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SLYSAM SparkPoints: (43,184)
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Posts: 1,474
2/8/13 2:57 P

I measure in two places. I was always told the smallest part of the waist so I do that, but that isn't where I gain or lose the most size. So I also do a measurement around the bellybutton level. I do something similar with hip and chest measures too (measure in two places).

EELYRAM7 Posts: 370
2/8/13 10:23 A

I have found that my weight can fluctuate from size 14 to size 4 and my waist measurement will stay within an inch or two. I am measuring at my natural waist, which on me corresponds to the narrowest part and is also just slightly above my navel. I have found that the measurement around my hip bones stays the same as well. I have an hourglass shape.

To deal with this, I added two additional measurements to record in SP, which are my lovehandle area and my saddlebag area (the largest part of my belly and the widest part of my hips/butt). These are the areas where I see big changes, and it makes it easier for me to see progress.

PAT4PROG Posts: 652
2/8/13 5:16 A

Very helpful information...I think I measured myself incorrectly for my Personal Health Assessment(health insurance info). Thought it was a little strange that my waist size was the same as last year since I've went from a 14/16 pant to a 10/12 pant.

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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2/7/13 9:21 P

I have always heard it to be "at your natural waist." Basically, stand up and do a side bend (crunch over to the side). Where you bend is your "natural waist". I always take two measurements: one at my natural waist (for those online calculators which I do enjoy even if it isn't 100% accurate), and then one at my belly button, because my weight gets stored mostly right in my lower abdomen. I call that measurement (the one at my navel) my "low waist".

200POUNDQUEST SparkPoints: (2,468)
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2/7/13 9:09 P

My narrowest point is actually right at my belly button. Guess I'm low waisted lol. I take my waist measurements there, but sometimes I'll also measure the largest part of my abdomen, which is right above my waist for me, just so I can see if it's getting any smaller.

Other than for these calculators and things, which I doubt are 100% accurate anyway, I'd say measure wherever you want. As long as you measure in the same place each time. It's the comparison you're really looking for anyway. Unless you're trying to fit clothes anyway.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
2/7/13 9:17 A

Good question and I don't know the answer except that all the directions I've ever read in how to measure your abdomen say "narrowest point". People's bodies distribute fat differently of course but may some of those types of fat distribution are considered more high-risk than others.

I've been hearing lately that it's not so much the fat you can see on the outside of your body (and can measure with a measuring tape) that's dangerous as fat clotted around the internal organs which can happen even with a very very small waist size and low bodyfat overall.

I think we can only strive to improve continuously, even if we cannot be sure where exactly we fall on any kind of spectrum. Even if you are considered "extremely low risk" you aren't guaranteed not to have the health problem in question, and of course the opposite is also true. I guess what I mean is it doesn't really matter what your risk level is -- as long as next month, your risk level is lower than it is now.

35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
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2/7/13 8:43 A

I would have thought you measure at your biggest area... why would you do it at your narrowest? wouldn't that give false assurance? If someone has loads of belly fat at the navel, but is very narrow above there, why would you count the narrow part and say you are low risk? confused...

MUSCATDBQ SparkPoints: (3,450)
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2/7/13 8:25 A narrowest part is 35.25 inches so Im almost under the risk category--35 inches r below for females--there (if that is the right spot). At my belly button is 44 inches...way far from that! So maybe I'll put myself at mid-risk to be safe. :-) Consequently, my hips are slightly bigger than belly button yet at 48. Im definitely hour glass shaped.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
2/7/13 5:15 A

MUSCATDBQ - you sound normally shaped to me! My narrowest point is wayyyyy higher than 1/2" above my belly button. I just go for the narrowest point and don't worry about how far from my navel it is.

I used to measure AT my navel figuring at least it doesn't vary so I can always be 100% sure I'm measuring at the right spot. It worked great for comparing one month to the next but it doesn't work in any of the online calculators for things like waist/height ratio or body fat or whatever.

SPORTYLAWGIRL SparkPoints: (11,853)
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2/6/13 10:27 P

Your waist should be the narrowest part of your trunk. Above your naval.

35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
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Posts: 281
2/6/13 7:30 P

it confuses me also, because I carry most of my abdominal weight and girth below my belly button, so I feel wrong entering it as above my belly button as well.. I am larger below my belly button

MUSCATDBQ SparkPoints: (3,450)
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Posts: 214
2/6/13 7:00 P

I had the same question but am still confused...the link says for waist that it is "about a 1/2 inch above your bellybutton (at the narrowest part of your waist)", however 1/2 inch above my belly button isn't even over the top of my pelvic bones and is by far not the narrowest part of my waist... Ive seen elsewhere were it is supposed to be the place where you naturally bend when leaning to the sidem and that is what I normally use, however, that is a good three inches above my belly button...I must be an odd shape or something.

35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
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Posts: 281
2/6/13 5:28 P

that does it, thanks!

ugh. the calculator for health risk was a nice touch, but now I know I am at a "high" health risk. Damn apple shape! lol

Edited by: 35BYMAY at: 2/6/2013 (17:31)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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2/6/13 5:24 P


The following link to a SparkPeople article on How to Take Body Measurements should give you the answer you are searching for.

I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
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Posts: 281
2/6/13 4:46 P

where do I measure for appropriate abdominal girth? At the umbilicus, above or below? It makes a difference, lol.

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