Now you need to calculate your body mass index. There are hundreds of BMI calculators on the Internet, but here is a useful chart to help you put the number in context.

## Using the BMI Chart

This BMI chart is designed so you can use units of measure with which you are most familiar – whether pounds, feet, and inches, or kilograms and centimeters. It is always best to have an accurate indication of your weight and height before finding your BMI. Following are illustrations of how to use the chart.

Example 1: Consider someone who weighs 200 pounds and is 5 feet, 8 inches tall. On the BMI chart, the pounds (lbs) are in a vertical column on the left, just to the right of the stones column.

Horizontally, along the top of the chart, are the feet and inches. So, in this example, one would find 200 lbs almost halfway down along the vertical column on the left entitled lbs, and would find 5 feet, 8 inches (5’ 8”) along the horizontal line across the top of the chart. Follow along both lines to identify the point in the body of the BMI chart at which the two intersect. In this case, that point indicates a BMI of 30.5, which falls within Obese Class I or Category 1 Obesity.

Example 2: Consider someone who weighs 90.9 kilograms and is 57.5 centimeters in height. On the BMI chart, the kilograms (kg) are in the vertical column to the far right of the chart, and the centimeters (cm) are along a horizontal line at the bottom of the chart. Finding 90.5 kg along the right side of the chart, and 57.5 cm along the bottom, and following along both lines will bring you to the point in the body of the BMI chart where they intersect at a BMI reading of 36.7, which falls within Obese Class II or Category 2 Obesity.

Write down your BMI measurement and the date on which you calculated it. (Note that if you’re of South Asian, Japanese, or Chinese descent, the BMI categories will have to be adjusted downward because of the generally smaller frame size of these populations.)

BMI ______________________DATE ____________________

Now let’s look at what this number means regarding your risk of common lifestyle diseases.

Suppose your BMI falls in the healthy category or even a few numbers into the overweight category. If you have no other risk factors, I wouldn’t be very concerned and would usually say, “See you next year.” If your BMI is 28 or higher, you most likely have a lifestyle health risk.

## Small Improvements Go a Long Way

Even if it takes you a long while to get out of the obesity category, just dropping 5% to 10% of your overall weight by increasing your metabolism will significantly improve your risk profile and will make you feel better, too.

## Waist Circumference and Disease Risk

Like most simple scales, BMI isn’t perfect. Critics say it doesn’t adequately account for people who are very muscular. It isn’t foolproof. The best predictor of disease risk is BMI combined with waist circumference.

It turns out that your belly is a reflection of what’s going on inside your abdomen. Research shows that fat cells around internal organs, also known as visceral fat, seem to disrupt the normal hormonal balance in the body and are also associated with a higher risk of many diseases.

## Tape Measures Are Not Just for Tailors

BMI isn’t the only predictor of risk. With a BMI between 25 and 34.9, your risk becomes even more serious if you carry a lot of your weight around your waist. Within the BMI range of 25 and 34.9, there is a strong correlation between waist circumference and type 2 diabetes, coronary vascular disease, and high blood pressure.

The waist circumference danger zones presented above reflect guidelines provided by North American experts. These numbers are higher than those in guidelines published by European groups.

Likewise, guidelines for people of South Asian, Chinese, and Japanese descent are lower. It’s important to use the waist circumference guideline for your ethnicity, keeping in mind that guidelines change as our knowledge of disease risk continues to improve.

It’s widely known that it is generally best to have high HDL (good cholesterol) and low LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. Your physician can tell you what your ideal numbers should be, a determination made based on your ten-year cardiovascular risk score. Just remember that high LDL cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. These diseases also increase your risk of dementia.

Cholesterol numbers have a way of creeping up with increasing weight. It is important to be proactive and deal with cholesterol before you have a problem. I’ve always believed that it’s far easier to prevent a problem than to correct one.

Record your most recent checkup results here:

DATE _________________________

HDL (good cholesterol) ____________________________

TRIGLYCERIDES ________________________________

BLOOD PRESSURE _______________/_______________

FASTING BLOOD SUGAR _________________________

What are your BMI, waist circumference, cholesterol numbers, blood sugars, and blood pressure telling you about your future health risk? Whatever your numbers reveal, your risk may be higher if you have a parent or sibling with a history of any of the following conditions: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Fortunately, genes don’t necessarily determine your fate – your own health choices can help shape your future.

Chances are you have picked up this book because you want to lose weight, improve your health, and feel great. However, you may not have realized your risk profile for major life-changing diseases until now.

• Even a moderate amount of physical activity and cardio exercise can improve your HDL (good) cholesterol, which will decrease your risk of heart disease
• The Health First program is a simple, never-go-hungry diet that can reduce your BMI and waist circumference, which together will reduce your risk of getting today’s lifestyle diseases

The baseline data you just recorded are not just for future reference. They should also serve to inspire you to action. The firmer your commitment to the Health First program, the better your chances of living a healthier and longer life.

## Some Statistical Truths

• 27% of Americans over sixty-five have diabetes (American Diabetes Association)
• 53% of those in the obesity category have an increased chance of thyroid cancer
• 40% of endometrial and esophageal cancers are attributed to obesity

## Patient Story: Feeling Fabulous

Charles, a fifty-four-year-old, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His fasting blood sugar was 7.8 (140.4 American units). His weight was 215 pounds (97.7kg). His BMI was 33 (class I obesity category), and his waist circumference was 42.5 inches (108cm).

We discussed options for treatment of his type 2 diabetes, and he decided to attempt a lifestyle program instead of starting on medication.

Charles totally embraced the Health First program and lost 38 pounds (17kg) at a rate of about 2 pounds (1kg) per week. This was in 2006. He power walks for thirty minutes at least four times a week. At the time of writing, his weight is still off, his blood sugar is always in the target range, and he has no complications from his diabetes.

# 4 Tips To Reduce Belly Fat And Shape Your Body

Belly fat is remarkably difficult to shift. The sad fact is that you can’t really select where you want to lose weight on your body. It just happens. There are a few ways in which you can maximize the chance of your body selecting the fat from your belly though. On this page I want to share a few tips with you concerning what I did to lose belly fat.

Healthy Diet

Losing belly fat is not an easy task, your diet is going to account for about 80% of the weight lost. If you can cut down on those bad habits (i.e. chowing down on red meats, sugary products, and countless other unhealthy items), and replace them with something a tad healthier (drinking water regularly, fruits, vegetables, lean meats), then the majority of the work will already be done for you. I am willing to wager that you will lose that belly fat pretty quickly if you can combine a decent diet with around thirty minutes of exercise a day.

Sleep

Did you know that one of the prime causes of belly fat is a lack of sleep? It therefore makes sense that one of the methods when it comes to how to lose belly fat is to actually get a decent amount of sleep each night. You will want at least eight hours.

When you are tired your body will start to produce something known as ghrelin. This is a chemical which causes you to crave sugary and fatty products (your body thinks that it needs energy to stay awake). The result of it is that ou will go out there and eat them, subsequently putting on weight. In addition to this a lack of sleep will change the hormone balance in your body. Cortisol levels will change and this will seriously influence the chances of you getting belly fat.

In short; get more sleep and you will benefit.

Vitamin C

As I mentioned before; when you are tired your body will produce more of a chemical known as cortisol. This will also occur if you are stressed. Obviously you should try and not get stressed as much as possible, but we are only human. The best way in which you can combat the spike in cortisol levels will be to consume more Vitamin C. You will be able to grab some of this out of certain fruits and vegetables. If you really need something great then a supplement will also do (most people will not actually need supplements)

It is also worth mentioning that Vitamin C will boost a compound in your body known as carnitine. This compound helps to improve the body’s ability to burn off excess weight. In short; you will lose weight (whether it is in your belly or not will be up to your body)

Exercise

I did mention at the start that there is no real way in which you can target belly fat. This is true. However there are a few exercises out there which may help. You see; there are certain exercises which will help build up your stomach muscles. If you practice these exercises then you will most likely see a reduction in size around the belly area…the muscle size will increase though. Some exercises you may want to look into include:

• Crunches
• Sit-Ups
• Low-Belly Leg Reach
• Many yoga poses

Do bear in mind that when it comes to how to lose belly fat this is not a complete guide. There are plenty of other things that you can do in order to start shifting that excess weight. The information you have just learned will be an absolutely fantastic start though. Do however bear in mind that it is going to take a lot of effort on your part. You should not expect to start seeing noticeable gains for at least a couple of weeks.