by Bianca
(Swan View, WA, Australia)

Can you please clarify the best way to measure the stomach area to determine if someone is within the healthy waist measurement?

There is so much opposing information. What is the actual number people should be aiming for and where on the stomach should I place the tape?

Some places say across the belly button area and some say the most narrow area of the waist (my hourglass shape means my most narrow area is just above my belly button).

I watched an American program once where they were actually getting people to suck in their stomachs for measuring, is this correct practice or should your stomach just be relaxed?

I try to measure myself every month or so along with weighing myself weekly, as I realise weight alone isn't the only aspect of weight loss.

I am not really trying to lose "Weight", but I would like to decrease my fat by a couple percent but I find that even though I can physically see changes (less cellulite and changing shape), my measurements don't seem to change. Can you perhaps do an article outlining the best way to measure one's self and maybe explain why I would be seeing changes, but not on the tape measure, my weight is relatively stable, sometimes I get it down a little more than my 'usual' weight, but if I've had some drinks or eaten too much one day it will reflect within the next few days on the scales but after that one 'bad' day, everything goes back to normal.

Is this fluctuation normal (I'm talking fluctuations of a few hundred grams, maybe a kg if I've been really bad) and does this fluctuation stem from fluid or bloating, as my weight will go back to normal within a day, it seems to me like it couldn't be an 'actual' weight gain.

Thanks for taking the time to read my questions. Hopefully you can clarify a few of these for me, your website has been a valuable source of information for me, so I really feel confident in taking on any advice you have to offer.

Thanks again,


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Dec 02, 2010
Weight Loss Results
by: Steve

Hi Bianca,

Congratulations on your outstanding weight-loss results! You have done a fantastic job.

I think your shorter, high-intensity training sessions are definitely the way to go.

The fact that you are making an effort to have a portion of protein with every meal is also great.

If the thermogenics don't suit you that's fine. There are plenty of other principles you can use to get the results you want. They are just one option.

I do suggest using a multi-vitamin, fish oils and an antioxidant supplement every day. These are supplements that everyone should use every day no matter what their physical goals are.

The only other things I suggest doing at this stage are to:

1. Examine your portion sizes for all of your meals.
2. Be selective about your sources of carbohydrates.

These two principles can also be enormously beneficial for you.

Please feel free to email me your current nutritional plan and I will review it for you. There may be a few other tweaks we may be able to make to it.

I wish you all the very best Bianca.



Dec 02, 2010
In response to 'Measurements' subject
by: Bianca

Hi Steve,

Thanks for getting back to me and clarifying a few points.

As I'm a stay at home mum and have the attention span of a 2 year old, I break my workouts into 2 smaller one's throughout the day.

I do 15 minutes worth of 30 second interval sprints in the morning before breakfast (30 sec walk, 30 sec sprint on an incline) and then in the afternoon I repeat this but after a stint of weights. I also do a 5km road run every Sunday.

Having a child means I'm pretty active anyway and we'll often walk somewhere in the afternoon as well, although I don't really count this in my workout, because it's just living really.

I'm concious to incorporate protein in all my meals and often have protein shakes in the arvo and sprinkle some on my muesli in the mornings to sustain me. I've tried supplements (multi-vits and thermogenics), but they make me twitch a lot and I near on want to rip my eyeball out.

I really try to make sure I'm getting a variety of foods so I don't feel as if I'm missing anything nutritionally. I think my biggest food problem is my arvo picking and those one or two extra picks of dinner once I'm packing it up after everyone's eaten, but that's something I'm in the process of trying to curb.

Having been 105kgs 2 years ago and now being within my healthy BMI having lost 35kgs, I'm happy with what I've accomplished but I feel increasingly dissatisfied with my progress. I think I'm probably being too hard on myself but now I'm at the point of not really losing kgs every week and concentrating on cms, it's new territory and I'm not sure how many cms I should be aiming for weekly/monthly.

I've lost 4cm from my waist in 5 months, 3cm from bum/hips but only 2cm from each thigh in the same time, what should I be aiming for?

Thanks for reading this over and any info you can give will be appreciated. Please let me know if you think my new shorter but more intense exercise regime will benefit me as I was previously doing longer stints of exercise but I find it hard to set aside an hr in one hit, so I'm looking for a more time friendly regime - I'm trying to work smarter!!! Thanks again and I look forward to your response. Bianca

Nov 30, 2010
How to take your body measurements
by: Steve

Hi Bianca,

Thanks for taking the time the provide me with your feedback and also for asking such an interesting range of relevant questions.

I will do my best to address each question individually.

As a general rule, according to the 'experts', if someone has a waist measurement less than 100cms then it is considered to be 'healthy'. However, I don't think this is accurate at all and is a far too broad guideline.

I think waist-to-hip ratio is a better indicator for overall health and cardiovascular disease risk and a 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio is ideal for women (0.9 for men). This may be determined by simply dividing your waist measurement at the smallest point by your hips measurement.

It is best to measure your waist at the smallest point between your hips and ribs. Take the measurement first thing in the morning, after going to the toilet, before breakfast and in a relaxed state (not sucked in).

Here is the article I wrote on taking body measurements:

Measurements are a very good indicator of body composition change (far better than the scales) and in all honesty Bianca if you're not seeing changes in your measurements you're not getting results! Sorry! ;)

Weight fluctuations are very normal particularly for women because of dramatic hormonal changes throughout their cycle.

If you would like me to review your current weight-loss plan I am happy to do so completely free of charge of course and hopefully we can tweak things a bit so you can drop a few kilo as well as a few body fat percentage points!

All the best with achieving your weight-loss goal Bianca and I look forward to hearing from you.



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