About half of middle-aged people globally, are over their ideal weight. It is estimated that at any one time, two thirds of women and a third of men globally; are trying to lose weight.

“Every pound of fat that you lose is one pound less of tissue requiring pumped, oxygenated blood, thereby reducing strain on the heart and coronary arteries.”

Some people maintain that they are not in the least perturbed about being fat. They enjoy their food, are happy and content as well as feel fit enough to cope with life’s demands. For others, the thought of squeezing into a pair of over-tight jeans, bulging at the hips in a swimsuit or wobbling on the dance floor has no appeal.

If you wish to establish whether you are overweight, there are two quick ways of doing so:

 Pinch an Inch

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Stand up straight and loosely get hold of the skin at the side of your body at waist level. Use your forefinger and thumb and pinch the skin. Don’t pinch the underlying flesh, only the skin. If this pinch is an inch or more, you are overweight and could do with some weight loss.

The Mirror Test

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Take your clothes off and stand in front of a full length mirror. Take a good look at yourself. Start jumping gently up and down on the spot and observe yourself doing this.

If there are wobbles which tend to do their own thing, wobbling and moving at their own speed and direction, the loss of a few pounds is called for.

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Height-weight chart

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You can also determine if you are overweight by using a height-weight chart. Find where you are on the included chart and determine whether you fall into the categories of underweight, healthy, overweight or obese by finding your height on the chart. Follow the height line from this point in a horizontal direction until it intersects the line which indicates your weight. The point of intersection will fall into one of the categories.

Waist to Hips Ratio

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With your abdomen relaxed, measure your waist at the navel. Next, measure your hips at their widest point, usually at the bony prominences. Finally, divide your waist size by your hip size:

Waist (in inches) / Hips (in inches) = ratio

Man’s ratio above 0.95 and for women above 0.85, indicates call for action in the losing a few pounds.

 

Any diet which effectively cuts calories will cause fat in the body to disappear wherever it is. There is a difference between men and women with regard to where fat accumulates in the body. In men, it tends to accumulate on the belly and in women, on the thighs and hips. Even after weight loss, people do not automatically achieve perfect body shapes. However, body shape can be improved by losing weight and by exercising which starts to tone up the muscles.

 

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