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How To Weigh and Measure Yourself Correctly?

Por Dr. Eleazar Lara-Pantin* -

Weighing ourselves on a scale is the most common way of finding out if we're getting closer to our ideal weight. People generally talk about how many pounds they need to lose, and the usual question is: What's my ideal weight?"

It's almost impossible to determine your ideal weight on you own because personal expectations vary a lot. Instead, it is recommended that you use a standard measure such as the universally accepted Body Mass Index (BMI). The ideal is to have a BMI lower than 25.
Finding out your Body Mass Index (BMI) is now very easy because there are many places on the internet that do this calculation without your having to do any of the math yourself. One of these places is the MyDiet Information Center. In order calculate your BMI just enter your height and the weight and let the calculator do the rest.

Following is a list of simple suggestions:

A. When weighing yourself:

  • The scale should be properly calibrated and set at 0.
  • Weigh yourself in the morning before having any food or water.
  • Wear as little clothes as possible and no shoes.
  • Stand up straight on the scale. Any movements may affect the accuracy of the measurement. If you´re using a bathroom scale, it might be convenient for another person to read your weight so you don´t have to bend forward.
  • Your weight fluctuates from one day to the next. This is why you should weigh yourself three days in a row and average the readings on the scale.
  • Women´s weight varies significantly due to swelling from their menstrual period.

B. An adult's height varies very little and because of this, it's common to use the most recent measurement taken by a healthcare professional. However, you should measure yourself with the following considerations in mind:

  • Fasten measuring tape to the wall or to a solid surface, making sure it´s completely perpendicular to the floor. The end of the tape that reads zero should barely touch the floor.
  • Use measuring tape that´s not made from stretch material because the tension applied to keep it straight may affect the accuracy of the measurement.
  • If you are measuring yourself, you need to keep your body completely straight, with your head, buttocks, and heels as close as possible to the wall where the measuring tape has been secured.Extend your arms to your sides, keeping them relaxed.
  • It´s important that your head is in the correct position: your back should be straight and you should look straight ahead.
  • Another person should place a drawing triangle over the middle of your head, so one of the sides of the triangle is completely touching the wall. The person doing the measuring should mark the point where the side of the triangle touching the wall and the side of the triangle touching your head join. This point is your height measurement. If you don´t have a drawing triangle at hand, you can use a thin hardcover book.
  • You should write down your height so you can use it every time you need to recalculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Once you know your correct weight and height, you need only go to the Internet and enter your information to calculate your Body Mass Index. Along with the results, you will find information on how to interpret them. 


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