Measuring Waist Circumference

Often we are too busy worried about the number on the scale and forget to monitor some other important markers when it come to our health. While it is not practical to obtain regular lab work or even body composition analysis (body fat and lean tissue percentages), it is practical to measure your waist and hip measurements. These easy to measure numbers will tell you about your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even certain types of cancer. Know your numbers!

I put together a quick video to explain how to accurately measure your waist and hip circumferences. All you need is a tape measure. Doing this measurement with a partner may be helpful. In this video I’ll show you WHERE on the body to measure your waist and hip. I’ll also show you how to use these numbers to find out your health risk. Lastly, learn how to calculate your waist to hip ratio, another marker I use to understand someone’s body type (apple or pear shape) and risk for chronic disease. 

Measure your waist and hip circumferences on a monthly basis if you are attempting to lose weight. Sometimes the number of the scale does not change, but these measurements may be shifting in the right direction! This chart below outlines the approximate health risk associated with the waist to hip ratio for both females and males. 

Health Risk

Females Estimated health risk Estimated body shape
0.80 or below Low Pear
0.81 to 0.85 Moderate Avocado
0.85+ High Apple
Males Estimated health risk Estimated body shape
0.95 or below Low Pear
0.96 to 1.0 Moderate Avocado
1.0+ High Apple

Chart courtesy of sparkpeople

If you need help attaining a healthy body weight or changing your body composition, contact me today. I’ll help you put together a sustainable weight loss plan to meet your needs and improve your overall health! 

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