Your Diet and Your Health!

Apparently it's unhealthy for men to have a waist circumference over 40 inches, because belly fat is a particularly insidious kind of fat which can produce ill health and in particular circulatory and cardiovascular disease.

One of the best ways to battle stomach fat is to eat a healthy diet, which is based on plant foods such as fruit, whole grains, and vegetables. It's a myth that we need to eat meat to get protein, because products such as beans and oily fish have plenty of protein in them.

Joseph Mercola on body weight and fatness.

Saturated fats found in meat and high-fat dairy products are particularly devastating to a man's health, and cheese and butter, as well as cream and other similar products should definitely be avoided. Fish, some vegetable oils, and nuts, contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are much healthier for men's physiology.

But there's more to the whole issue than what you eat -- as you may well imagine, one of the aspects causes weight loss or weight gain in men is the size of portions which a man eats. Particularly when eating out, restaurants tend to serve portions which are far too large, providing much more than a person actually needs in terms of calorific intake, so it's a good idea to either share a meal with someone or to take some at home.

At home you do have control over how much you eat, so make it a habit to include smaller portions in all the meals that you prepare: and in addition, make sure that you take some physical activity, which has been demonstrated time and time again to be the most successful way of keeping weight down.

The current recommendation in America from the Department of Health and Human Services is 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or vigorous aerobic activity to 75 minutes a week. In addition, the Department recommends strength training exercises at least twice a week.

As I've mentioned before, it can be very challenging to establish a complete exercise regime if you're working on your own and you're not an expert in the field: to this end, you might like to look at the Adonis golden ratio by John Barban, which offers a personalized exercise program and personalized nutrition program ensuring that you take in no more calories than you need to, and also ensuring that you get exactly the right kind of exercise for your particular needs.

Now, having said all this, there is one final point that I need to mention which is that it's important to ensure that you enter a slow and steady weight loss of up to 2 pounds a week -- and even shedding a small amount of weight will help you feel so much better that your motivation to continue may increase significantly.

Body fat, BMI and Health

To put it bluntly, there's a direct association between body fat and chronic heart failure. The World Health Organisation has stated that obesity can be defined as greater than 25% body fat in men and 35% body fat in women.

However it transpires that research has demonstrated that the average body fat percentage for men is around 25%, a proportion which stabilizes at around 38% by the age of 60 to 65. Well, we all know that women have more body fat than men, though the difference decreases over the years so that although between ages 45 and 49 they have on average 30% body fat, by the age of 55 to 59 years, they have 43% body fat.

These criteria were established by research some time ago, and in 2004 world health organisation committee suggest that being overweight for men could mean 22%+  body fat, and overweight for women could mean 35%+ body fat. You'll notice that this provides a very precise reference point for every individual regardless of their overall body size. Read more about it here.  

So you might be wondering how to calculate your ideal percentage of body fat.

And it's not actually very difficult to do: you can do it using a weigh scale and a calculator.

Keep in mind that when you begin to calculate your body fat, and in particular your ideal body fat, you need to consider various aspects of your physiology such your body type, your genetic history, your activity, your age, and in particular your gender.

It's a well established fact that women need more body fat than men, and that a certain amount body fat is essential for good health in both men and women. However, Mayo Clinic staff suggest that for women who are 20 to 40 years old, a healthy range of body fat is actually only 21 to 33%, and that obesity could include anything over 39%. Between 41 and 60 years old, women are considered healthy with 23 to 35% body fat, and obese with over 40% body fat.

Recognizing that people's physiology changes as they get older, Mayo Clinic staff suggest that between 61 and 79 years of age a healthy body fat percentage for women is 36 to 42%, and that obesity could be defined as anything over 42%.

You can see the difference in male and female physiology immediately when you look at male statistics in this area: for men between 20 and 40 years of age, a healthy percentage body fat is reckoned to be between 8 and 19%, while obesity is defined as having greater than 25% body fat by weight. Between 41 and 60 years of age, male obesity is defined as having over 27% body fat and the healthy range is regarded as between 11 and 22%.

Finally, between 61 and 79 years of age, a healthy percentage body fat is regarded as between 13 and 25% - whilst obesity is over 30%, and merely "overweight" is between 25 and 30%.

So keeping those figures in mind here's how to calculate your own percentage body fat: When done, you can see the figures that are desirable for both men and women in the paragraph above, and if you find that your body mass index and body percentage of fat are higher than they need to be, then I seriously recommend that you adopt the Venus Factor diet for women or the Adonis Golden Ratio diet for men.

First of all, get as accurate a measure of body weight as you can possibly do -- different scales will actually very, and even your own scales may vary between the time of day when you weigh yourself: although that's got nothing to do with the scales, it's to do with your physiology! So for  comparable statistics, you need to weigh yourself on the same weighing scales at approximately the same time of day over a few days, so that you can get an average figure for your body weight.

You can then calculate your body mass index. For most people this method gives a reasonable level of accuracy: take your BMI result, and put it into the following formula to calculate your body fat percentage.

Divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, and then multiply by 703.

So for example, for a man of 150 pounds in weight who is 5'5" (i.e. 65 inches) tall this would give a calculation of ((150 / (65x65) x 703) which = 24.9

Now you can calculate your percentage body fat from your body mass index quite simply (however there are inaccuracies if you're actually somewhat overweight).


(1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) - 5.4 = Body Fat Percentage

(1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) - 16.2 = Body Fat Percentage

Now, having done that, compare the results to the data provided above.

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