Body Mass Index: What’s The Ideal Body Weight For You?

Being overweight puts you at an increased risk of developing lifestyle diseases. To lose weight gradually, you may need to reduce your calorie intake by approxiamtely 500 calories each day and/or increase your physical activity to 150 minutes each week.

Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height, is considered one of the measures for assessing your overall health risk. Getting your BMI into a healthy range is important to reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases. As Indians are more predisposed to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, the suggested cut off for BMI is 22.9 kg/m2 in Indians as against 25kg/m2 in Caucasians.

Body fat around the waist (central obesity) is a common culprit of lifestyle diseases. You are more predisposed to lifestyle diseases if your waistline is more than 35 inches/90 cms if you are a man or 32 inches/80 cms if you are a woman.

Since you cannot change your height, you should take special care to keep your weight and in particular, abdominal girth in the healthy range. The waist to height ratio (WHtR) gives a more accurate assessment of health since the most dangerous place to increase weight is in the abdomen. Fat in the abdomen is associated with a larger waist, is metabolically active and produces various hormones that can cause harmful effects such as diabetes, high blood pressure and altered lipid (blood fat) levels.

Indians are known to be thin fat people. We appear slim but have excess body fat with more concentration of fat in the abdominal area (visceral Fat) putting us at an increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Most of us being vegetarian find it difficult to meet our protein requirements, hence have lower levels of muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically more active than fat. Those having higher body fat levels have a sluggish metabolism making it more difficult for them to lose weight

The only way to reduce body fat (Subcutaneous and Visceral fat) is by including agood mix of cardio and weight training in your exercise plan and making healthy eating choices.

Improve muscle mass by weight training and increase the protein intake byincorporating protein rich foods such as lean meat, fish, soya, cottage cheese, lentils, nuts, milk in the diet.

You can reach your health goal of reducing weight, abdominal girth and body fat by following a disciplined lifestyle, eating right , getting adequate sleep and exercising regularly.

Get your ABCs checked regularly: A1C* (blood glucose), blood pressure, andcholesterol. It is extremely important to maintain the levels within the desired target range to live a healthy disease free life. This is possible by following a good Diet (D) and Exercise (E) plan. With today's lifestyles, each and every one of us is threatened by diabetes. In addition to our hereditary predisposition for diabetes, poor lifestyleand sedentary habits are significant too. Regular check-ups and monitoring of blood sugar are very important to keep diabetes and its complications at bay.

In addition to monitoring fasting and post meal blood glucose levels, Glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test is recommended to see if you are in the diabetes safe zone. It gives you and your clinician an idea of your blood glucose control over the last three months.

It is important to find out what your blood glucose levels are because keeping your glucose levels in the normal range is the only way to prevent diabetes or delay its life threatening complications. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.

Following a healthy lifestyle helps some people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure. Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle, cutting down salt intake, getting regular blood pressure check-ups and following your treatment plan.