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Weight-loss tips for men: How do I know what size is right?

Weight-loss expert Andrew Dickson gives blokes some tips on determining how big is too big.

A few days ago, I struggled out of a deep sleep and began preparing for my morning stumble to the local coffee cart (it's a habit, I confess). I pulled a pair of pants out of the drawer, and sleepily yanked them up, but lo and behold! The button was a little tight. Had they just come out of the drier? Probably not. This discovery kick-started me into a mini reconstruction of my food plans because I know the fit of my trousers is a good measure of changes in my body size, whereas the scales can be confusing.

Most men I talk to are not satisfied with the methods of body size determination available. BMI (Body Mass Index) can be confusing. So I want to give you two tips for measuring your body size which may be more realistic for your situation.

Reality is in your pants: We all have a few pieces of clothing which 'fit' in a particular way – you probably recognise the feeling of them better than anything else. I have a pair of crappy old ex-British Army pants (op shop – $4). I love them to bits and I know how they fit and it was these pants I yanked on and it was like a loudspeaker blasting in my ear. Take a moment and identify your version of my pants. Once a week, when they are clean and dry, first thing in the morning pull them on and relax… then ask yourself, "Do these pants feel normal?" Do the same with a jacket or shirt. Fabric doesn't lie.

Waist to height ratio is another way to size yourself up. Do these measurements once a week and keep track of the results. Compare the results each week to gage real measured changes to your body.

To calculate your waist to height ratio, measure your waist (around your belly button) and your height, then divide the waist measurement by the height measurement.

The ratio for men and women is ideally less than 0.5  –  which means your waist should be no more than half your height. My waist, for example, is about 89cm and my height is 183cm, which makes my ratio 0.486.

If you're on a weight-loss or exercise programme, you'll see changes in your waist measurement and the ratio.

First published: Feb 2009



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