Weight Loss Support - Waist to hip ratio question

View Full Version : Waist to hip ratio question

07-13-2011, 07:30 PM
This was inspired by a thread in the Featherweights forum but I want to direct it at everyone.
Can you reduce your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) by losing weight? I have heard that more abdominal fat increases your chances for diabetes, heart disease, etc. but I am getting contradictory messages as to whether you can reduce it by losing weight.
I am a true apple (.97 WHR) and I would LOVE to decrease this number but I am not sure if it is possible.

07-13-2011, 08:15 PM
That thread was started by me, lol. Anyway, I did reduce my waist-to-hip ratio. My former measurements were: 33-27-33. My waist-to-hip ratio was: 0.82. Slightly in the danger zone. Current measurements are: 33-26-33. New waist-to-hip ratio is: 0.79 which is in the normal range. I can tell you that it possible. I have heart disease in my family so I was very concerned with my first number even though my BMI and body fat are normal. Anything above 0.80 is considered in the danger zone. I'd love to reduce mine even more but I'm shaped like a ruler so it's difficult for me to reduce my waist b/c I essentially don't have one. ;)

07-13-2011, 08:34 PM
Definitely, especially if you are overweight. But it depends a lot on where and how you gained too. I was .9 hip waist ratio at 250. I.m now .8 at 197 and will probably get closer to .7 as my tummy is where I gained a lot of weight and where I still see a lot to lose. However, if you are a person who gained mostly in the thighs, that wouldn't change as much.

07-13-2011, 08:41 PM
I am a true apple (.97 WHR) and I would LOVE to decrease this number but I am not sure if it is possible.

So am I, and that was exactly my WHR. Since starting I've lost an inch in my waist and now it's .94! I still have .14 to go but I'd say I'm at a good start on week 1 :)

07-14-2011, 08:17 AM
I think that depends a lot on your natural fat distribution. Certain body types will never have the ratios considered ideal. But reducing your fat will reduce your risk nonetheless.

I can't find the link, but a few weeks back there was a link to an article that said that obesity was a better predictor of heart disease than being an apple shape. I think, anyway. Can't confirms since I can't find the stupid article. :P

07-14-2011, 08:49 AM
Fitmom and all- thank you. That is good to hear. I know that I will never be a pear-shape however, I would like to have a more girly figure. I kept reading all of this stuff that suggested that WHR was a better predictor of heart disease, diabetes, etc. but then many people stated that your shape does not change. I just kept thinking that if I had a WHR of .95 or above at goal with a 30 in. waist, how would that be a better predictor than BMI? I would take a .80 for a WHR at goal!

April Snow
07-14-2011, 09:09 AM
this is a link I posted a couple of weeks ago that may be the one zoodoo was referring to.

Apple Shapes May Not Be At Higher Risk of Heart Disease After All

If you're one of those people who tends to put on weight around your middle, what doctors call an "apple shape" what the rest of us call a beer belly you've probably been told that you're at higher risk of heart disease. But large new review study suggests you shouldn't be too discouraged after all.

It turns out that the apple-shaped among us are not at any higher risk of heart trouble as people with pear shapes or any other kind of fat distribution.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/11/apple-shapes-may-not-be-at-higher-risk-of-heart-disease-after-all/#ixzz1S54aha1k

07-14-2011, 11:28 AM
I wouldn't think being a pear should equate with healthier. The women in my family are blessed to always be curvy-proportionate, even if obese. We all have 0.75 ratios, but we are in a huge range of healthy weights.

07-14-2011, 11:46 AM
I think I might have been the person who mentioned this in the other thread? What I meant by it was not so much getting below the 0.8 ratio but rather the 0.7 ratio (and some places even cite 0.6). If you carry weight in your midsection and you lose weight then you're definitely going to see a difference there. You don't see women who are at a healthy weight and exercise regularly with massive bot bellies that are larger than their hips. ;) Certainly, they could have a smaller pot belly (let's assume the lady was not immediately postpartum because there's more going on there too) but I'd be surprised if the ratio wasn't at least under 0.8 or close to it (maybe something to ask in the feather weight group?) even if you were "skinny fat".

When I was at my skinniest (140lbs) I was healthy and led a very active lifestyle but definitely didn't have a waist to hip ratio under 0.7 (and honestly, I'm not sure if that would ever be possible because I have a hard time picturing myself getting below that weight because I was already pretty skinny then). I really have a hard time believing that that made my more susceptible to heart disease. There are a number of people in my family who do have high blood pressure and have even had heart attacks but they were all obese and once they lost the weight they no longer needed medication.

07-14-2011, 12:40 PM
I have a nice healthy waist to hip ratio (.76), but I'm still overweight. I carry most of my weight in my thighs which are HUGE and dimply compared to the rest of me.

07-14-2011, 01:52 PM
Hi all....I'm so glad to see that other women struggle with the same issue as I do....not that I wish this on anyone, but you know what I mean...glad to see I'm not alone.

I'm an apple...weight always goes straight to my tummy & waist and my legs stay really thin and toned. I've been asked if I'm pregnant THREE TIMES...so humiliating! I'm not sure I ever had a proper WHR even when I was skinny as a stick. I remember not being able to keep my strapless prom dress from sliding down because I had no hips...just straight up and down..and I was a size 5 then. Now I'm a size 14 and my ration is 0.98...I can't stand it. Almost impossible to shop for clothes with this shape, or should I say, lack of shape. I'm very hopeful that my WHR will come down a bit with weight loss. However, I spoke to a plastic surgeon and he was saying that a lot of it is just plain old genetics. We were born with a larger concentration of fat cells in our mid section, so when we put on weight that's where it goes. If you want a curvier shape you need to lypo those problem spots and thin out that "concentration"....not that I'm discouraging weight loss....we obviously should be a healthy weight as well.

April Snow
07-14-2011, 02:05 PM
I haven't done measurements but I'm guessing I'd come out somewhere in the .9 range.

So since there are so many of us, WHY is it so hard to find clothes that fit??? I'd buy a dozen pair of jeans if I found ones that fit both my waist (they are all too small) and my butt (they are all too big). People who make and sell clothes are missing out on making a lot of sales!

07-14-2011, 02:34 PM
I agree 100% April Snow....when I find jeans that fit my waist...my legs and butt are swimming in them. I don't want jeans with baggy legs since my legs are actually an asset on my body. I guess they assume if you have a waist this big you must have gigantic legs and butt too.

07-14-2011, 02:48 PM
Weight loss can definitely change this ratio. Just don't be discouraged if during your journey you sometimes see upward fluctuations in it too. It is one of the things I track monthly when I do my measurements, some months it goes down, some it goes up. It just depends on whether I lost more fat in my waist or my hips that particular month. As long as the overall trend continues to be downward I'm happy, just like with the scale. So far my highest ratio was .93 and my lowest was .869, but I am expecting even more change since I still have quite a bit to lose in my tummy.

07-29-2011, 07:10 AM
I just started measuring today, nearly halfway to goal weight, and I'm panicking because even though I'm now getting into the normal BMI range, my WHR is 0.92! I don't even want to think about what it could have been before I started losing weight, and I honestly didn't expect it to be anywhere near this bad. I had a nice slim figure for most of my life until I put on weight a few years ago. The weird thing is that even when I'm overweight, I still find that trousers (I admittedly only buy two brands, I want them on the waist which narrows it down and then most remaining brands are weird over the hips) are usually a bit too loose over the waist. Anyway, help!

07-29-2011, 07:22 AM
When I started, my WHR was .6 or something like that, now it's .77.

I was always a pear shape and carried most of my weight in my bottom half. However most of my weight has come off of that area (I very few inches off of my waist), so I'm now an hourglass more or less.

07-29-2011, 09:32 AM
Where are you measuring for your "waist?" I'm always confused by that...

07-29-2011, 10:10 AM
My WHR did change and get smaller as I lost weight (I don't have access to my measurements database right now, but I believe it went from a .9 to about a .79). Heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type II diabetes are in my family, so I would love for the ratio to be lower, but at this point I think this is just where I'm going to end up. I exercise, strength train, and eat a low-ish carb diet, so I'm not sure what else I could do to lose more belly.

I say that I went from being an obese apple to being a normal weight apple. :) When I put it that way, it doesn't sound as bad to me!

07-29-2011, 01:08 PM
I don't know a whole lot about WHR (actually, the first time I heard about it was yesterday at my doctor's appointment.) She measured it for me and apparently I am right at 0.8. (I shudder to think what I was before I started losing weight, because that's where a LOT of weight came off initially.)

Hopefully I can get it down to a healthier number!

07-31-2011, 08:02 AM
Hang on, if WHR is the best predictor of risk of heart disease etc., would that mean that I am much higher risk (at borderline healthy weight) than someone who weighs 100lb more than me but has a better WHR?

April Snow
07-31-2011, 09:07 AM
personally, after reading the article I posted here http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/3936241-post7.html I am not at all convinced that WHR is any indicator of heart disease risk, etc., let alone the best one.

07-31-2011, 02:05 PM
Thanks, I knew I'd seen that around somewhere. What puzzles me about visceral fat is that most of my abdominal fat is above the muscle layer, so presumably not visceral. On the other hand, I experienced a substantial hormonal shift when I put on weight, and apparently visceral fat is more likely to affect hormonal balance.

08-01-2011, 08:36 PM
Yep, sometimes thin hourglass figures can end up apples if very overweight. I had a WHR of .95 when I started, it's down to .85, at my thinnest it should get down to .7 or thereabouts. Just depends where you store your fat.