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How healthy am I?

Too often new clients come in, overly concerned about the number on the scale. They worry that the number is too big, or even that I won't take their weight loss goals seriously because the number isn't that big.

Or they walk in worried about their BMI or whether they are doing enough steps, or how many calories they should be eating. But, there is no absolute, correct number inside of any of those measurements that can really tell you how healthy you are.

Instead I prefer to ask "how do you feel?", "what is your energy like?" and "when was your last blood test?" These are questions that provide me with far more information about your health than any of the others.

You see weight and BMI don't tell me how much lean muscle or fat you are carrying, nor do they tell me the health of your organs. BMI especially, really only refers to a population average and doesn't take into account the fact that you may do a lot of weights at the gym and therefore carry a lot of muscle. But if you tell me that you're tired all the time...well that tells me far more.

That's not to say that I don't use any measurements. I do. So here are the measurements that are important indicators of your health:

  1. Blood pressure: high blood pressure can be the first sign that you're at risk of a stroke or a heart attack. You won't even necessarily know that you do unless you check it. But I recommend getting it checked at least once a year or anytime you find yourself visiting your doctor. It only takes a minute, and I will often check my clients' blood pressure.
  2. Waist circumference: I use this as a primary measure in my practice. It tells me about your risk of everything from diabetes to a heart attack, because it is an indicator of the amount of visceral fat you have, which is the nasty stuff that collects around your organs and can affect their healthy function. For both men and women, a waist circumference of 100cm+ is a big danger zone. For women, a waist circumference under 80cm is ideal and for men the goal is under 94cm.
  3. Cholesterol: Everyone should have this checked once a year.
  4. Vegetables: Only 5% of Australians eat the recommended serves of vegetables per day. So I like to make sure every one of my clients knows what a serve of vegetables is and that they are keeping track of whether they are reaching their FIVE serves every day.

If you track those measures instead of the scales or steps or calories, I guarantee you will be able to enjoy food, without guilt and be well on the way to good health.


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