Monday, 16 March 2015

Anthropometrics - monitor progress through more than just weight loss

The term anthropometric refers to comparative measurements of the body. Anthropometric measurements are used in nutritional assessments.

Anthropometric measurements used for adults usually include height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, and percentage of body fat. These measures are then compared to reference standards to assess weight status and the risk for various diseases. Anthropometric measurements require precise measuring techniques to be valid.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

To work out your BMI:
  1. divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in metres (m)
  2. then divide the answer by your height again to get your BMI
For example:
  1. If you weigh 70kg and you're 1.75m tall, divide 70 by 1.75. The answer is 40.
  2. Then divide 40 by 1.75. 
The answer is 22.9. This is your BMI.

The ideal range is 20-25. You can also use this chart to calculate your BMI:

Waist to hip ratio

A waist to hip ratio of more than 0.95 for men and 0.85 for women may mean you're more likely to get heart disease and should be extra careful with your diet and lifestyle.

It's all related to the distribution of fat in the body. 'Apple' shaped people tend to store fat around their abdomen and are more likely to have health-related risks than people who are 'pear' shaped.

How to measure

While standing relaxed, measure the smallest area around your waist. The smallest area is usually around the navel or belly button.

Measure the largest area around your hips. The largest area is usually around your buttocks.

Now divide the waist number by the hip number.

Percentage body fat

The following link with show a tutorial on how to measure body fat percentage with skin fold calipers:

Alternatively, use these methods to measure the same span of biceps and thighs to monitor you progress:

 You should be standing or sitting
Use left arm if possible and  remove clothing so arm is bare
Locate the top of the shoulder (acromion) and the point of the elbow (olecranon process)
Measure the distance between the 2 points, identify the mid point and mark on the arm

See Fig.2
 Let arm hang loose and with tape measure, measure circumference of arm at the mid point. Do not pull the tape measure tight - it should just fit comfortably round the arm.

Use the same method for measuring thigh span.

Here are a couple of healthy recipes to warm the cockles of your hearts after a cold winter run:

Quinoa with stir fried winter veg - quinoa is low fat and high protein, meaning this filling recipe tops out at only 414kcal per generous serving!

200g quinoa
5 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 carrots, cut into thin sticks
300g leeks, sliced
300g broccoli, cut into small florets
100g sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
200ml vegetable stock
2 tsp tomato purée

juice 1 lemon

Quinoa with stir-fried winter veg

  1. Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a wok or large pan, then add the garlic and quickly fry for 1 min. Throw in the carrots, leeks and broccoli, then stir-fry for 2 mins until everything is glistening.
  2. Add the sundried tomatoes, mix together the stock and tomato purée, then add to the pan. Cover, then cook for 3 mins. Drain the quinoa, then toss in the remaining oil and the lemon juice. Divide between warm plates and spoon the vegetables on top.

Ham and Veg Crumble

100g butter
2 leeks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 parsnips, chopped
½ celeriac, chopped
200g plain flour
500ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
400g cooked ham, cut into chunky slices from a joint, then shredded
200g tub low-fat crème fraîche

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Ham & veg crumble

  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large frying pan, chop the remaining butter into small chunks and put in the fridge. Add the leeks, carrots, parsnips and celeriac to the pan with a splash of water, season, cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 mins, stirring now and then, until the veg is beginning to soften.
  2. Stir in 2 tbsp plain flour, then add the stock bit by bit, stirring as you go, until all incorporated and smooth. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6. Add the ham, all but 2 tbsp of the crème fraîche, and the mustard, season with plenty of black pepper and transfer to an ovenproof baking dish. Put the remaining butter and flour in a bowl and season. Rub together with your fingers to a fine crumbly texture. Add the remaining crème fraîche and mix with a cutlery knife until the crumble clumps together in places. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the filling, then bake for 35-40 mins until crispy and golden on top.

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