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Men - Does anybody measure their waist at the largest part of your belly?

mariomicromariomicro Member Posts: 44 Member Member Posts: 44 Member
I have lost 22 kgs in 3 years and more than 20cm out of my waist line, due to a combination of mild calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, ketogenic diet and longer fasts, including dry fasts. My current BMI is about 20, but my belly looks horrible, as there is some extra stubborn fat hanging just below the belly. Actually, I'm not sure of this is fat or just excess skin or a combination of both.

For the purpose of calculating body fat percentage, I know that the recommendation is to measure the waist at the smallest part of the belly, in my case just above the belly button; however according to this page:
https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-use-body-fat-percentage-calculator-3858855
Men
[...]
Waist circumference. Take the measurement at the largest part of your belly, usually right at the level of your umbilicus (belly button).

which in my case is way down the belly button.

I'd like to know from fellow men what their strategy is when measuring their waist size.

Replies

  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,693 Member Member Posts: 3,693 Member
    I never used tape measurements to determine my BF%. I only used hydro and DEXA to do that.

    Tape measurements and body appearance just confirmed what I already knew happened or was happening based on what I was eating and how I was training.

    If you can't afford or find a hydro and/or DEXA testing, tape calculations (like the Navy method) can be a reasonable surrogate but BMI <25 or the waist/height ratio < .5 can aldo be used as indicators of fitness and "acceptable" levels of fat vs mass, but for the greatest accuracy, hydro and DEXA are the best methods currently available to measure BF.

    In my case, my BF% by hydro & DEXA is about 12% but the Navy calc is 22%, BMI is 23.6 and my ht/waist ratio is .482.

    The Navy calc is way out of line when compared w/hydro & DEXA but is still considered an acceptable fat level for a person my height/wt (ave range18-24%) as are my BMI (<25) and the waist/height ratio (<.5).

    So, if you really want to know what your BF level is to the greastest degree of accuracy, hydo and DEXA are still the best methods for determining that.
    edited October 16
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,352 Member Member Posts: 1,352 Member
  • lorrpblorrpb Member Posts: 11,320 Member Member Posts: 11,320 Member
    For your own tracking purposes, you can measure anywhere you want to, even multiple sites. The most important thing is to be consistent exactly where you place the tape measure. You will not be any leaner or fatter based on where you measure. :p
  • mariomicromariomicro Member Posts: 44 Member Member Posts: 44 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    For your own tracking purposes, you can measure anywhere you want to, even multiple sites. The most important thing is to be consistent exactly where you place the tape measure. You will not be any leaner or fatter based on where you measure. :p
    Good point. I usually measure my waist at the largest part, and it has been stuck to 87 cm for a few months, despite my weight going still steadily down. I wonder if I have just reached a plateau and I should stop going on with a calorie deficit.

  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,352 Member Member Posts: 1,352 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    For your own tracking purposes, you can measure anywhere you want to, even multiple sites. The most important thing is to be consistent exactly where you place the tape measure. You will not be any leaner or fatter based on where you measure. :p

    The above is true but if one is going to use the measurement in some sort of calculation, one should do the measurement as directed.
  • VeryKatieVeryKatie Member Posts: 5,714 Member Member Posts: 5,714 Member
    I'm a woman... but honestly I think the belly button being where to measure is a load of croc. Why? Because the belly button is NOT in a standard location relative to hips and rib cage on everyone. Its on the belly, but can be higher or lower depending on the person. If I measure at my belly button, I am measuring hip bones because I have tall hips and a low belly button.

    I measure at the gap between my hips and ribcage.

    But I also dont use these bf calculations since I dont think they're very accurate. If I were I guess I'd follow the instructions per that specific site. Every site says something different. Which is why I dont really trust the calculators.
    edited October 18
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,810 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,810 MFP Moderator
    sijomial wrote: »
    mariomicro wrote: »
    lorrpb wrote: »
    For your own tracking purposes, you can measure anywhere you want to, even multiple sites. The most important thing is to be consistent exactly where you place the tape measure. You will not be any leaner or fatter based on where you measure. :p
    Good point. I usually measure my waist at the largest part, and it has been stuck to 87 cm for a few months, despite my weight going still steadily down. I wonder if I have just reached a plateau and I should stop going on with a calorie deficit.

    With a low BMI and stil dissatified with your body composition dieting to lose more weight might not be the solution but training to add some muscle while maintaining weight might well be.

    Definitely the key. I can't tell you how many underweight people I know battled this. Adding muscle is the primary mechanism to help "fill in" the skin. This would be a great point to follow a structured progressive overload lifting program (see below), increase protein consumption and possible spread protein consumption; 25-40g of high quality proteins can help stimulate MPS and improve muscle protein turnover rates. Based on some data that people like Dr. Layne Norton has done and confirmed by a few others, that while protein timing wont' supersede total protein consumption, that spreading protein is better than a single or 2 large boluses of protein (given your bodies limitations of utilizing the amino acids).

    Given the OP is on ketogenic, I would also look to transition to a TKD style diet where 30-40g of glucose (candy or glucose powder) based carbs are consumed around a workout to stimulates insulin to protein muscle protein degradation and increases glycogen capacity which will improve workouts. Even if you get kicked out of ketosis, most people tend to see a return within a few hours to a half of day (mainly from anecdotal accounts).

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 169 Member Member Posts: 169 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    mariomicro wrote: »
    lorrpb wrote: »
    For your own tracking purposes, you can measure anywhere you want to, even multiple sites. The most important thing is to be consistent exactly where you place the tape measure. You will not be any leaner or fatter based on where you measure. :p
    Good point. I usually measure my waist at the largest part, and it has been stuck to 87 cm for a few months, despite my weight going still steadily down. I wonder if I have just reached a plateau and I should stop going on with a calorie deficit.

    With a low BMI and stil dissatified with your body composition dieting to lose more weight might not be the solution but training to add some muscle while maintaining weight might well be.

    Cardio is not the holy grail for fat loss. Muscle growth will exponentially help with body composition. Although building muscle is hard to do on a deficit, keeping what muscle you have is very important. Add some resistance training with some cardio and you will get results.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,810 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 36,810 MFP Moderator


    I suspect some of the stuff he talks about in this video applies to this situation.
  • cgvet37cgvet37 Member Posts: 1,169 Member Member Posts: 1,169 Member
    I put the tape over the center of my naval.
  • ajwindsoriiajwindsorii Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    The only way to accurately tell your body fat% is going to be a DEXA or Hydro scan. With a tape measure, just pick a spot and stick with it. You want to measure trends over a long period of time.
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