could be. Instead of wasting time at the gym, create hard deadlines for your workouts: Estimate how long your session should take and enforce that you finish in that amount of time or less. Create a negative consequence for not sticking to it. Once you begin to create and enforce deadlines, the BS gets toned down and the results increase dramatically.” – John Romaniello, a New York City based coach, writer, and owner of Roman Fitness System.

(Photo: iStock/AzmanL)

4. Begin With the End in Mind.
“Start with the end point of your specific goal in mind, and then work backwards to plan out your training program. That way, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to reach your goal, keeping you motivated and moving forward. For example, if you want to be able to run a marathon in 16 weeks, then in eight weeks your training program should build up to doing a half marathon, and in four weeks you should be able to do a 10K.” – Rachel Cosgrove, author of “The Female Body Breakthrough” and co-owner of Results Fitness.

(Photo: iStock/RyanJLane)

5. Kick Up the Intensity.
“A lot of people put the time into their workouts but completely fail when it comes to their intensity. Bottom line: If it doesn’t feel hard, it isn’t. Learning this drastically changed my fitness level and my ability to coach my students to new levels.” – Amy Dixon, an exercise physiologist in Los Angeles and star of “Breathless Body 2: The Edge” DVD.

(Photo: iStock/pixdeluxe)

6. Stick With the “Two-Day Rule.”
“Since I travel so much for work, I am sympathetic to how hotels and crazy schedules can foil your workouts. That’s why I stick to the two day rule: Never go more than two days in a row without a workout. It’s a game I play with myself, and I can’t lose. I have to do something, whether it’s getting outside for a run, using the hotel gym (no matter how gross), or doing a bodyweight workout in my hotel room – I just do it. And I haven’t broken the rule in as long as I can remember.” – Chris Freytag, a health and fitness expert for Prevention magazine, author, and national speaker.

(Photo: iStock/Ferrantraite)

7. Aim High But Stay Realistic.
“One thing my Olympic track coach used to say to me whenever I would hit a plateau was, ‘Rome was not built in a day.’ I find that even the most competitive and knowledgeable athletes set expectations that are often too high, and it’s natural to get disappointed when you set an expectation and fail. It’s good to have goals, just make sure those goals are smart, achievable ones.” – Samantha Clayton, former Olympic athlete, personal trainer, and corporate fitness consultant in Malibu, California.

(Photo: iStock/Photolyric)

8. Make an Emotional Connection.
“Most people don’t truly enjoy exercise, but studies show that when you connect with something you like – whether it’s a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, fitness video, or piece of equipment- you make a positive emotional connection and are significantly more inclined to stick with that exercise routine. Find a way to create a positive emotional connection [to your workouts] to stay engaged and wanting to come back again and again.” – Linda LaRue, RN MEd, ATC, creator of the Core Transformer workout program.

(Photo: iStock/Photolyric)

9. Pump More Iron.
“One of the best tips I can give to anyone who wants to change the shape of their body is to lift weights. Specifically, lift heavy weights and perform multi-joint exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and push presses. If your goal is to look toned and lose belly fat, combine 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio and 20 minutes of strength training for your workout – you’ll be finished in just 40 minutes and be in the best shape of your life.” – Marta Montenegro, an exercise physiologist and adjunct professor of exercise and sports sciences at Florida International University.

(Photo: iStock/Pixdeluxe)

10. Make Time to Meditate.
“Learn how to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, no matter how brief. So much of our suffering, pain, insecurities, and struggles are caused by a disconnection with ourselves and our source. Meditation costs nothing, requires nothing, and can be done anywhere. In order to change your body, you need to change your mind and the way it is hardwired.” – Jennifer Galardi, owner of LivWhole in New York City.

(Photo: iStock/Joachim Leroy)

11. Do What You Love.
“If you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else. If you’re injured, switch gears and focus on another aspect of your fitness until you heal. Never stop searching for the right workout and schedule until you create exactly what works for you. When you find it, don’t be swayed by fads, the opinion of others or even the experts. Doing what you love is the surest way to ensure you will be fit for life.” – Liz Neporent, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise and author of Fitness for Dummies, 4th edition.

(Photo: iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund)

12. Work More Muscles in Less Time.
“When it comes to exercise selection, focus on compound moves, not isolation exercises. A compound movement is something that engages every muscle in your body – such as pull-ups, pushups, or planks- whereas isolation exercises focus only on one muscle group. Compound movements will make you stronger, more explosive, and more toned than anything else.” – Tamal Dodge, an international yoga instructor and star of the “Element Yoga” DVD.

(iStock/monkeybusinessimages)

13. You Can’t Out-Train a Poor Diet.
“I am always amazed at how people sabotage all their incredible efforts in the gym by overeating junk and under-eating nutrient-rich foods. If you commit to a diet of clean food -mainly all colors of plants, lean quality proteins, good healthy fats, and grains like quinoa and amaranth – and limit processed food, fast food, sugar, super starchy grains, and trans fats, you can see tremendous results in your body.” – Suzanne Bowen, owner of Barre Amped in Nashville, TN.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Not All Fruits & Veggies are Good for You

You’ve heard it many times before: To maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and eat more fruits and vegetables.

But new research has found that when it comes to weight loss, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal.

A Harvard study of more than 133,000 people published in the journal PLOS Medicine found that some starchy fruits and vegetables can actually make people gain weight over time.

For the study, researchers analyzed the changes that men and women in the U.S. made in their fruit and vegetable intake over 24 years, as reported in previously conducted dietary questionnaires and self-reported changes in weight. Scientists specifically analyzed several four-year periods for their findings.

What they discovered, after adjusting for changes in other lifestyle habits such as smoking and exercise: People who ate more fruits and several types of vegetables lost an average of half a pound over four years for each daily serving of fruit and a quarter of a pound for every serving of vegetables.

But those who ate starchy vegetables like peas and potatoes actually gained weight. Corn was the biggest offender — people who ate it regularly gained an average of two pounds over four years. Here’s a breakdown of some of their findings:

Vegetables that cause weight gain:

  • Corn (2.04 pound weight gain)
  • Peas (1.13 pound weight gain)
  • Potatoes (0.74 pound weight gain)
  • Cabbage (0.4 pound weight gain)

Fruits and vegetables that help with weight loss: 

  • Berries (1.11 pound weight loss)
  • Apples (1.24 pound weight loss)
  • Pears (1.24 pound weight loss)
  • Cauliflower (1.37 pound weight loss)
  • Lettuce (0.52 pound weight loss)

While it sounds shocking that you can actually gain weight while eating your vegetables, Samuel Accardi, lead dietitian for nutrition intelligence company Mind Plus Matter, tells Yahoo Health that he isn’t surprised.

Why? Starchy vegetables have a high glycemic index, which can raise your body’s blood glucose.

When your blood glucose levels increase, your pancreas secrets insulin to bringdown your blood sugar, he explains. This can result in a sharp drop in your blood glucose levels a few hours after eating, leaving you with stronger feelings of hunger more quickly than if you had eaten foods with a lower .

As a result, you may end up eating more than you would have otherwise.

The study verifies the link: Researchers found that higher-fiber vegetables with a lower glycemic load, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, had a stronger relationship with weight loss than lower-fiber, higher-glycemic-load vegetables, like carrots and cabbage. As for fruits, berries, prunes, raisins, grapes, grapefruit, apples, and pears had the strongest links to weight loss.

There’s also a more simple explanation, Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells Yahoo Health: Starchier vegetables typically contain more calories than those that aren’t starchy.

Should we avoid starchy vegetables altogether? Maybe.

Rumsey points out that the study found that eating more fruits and vegetables (no matter what type) caused a decrease in weight. But eating a lot of starchy vegetables won’t help. “The portions have to be more controlled, as they contain more calories than the nonstarchy vegetables,” says Rumsey.

She recommends having no more than one serving (½ to one cup) of starchy vegetables a day.

Clearly, there are much worse foods you can eat than peas, corn, and potatoes — all of which contain some important vitamins and nutrients. Accardi also advises eating starchy vegetables in moderation if you’re trying to manage your weight.

And, of course, if you’re forced to choose between eating corn or a pint of ice cream, go for the corn.

Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are.”

~ H.G. Wells, Author

Author’s Chronicles: Just Like a BandAid …

 

… the faster you pull it off the less it hurts.

So far I have received two rejections and surprisingly I’m okay with it.

I think my mind set is grounded in realistic pessimism. Since I am unpublished writer the chances of my first few submissions to be accepted is a stretch. But that is A-Ok. I can use this time to invest in writing additional essays and beef up my arsenal of submission ready work to rotate through until something gets published.

And to be quite honest I just figure that there’s an editor somewhere out there who will appreciate my work and will deem it worthy of publishing. She or he is out there, I just need to forge ahead and continue to submit until I find them. There’s an old saying that, ‘even a blind dog will find a bone if it digs enough holes’ – so that is exactly what I plan to do … keep digging holes. Arf!

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