The story

If your pants feel tighter than usual, you might begin to suspect that you've gained a couple of pounds. But at what point should you begin to worry that the weight gain is serious? Could you be one of the approximately two-thirds of American adults who are either overweight or obese, with an increased risk for conditions like diabetes and heart disease? While no single measurement is perfect, here are a few ways to size yourself up.

Step on the scale

Upside: Easy and handy. In a 2007 study published in the journal Obesity, researchers found that dieters who regularly and frequently weighed themselves appeared more likely to keep the weight off over time. Buying a scale for your bathroom to keep track of weight won't break the bank, and your gym probably has one in the locker room.

Downside: You know how you can be skinny but out of shape? Or heavy and fit? Body weight doesn't take into account the proportion of fat in the body, or where that fat is deposited -- factors that can point to health trouble. Also, experts say dieters often make the mistake of fixating on the number between their toes instead of focusing on changing the behavior that can improve it. Have you made a health-changing resolution? Tell us

Body mass index (BMI) Read full article »

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