Why weight isn’t the be all and end all

Sometimes, the number on the scale can be misleading. It’s probably well known now that weight alone isn’t a very good measure whether you’re ‘getting fatter’. Not all additional weight is bad, and a heavier weight isn’t always a bad thing.

It’s good to use other measures to show your progress with weight – including: body fat percentage readings, waist to height ratios, and body measurements.

Let’s see if I can demonstrate that more weight isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and why it’s important to use a few measures to show progress.

Body fat %
Here’s two of my weight and body fat measurements, three years apart.

9 Jan 13 – 122.0lbs / 12.3% body fat
15lbs fat / 107lbs lean body mass

9 Jan 16 – 133.6lbs / 12.8% body fat
17.1lbs fat / 116.5lbs lean body mass

In 3 years I’ve put on just almost 12lbs. Nearly a stone, or + about 4lbs a year.

But my body fat % has remained about the same (+0.5%) – with my increased weight, my body fat weight is just 2.1lbs more than it was 3 years ago.

It’s my lean body mass that’s gone up mostly – by nearly 10lbs! Water, muscle, brains (??), everything in my body that isn’t fat. Maybe I’ve added some BRAINS? – what do you think? 😉

What if we look st some other measures:

Body measurements (cm):
Jan 2013 Jan 2016 Variance
Calf: 35cm 36cm = +1cm
Thigh: 56cm 58cm = +2cm
Hips: 93cm 99cm = +6cm
Waist: 72cm 72cm = – the same –
Chest: 82cm 90cm = +8cm

Waist to hip ratio:
Jan 2013: 0.77 (classed as ‘good’, 0.75-0.79)
Jan 2016: 0.73 (classed as ‘excellent’, <0.75)

Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

Waist to height ratio:
Jan 2013: 0.43
Jan 2016: 0.43

(Classed as ‘slim’ – between 0.42-0.46. Where 0.46-0.49 is ‘normal’)

Divide your waist measurement by your height measurement.

Even BMI:
Jan 2013: 19.7
Jan 2016: 21.5

BMI is a funny one – more recently vilified for being old fashioned and unreliable due to various types of body types, it still can be a good guide for most of the population.

Divide your weight in kilos / by your height in cm, squared.

The chart below shows ‘Hazard Ratio’ based on the BMI scale, where the lower and higher a BMI is the hazard or risk the person has. It shows where the general population should aim to be on the BMI scale (to be the healthiest / have longevity):

Men: 22.0-23.75
Women: 21.25-23.75

My BMI was 19.5 (which had more health risk) compared to my current 21.5. 🙂

To be honest, in the last 3 years, I might have put on 12lbs and 6-8cm on my hips and chest… but the main thing for me is that I’m healthy (and happy). Numbers or not (although I do like my numbers).

Maybe the most important thing is your health, your happiness and how you feel about yourself.

If you aren’t happy with yourself, then set goals and change things for the better.


I say stop comparing to what you used to be like, and be grateful for what you do have. (And don’t ever compare yourself to others, there’s no point).

Healthy, happy, fit.

Forget about the scale (or use is as a measure of progress, but don’t focus on it). Or the fact your old clothes don’t fit anymore.

Enjoy life, have fun and do the things you enjoy. If you want to change things for the better, then set some goals, change your life for better. Always improving.

Be the best version of you. Aim to be happy, healthy and fit. I do, and I (gratefully) am. 😀

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