Where your fat is located on your body can be just as important as how much you weigh. If you carry extra fat in your abdominal area then you’re increasing your risk for weight-related health problems. If the fat is packed on your hips and thighs then the risk is much less.
One technique you can use to make sure you’re on the right track is the waist to hip ratio. You can easily find yours by measuring your waist just above your belly button and your hips at their widest point ( don’t cheat!). Then divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.
For example – if your waist is 34 inches and your hips are 42 inches then your waist to hip ratio is 0.8.
For women, a waist to hip ratio over 0.8 indicates an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
If your ratio is higher than 0.8, you may also be at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and possibly even breast cancer. Going from fat to toned can help improve your waist to hip ratio and improve your overall health.
What you eat, aerobic exercise, and strength training are all fundamental and necessary components to help burn the excess fat. Believe it or not one of the best ways to keep track of your progress is to use an old-fashioned tape-measure or the mirror in your bedroom.
But of course there are other body-fat measuring devices, such as the calipers and electronic testers that are available in many gyms, to chart your fat-burning progress.
I tell my clients that it’s not worth checking unless they’re simply interested.
The normal body fat range for a woman is 22 to 28 percent. But most measuring devices are not accurate enough to tell you if you’ve really changed, so it can be frustrating to check it after a few weeks or months. It’s better just to look in the mirror – if it looks like fat then it probably is fat.