Is Your Waist Circumference More Than Half Your Height?
I read an interesting article by Phil Maffetone recently after one of the runners I coach was discussing his waist-height ratio, which I hadn't heard of.
Maffetone's opinion is that the new science of weight loss is less about weight loss and more about reducing excess body fat.
One very important thing to note is that It is possible to be "normal-weight" and still have excessive abdominal fat. So don't automatically assume that "this doesn't apply to me" - read on . . .
Excess body fat, which is now referred to as "the overfat condition", impairs cardiovascular and metabolic health, exercise performance, and contributes to most chronic disease and physical impairments. It does this by increasing chronic inflammation and carbohydrate intolerance (insulin resistance).
According to the latest research, your waist-to-height ratio is as accurate as any of the expensive high-tech measurements of body fat including DEXA scans.
In short, your waist circumference should be less than half your height.
This measurement does not provide your percentage of body fat — instead, it is an accurate diagnosis of whether or not you are overfat.
Here are a couple of links to Maffetone's articles if you would like to find out more.
For those of you who like listening to podcasts - here is Brad Kearns talking to Phil Maffetone about the overfat pandemic.
Carrying excess body weight and/or being "overfat" makes running harder. Especially running up hills. It also makes you more susceptible to injuries.
As much as a lot of people will want to avoid this - get out the measuring tape and work out your ratio.
If your waist-height ratio is greater than 50% then you've got some work to do.