Weight and Resistance Training - where is my waist?

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buddha belly
12-31-2013, 02:38 PM
It is just I know when 'you on a diet" came out it was said that you should measure over your belly button to determine your waist measurement.

On me, that is not the smallest part of my abdominal area, and in fact if you go to the side of my body on at that point, I feel bone. Maybe my fat dragged my belly button down?

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this question, but I couldn't really figure out a place for a question like this.

12-31-2013, 06:06 PM
My mom and wife would agree with you. As a man, I wear my waist a little lower. I measure it by the pants I can fit into. At the start of my journey I wore a 44 inch waist pant. I had to order my pants online as few stores would stock a good variety of pants that large. Gap didn't, for example.

Now my waist is 29 inches. And guess what? That's so small compared to my local demographic that I also have order pants online again! Go figure.

12-31-2013, 06:30 PM
Hi buddha belly - I think I saw you post on the apple shaped body thread. Those of us who've had that wonderful profile generally have the tape measure show a smaller number a bit closer under our breasts.

I'd just measure where it is smallest. Because as you get that weight off, that number (and all the rest of your belly) will get smaller. The goal from a health measure is to get it to under 34 inches they say! I finally made it well under that number and have seen my waist again post menopause. I never thought I would!
Best wishes and Happy New year to you!

12-31-2013, 07:18 PM
I've never understood how there can be one healthy waist size recommendation for everyone. I am at 34 inches now, but I'm quite petite, but tend to keep weight on my stomach, so how can someone with a bigger build be expected to have a waist of 34 inches? It doesn't make sense to me.

12-31-2013, 08:08 PM
it's not based on weight.
The reason they give that number is that when you are over 34" there is a lot of (I believe it is called "adipose") fat, that is the bad fat. In my case, when I was apple shaped, I began to suffer from fatty liver, in my ultrasound. That is actually what prompted me to lose weight. Abdominal fat, when it encases your organs, is a highly correlated indicator of pending metabolic diseases. In my case not only did the liver start retaining fat, by my triglycerides skyrocketed. Fast. Whether the fat is chemically different, I will leave to a chemist. But, behaviorally, abdominal fat causes more health problems. (This is also why apple shaped women suffer a higher rate of stroke). That is why, at 34" and higher, these risks surface.

(Unlike our builds, women tend to not differ as much in the amount of space used up by their abdominal organs... thus waists should not vary as much as hips and chests and shoulders, etc)

Incidentally, once my waist dropped below 33 inches or so, I quickly (like in 6 months) dropped 102 points in my trigylcerides. Very interesting stuff.

12-31-2013, 08:12 PM

01-19-2014, 10:05 PM
'Waist' for girth measurement is usually the narrowest part of your torso; it doesn't always match up with your belly button! :)

EDIT: Koshka, that's such a cool study! Thanks for the info :D

01-19-2014, 10:20 PM
I read some articles on this (scholarly type articles) and found that there is no expert consensus on where to weigh. Some say to use the natural waist (where it is smallest), others about an inch above the umbilical cord, and others halfway between the lowest rib and the iliac crest.

And which you use affects accuracy:


In my own measurements I use my natural waist (smallest) and 1" above my belly button.

Secret Swan
01-19-2014, 10:50 PM
I have trouble with this too. Good thing I don't sew my own clothes, because I would be even more of a fashion disaster than I am!

So I don't have anything to contribute about how to measure, but I did want to say that there are some variations in what size to aim for. Some studies have been done to measure cardiac risk and its correlation to waist size, and it currently looks like the ideal thing is for your waist to be half your height or less. So if you are 5'4", that's 64", and a waist bigger than 32 inches signals an increase in your risk for heart disease. Hope that helps!