T Nation

Measuring Waist Line


When you guys measure your waist do you consider your waist size to be around the navel or below the stomach near the hips? I have always measured at the navel because that seems to be where fluctuations in fat would change the most and it seems to me like the area below my stomach couldn't really shrink much, there's barely anything over the bone on the sides. Even though there's more fat around the navel area though my waist is about 31.5in. there in the mornings, with the lower area being about 33in

Which do you consider your actual "waist size" for stats and whatnot?


It is consider correct to measure at the smallest point. There has to be some qualification such as not grossly far from the navel, but I don't know what that would be.

For those guys with giant beer bellies that announce that they wear the same size pants as in high school, though, obviously they don't believe the measurement has to be relatively near the navel. While it might work with their too-low jeans, it wouldn't work with dress pants. It obviously doesn't work physique-wise, either, or in judging condition.

Myself, while there's no substantial difference between at the navel and somewhat lower, I measure at the navel on the same reasoning you do.

I would suggest to a fat guy -- I appreciate that's not the case here, and for those for whom it is, I should have said person needing to "loose fat" -- that measuring at the navel would be best, rather than searching lower down for a smaller measurement.


In the military, it is right across the top of the naval or belly button.


I consider the waist to be where you put your belt. And the navel is, well, your navel.


I use the navel so that I can consistently measure the same place every time.


Yea, I guess if your really starting to add a lot of fat your lower waist (where you would have a belt) would actually be smaller since you would have a large gut. For me as I said that lower waist area is 33in. and really doesn't seem like an area that would fluctuate much unless there were large changes in body fat. Around my navel is 31.5 when waking up, just checked now and it was a little over 32in, and at the lowest point on my stomach (about 1-2 in. above the navel and consequently above any "love handles" it's under 31in.). As both of us have said though I would think navel would be the best measure of how much fat your putting on (as far as waist measurements go).

Mainly I was wondering because I was surprised to see the area with less fat was actually my widest point...hoping I didn't actually have a 33in. waist :slightly_smiling:


In anthropometric measures, you find the smallest circumference from between the bottom of the bottom rib to the top of the hip bone (iliac crest).

I prefer to standardize it around the belly button aka navel aka umbilicus aka inney aka outey aka......


Didn't you want to say "in the navy"?


Damnit. It will take a week of mind bleach to wash that crap out.


Cracking me up...