How To Find Out If
You Are Really Overweight
Try The Pinch Test
doctors want to find out how much fat there is in someone's body they sometimes
use specially designed calipers to do the measuring.
You can use a
simple version of this technique yourself! The big advantage of it is that it
will enable you to find out which parts of your body contain the most fat.
Just pick up a lump of flesh between your thumb and forefinger and see
how much space it takes up. If you try this test with the flesh on the back of
your hand you will see that there isn't much fat stored there. But if you try
the same test around your waist you will probably find that it is a very
different story. Fat deposits vary from site to site around your
When you use your thumb and forefinger for this test you are, of
course, picking up two layers of skin and two layers of fat. (Since human skin
is fairly thin you are effectively holding two thicknesses of body fat). So, in
order to get an idea of the thickness of your body fat at that particular point
on your body you have only to halve the distance between your thumb and your
You can do this measuring yourself. Don't squeeze until it
hurts. Just make sure that you have a firm hold on the flesh you want to
measure. Then, using a ruler, measure the distance between the skin of your
thumb and the skin of your forefinger.
You can do this test all over your
If you want to do this test to get an idea of whether or not you
are generally fat then the best place for the test is probably the triceps
muscle at the back of your upper arm. You can also try measuring the amount of
body fat at your waist, on the back of your legs, on your thighs, hips and
If the thickness of your skin and under skin fat exceeds half
an inch then there is probably too much fat there. Since the `pinch test'
measures a double thickness of skin and fat this means that anything more than
one inch thick means that you have too much fat.
If you can pinch more
than an inch then you need to diet!
Try The Mirror Test
off all your clothes and stand naked in front of a full length mirror. You
should be able to tell whether or not you are overweight - and where the excess
weight is - simply by looking at your reflection!
Try The Tape Measure
1. Measure your chest with a tape measure.
2. Measure your waist
with a tape measure.
3. Divide your waist measurement by your hip
measurement. If you are a woman and the answer is 0.85 or more then you need to
lose weight. If you are a man and the answer is 1.00 or more then you need to
Try The Ruler Test
1. Take off all your
2. Lie flat on your back.
3. Rest one end of a twelve inch ruler
on the bottom edge of your rib cage and the other end on the top end of your
pelvis. If the ruler lies firmly on bone (with no flesh touching it in the
middle) then you don't have a fat tummy. If, however, the ruler bobs about
(particularly if you breathe or laugh) then you probably need to lose weight -
and your waist is probably one of the places where you have got most fat
For practical advice on losing weight read Food for
Thought by Vernon Coleman, published by EMJ Books. Food for Thought
is available from the shop on this Web site.
no-nonsense approach to all foods makes finding your way through the nutritional
maze that much easier.'
`I consider it to be one of the
most brilliant books of its kind that I have ever read. Not only are the
contents a mine of information and advice but the style is such that it makes
the whole so thoroughly enjoyable to read. Indeed, it is a book difficult to put
G.P., Streatham, UK
`...advice on vitamins,
minerals, healthy drinking, losing weight and much more. If you're worried about
what you eat, this will tell you what to avoid.'
Good Book Guide
Vernon Coleman 2005