In today’s media infested thin model world it is easy to become obsessed with the numbers that show up on your bathroom scale, were to become so entirely frustrated that you ignore the topic all together. Based on Census Bureau information, body mass index and physicians it appears as if most of the population who lives in the Western world are overweight.
But the term over weight appears to be highly debated. In April of 2009 the Center for disease control actually announced that carrying approximately 10 to 15 extra pounds may help you live longer. Unfortunately, a month later retracted their findings. It is no wonder that many of us who compare ourselves to stick thin models on television feel that we are consistently overweight without having a good feel for what a normal weight might be.
Those of us who are carrying around a few extra pounds seem to also carry with us a greater risk for a decreased life expectancy. This decreased life expectancy is a result of an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other immune mediated illnesses. It is estimated that 16 million Americans under the age of 40 have type 2 diabetes and now have five times greater risk of dying prematurely.
In a recent research study performed in Canada researchers found that men with type 2 diabetes had a moderate risk for heart disease at an age of 39 years, compared to age 55 for individuals who were not diabetic. The high risk category was reached at age 49, compared to those without diabetes at age 62.
In many instances it may be adequate to look at a person’s body mass index, or BMI, in order to determine whether or not they are carrying extra pounds. The BMI is a number that represents an algorithm or arithmetic problem which considers gender, height and weight. It produces a number which individuals can use to compare themselves against others creating a normative value.
Unfortunately, just as the bathroom scale cannot adequately evaluate the type of weight and individual is carrying, neither can the body mass index. In other words, a bodybuilder whose mass consists mostly of lean muscle tissue would not be considered overweight even though his body mass index would indicate that he was.
Another factor which must be considered is in individual’s percentage of fat tissue in their body. This can be measured at the gym using several different processes. General ranges for body fat indicate that women require an essential body fat ratio of 10 to 12%. It is acceptable for athletes to carry a ratio of 14 to 20% and those who have a good degree of fitness a range of 21 to 24%. Researchers have found that body fat percentages are acceptable in women up to 31% but anything greater is considered obese.
Percentage of body fat in men tends to range lower. It is essential that they have body fat of between two and 4%. Most elite athletes carry a body fat range between six and 13%. Highly fit individuals can have a body fat range between 14 and 17% but it is acceptable to have a body fat percentage of up to 25%, with anything greater than that considered obese.
In order to really determine whether an individual is carrying around extra weight it is the essential that the amount of weight on the bathroom scale, body mass index and body fat percentage are all considered prior to determining whether or not an individual is carrying extra weight and should attempt to lose weight.
Good news/bad news…To get a true “six-pack” (muscular, defined abdomen), it means getting to about 10% body fat percentage for men and about 14% for women. While this is possible, it is not easy.
What is very possible and can happen faster than you might think, is to lose fat, drop weight and build lean, defined muscle. And, get flat abs. It just takes the right information and strategies and some consistent effort. Some test boosters have proven to be very effective during cutting. That is shedding the extra fat and building muscle mass. They target and breakdown fat while protecting the muscle protein. Go ahead and try them, buy the one that is best suited for you. You will be pleased with the results.
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