How Do We Know that We are Gaining Weight?

Gaining weight‘Did you gain weight?’ is one greeting that has caused many a friendship to turn sour or maybe made a smile falter. Midnight snacks, beer and late nights are silent culprits of weight gain, along with a sedentary lifestyle. A trip to the doctor for the yearly check-up and suddenly the figures are in, overweight borderline to being obese. One may be on denial but what are the symptoms of being obese and overweight?

BMI  Calculator:

Having a 25 BMI means one is overweight. BMI is the measurement of weight and height of person. A BMI of 20 and 25 is considered healthy, a 30 BMI is already obese. BMI scores may vary from one country to another because of height but only slightly. This figure or score provides an estimate of the body fat and is a good gauge of risks that are associated with high body fat percentage. Although there are limitations on the use of BMI for athletes who have more muscles than fat and for elderly persons who have lost muscle mass. But unless one is an athlete or a senior citizen there is no going around the BMI result.

Size Of Abdomen:

Another visible manifestation of being overweight is the size of one’s abdomen. When it is harder to see the ends of your foot when looking down then you know you have a weight problem. Other visible and physical signs are stretch marks on the abdomen, arms and hips as well as sagging breast for women. Other physical signs are fatigue and shortness of breath, a sign of a decreased endurance level. Not getting into that pair of jeans may cause depression to some and a lowering of self-esteem when putting that favourite dress has become an ordeal when trying to put it on. And lastly, a sudden drop of the one’s fitness level like panting through a flight of stairs, or being breathless when taking the dog for a walk is a true indication that it is time to address the problem.

Skin Fold Thickness Measurement:

Taking stock of the situation is one step to address if one is overweight or if one is already obese. Aside for the BMI, a skin-fold thickness measurement test also known as a pinch test can determine the percentage of body fat according to a person’s age and gender. The test involves the skin being pulled away from muscle by pinching, leaving the skin and fat tissue which is then measured by special skinfold callipers. Two measurements are required to be averaged later on. This pinch test is done on the right side of the body and on seven (7) locations namely the back of the upper arm or triceps, mid-chest or pectoral, beneath the shoulder blade’s edge or subscapula, middle of the side of the torso or midaxilla, next to the belly button, the top of the hip bone or suprailiac, and middle of the upper thigh or quads. These figures are then computed with the use of a formula.

Bioelectrical Impedance Test:

The bioelectrical impedance test or BIA is another test to measure obesity. This test uses a device commercially known as body fat meters. It runs on the premise that thru electrical impedance or the opposition to the flow of electric current through the body tissue, the value of the total body water can then be obtained where it can then be used to compute the body fat by the difference of the body weight from the fat-free body mass.

Whether in denial or not, one is always aware of his weight whether weight gain and weight loss no matter what tests are made. Keeping a scale in the bathroom is one way to monitor one’s weight and keep track of the results of one’s new lifestyle.


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