Okay, our culture always tells us we’re fat. Or flat. Or something else is wrong with our bodies. You find yourself calculating your BMI (3 different ways), standing on the scales, and measuring everything. But what does it mean? How do you compare yourself to normal when everybody has a different normal standard? Maybe you’re fat by one measure but in the okay range by another. So confusing!
We think everyone should choose a measure and stick with it. Do you feel that your weight in no way reflects whether you’re looking good or not? Don’t do it! Calculate your BMI instead. Or, as an alternative, you can do a quick calculation of your hips-to-waist ratio. A normal woman should have a hip to waist ratio of about .70 and studies show that when a man sees a woman walking down the street, this is the woman he will deem most attractive. But society tells us that’s fat. When asked what hip-to-waist ratio is desirable, women come up with an answer closer to .50 and men tend to agree if they’re viewing silhouettes of women. For some reason, women have been lead to believe the optimal .70 ratio is bad for them. In reality, the .70 ratio is what women need to correctly regulate their hormonal cycles.
Runners, gymnasts, dancers, and other unusually active women will often sport the svelte <.50 look – and their cycles will stop. We’re betting you’ve enviously gazed at one of these women at one time or another and wished you were there. Stawwp! Over thin is not healthy.
Let’s do this together. Take a measuring tape and measure your hips and your waist. Now, using your favorite calculator, enter waist/hips = hip-to-waist ratio. What’s yours?
Brooke’s is good. Sherry’s is too! Thanks to the Satan Diet and our newly developed Cupcake Time Diet she has lost enough weight to put her in the range of this measure! A healthy female body should be in the range of .65 – .85. Anything above the .85 is too fat and anything below the .65 is too thin for optimal female health. Dieting can help bring weight up or down but who wants to diet for their entire lives? Not us!
Non-Dieting Lifestyle Choices To Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Drink Water. It is amazing to really take stock of what you drink and how it impacts your weight. Many of us drink juices, milk, smoothies, sodas, and alcohol; never even thinking of drinking a glass of water. Figure out how you like yours – hot, warm, cold, with lemon, with cucumbers, or naked – and drink that water! Water flushes your body of toxins, carries unneeded calories out of your body, and keeps you feeling full. Drinks full of sugar and/or caffeine work against your plans for a healthy, happy body. Alcohol may make you happy but eventually you’ll have to sober up and see what it did you.
- Eat. And you thought we’d say don’t eat. No way! You need to eat; just be choosy in what you choose to eat. Ditch the refined sugars (again) and load up on fresh vegetables and tasty fruits while watching your portions on breads, meats, and dairy and your body will respond by treating you to good health and (eventually) a body that hits the hip-to-waist ratio goal. Eat three meals a day or six – it’s really up to you as long as you remember to Not eat six meals that are the same size as the three meal deals.
- Use Weights in Your Exercise Routine. Cardio is great for your heart and circulatory systems. Weight training breaks down stored muscle glycogen so it actually helps you to burn carbs faster than the couch potato (who would really be a potato – carbs; get it?) Make sure you mix it up and get a little of both.
- Don’t Pig Out. Want a piece of cake? Have one. Just be sure you don’t overdo it. And never ever ever use food to make you feel better. Anger eating, bored eating, stress eating, and sad eating need to become mere memories. It’s hard. We know it’s hard! And we still slip into stress/bored eating on occasion. But replacing emotional eating with healthier coping skills will make you a better, thinner person in no time.
Once we figured out how to make the Cupcake Time Diet work, we started doing this. Did we still have a few days when the Peanut M&Ms won? You bet. But it’s all part of the learning curve. And although we’ve struggled with having to eat vegetables and reminding ourselves to use our support person (instead of a cake) to make it through a bad day, we are learning! And if we can do it – we are confident you can (because we can be very stubborn when it comes to learning healthy eating habits).
Stand on the scale, calculate your BMI, and compute your hips-to-waist ratio one last time – decide which is the best measure for you – and enjoy the rest of your day!