Sarah Hyland Weighs 92 Lbs. and Has 49% Body Fat—but Is That Even Possible?

When it comes to understanding body weight versus BMI versus body composition, things can get confusing. Even more confusing is when the numbers don’t seem quite right, which is exactly what happened when actress Sarah Hyland stepped on the scale to determine her body composition (AKA how much of her weight is fat versus lean mass) yesterday.

“Yeah. My scale says I’m 48% fat. Soooo…how’s your Monday?” the Modern Family star captioned a photo she posted on Instagram stories last night. According to Hyland’s body composition scale, she weighs 92.8 pounds, with 49% body fat, 11% muscle, 37% water, and 3% bone. Hmm.

According to the American Council on Exercise, normal body fat percentages for women range from 10% to 31%, with a body fat percentage over 32% being considered obese. At 5’2” and 92 pounds, Hyland is anything but obese. So we had some questions.

RELATED: Kourtney Kardashian Weighs 98 Lbs. Here’s Why That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

First off, is it even possible to be 92 pounds and have 49% body fat? “While it is possible to have that high of a percentage of body fat, it would be very abnormal for half of her body weight to be fat,” says Amy Rothberg, MD, director of the University of Michigan's Weight Management Clinic.

Samuel Klein, MD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis agrees: “Women tend to have more body fat than men, but it's highly unlikely that she would be 92 pounds and almost 50% body fat.”

RELATED: The Number One Thing You Need to Do to Lose Weight Forever, According to Experts

It’s not surprising that Hyland’s home scale provided questionable results. According to Dr. Klein, there's so much variability in home body composition devices that they aren’t always reliable sources. Plus, body composition scales (or the regular versions, for that matter) don’t account for the distribution of fat throughout the body, which is actually just as important as the amount of fat one carries. Why? Belly fat is linked to an increased risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes and heart disease compared to fat stored in the buttocks and legs.

When assessing body fat, it's critical to consider distribution in addition to composition, says Dr. Klein: “Measuring your waist circumference, for example, will give you a better estimate of your fat distribution than stepping on a scale.”

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According to Dr. Rothberg, the most reliable way to measure body composition is with a DEXA scan or Bod Pod device, two tools that are typically found at medical centers, fitness clinics, or in research settings—not your bathroom–and use high-tech methods to compare fat tissue to lean mass.

We weren’t the only ones who were skeptical of Hyland’s home scale reading. The actress captioned her body comp score, “Definition of #skinnyfat or my scale is broken.” We’re going to guess it’s broken.

Source: Health bests

Is Your Body Really Programmed to Be a Certain Weight?

The set point theory is the idea that the body has a preprogrammed weight that it likes to be at to function efficiently. And there is scientific evidence that suggests there is some truth to this; the body uses a variety of metabolic and hormonal mechanisms—like slowing down metabolism when you cut your calorie intake, for instance—to maintain its weight when you try to slim down.

So does this mean that trying to lose weight below your “set point” is futile, since your body will try to fight it and always win? No, weight management is more complicated than that. Many parameters control weight, including genetics, but so do external factors, like stress and your eating behaviors. Plenty of people slim down and settle at a lower weight permanently—but you should follow a safe, gradual weightloss plan so that your body can adapt over time. (Plus, you’ll be more likely to keep the pounds off in the long term if you take on sustainable healthy eating habits.) Crash dieting (like restricting your calories too intensely) can cause your body to try to hold on to fat so it stays at its happy weight—don’t try it.


Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

Source: Health bests

Kourtney Kardashian Weighs 98 Lbs. Here’s Why That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

In a deleted scene from Sunday’s episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, we learned that a short woman weighs a small amount. When you put it that way, it doesn't sound so shocking, right?

Here's how it actually unfolded:

Khloé tells friend Simon Gebrelul, “You know she’s 97 lbs.?” about her older sis Kourtney.

“Guess what? I gained a pound,” Kourtney chimes in. “I’m 98.”

Perhaps forgetting that Kourtney stands a mere 5 feet tall, reactions on Twitter ranged from “OMG I want to be her” to “OMG that can’t be healthy,” with a sprinkle or two of “OMG why is this news?”

In a way, everyone's kinda right.

“People aren’t used to seeing weights under 100 pounds, and I think that’s triggering for a lot of people,” says dietitian and educator Claudia T. Felty, PhD, RD. In general, she says, we all need to take a deep breath and a big step back from being so quick to judge others by the numbers on their scales.

RELATED: 16 Weight Loss Secrets of the Kardashians

Aside from it simply not being a friendly thing to do, “the number on the scale tells us very little about the overall health and wellness of a person,” says certified eating disorder registered dietitian Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RDN. “Bodyweight is just one (relatively small) variable we use to determine someone’s overall health and disease risk. It doesn’t tell us anything about one’s genetic risk factors, cardiovascular health, immune health, bone health, or hormonal balance.”

The number on the scale also varies greatly with our own individual packaging, so to speak—which in Kourtney's case is small. She revealed in a 2015 Instagram post (which also garnered lots of commentary about her weight) that she is only 5 feet tall. While 98 pounds may be unimaginable for most of us non-Kardashians, it’s not outrageous for someone of this size. “Depending on bone structure, muscle mass, and genetics, a range for healthy women of 5 feet could be anywhere from the low 90s to the 120s,” Cohn says.

Reshmi Srinath, MD, director of the weight and metabolism management program at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says she typically looks at a person’s BMI or body mass index rather than just the number on the scale—and even those don't provide a perfect measure. “BMI is a standardized measure of height compared to weight, and using that, I can characterize someone as normal weight, underweight, or reaching obesity,” she explains.

RELATED: The Best and Worst Ways to Calculate Body Fat

Current guidelines suggest that someone with a BMI over 25 is considered overweight. Over 30 and you're considered obese, while you'd fall into the underweight category if you clock in under 18.5. At her height and weight, Kourtney comes in at a low but still healthy 19 or so, Dr. Srinath says. But someone who has a lot of muscle mass—which weighs more than fat and would therefore raise BMI score—could be easily miscategorized as obese, Cohn says. Meanwhile, someone with very little protective muscle mass could be classified as meeting a healthy weight, despite a greater risk for certain conditions.

Emerging research suggests that measuring a person’s waist circumference and comparing it to the size of her hips—the waist-to-hip ratio—may be even more telling. “We know that people who have greater waist circumferences have greater risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome,” says Dr. Srinath, also an associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. That’s because it’s the so-called visceral abdominal fat (otherwise known as belly fat) that seems to pose the biggest risk to our health.

Felty recommends ditching the scale entirely. “I focus on intuitive eating, becoming more in touch with your own body,” she says. “I look at energy levels, food and exercise behaviors, and use that intuitive process to learn what your body needs, which often helps stabilize weight naturally.”

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For everyone who was quick to judge Kourtney’s weight—or anyone’s, for that matter—remember that every person is unique. “We all have different curves,” Dr. Srinath says, and a fair amount of curviness comes from genetic factors, meaning it’s out of your control. Whatever your weight is, don’t spend another second comparing it to Kourtney's.

“Look at our furry friends,” Felty suggests. “We would never expect a Chihuahua to look like a St. Bernard. We have different genetics, different builds—we’re all individuals.”

Source: Health bests

How to Lose Weight on a Part-Time Diet

You know what dieting demands: cut calories, go hard on veggies, exercise, and repeat, well, forever. But what if you could hit pause on dieting once in a while, but still reap weight-loss benefits?

That’s the premise of part-time diets. “ ‘Part-time dieting’ is an umbrella term for eating styles that let you be flexible with the hours, days, even weeks that you cut calories,” explains Courtney Peterson, PhD, assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. And recent research is starting to uncover how different methods may make it easier to shed pounds and improve health.

No, dieting part-time doesn’t mean you can go crazy on burgers and fries when you’re not watching your calories as closely—and there’s no one-size-fits-all plan. Here, our experts dive into ways you can try this trend and how to customize it just for you.

The fasting-mimicking diet

Despite the name, the fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) doesn’t actually involve fasting. You restrict your calorie intake for five consecutive days, every three to four months, on average. The evidence behind the method: In a clinical trial, when healthy adults did FMD (eating around 1,100 calories on the first day, and about 750 calories on days two, three, four, and five) once a month for three months, they saw drops in body weight, total body fat, and blood pressure, while the people who followed a normal diet did not. How does it work? FMD puts the body in a fat-burning, ketogenic mode over the "fasting" period, explains Valter Longo, PhD, professor and director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California and author of the new book The Longevity Diet ($27; "The average healthy adult can do an FMD cycle a few times a year and reap the benefits,” says Longo, who worked on the aforementioned trial. The caveat: Any diet that involves fasting or major eating changes is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. And it’s always a good idea to talk to your doc before making significant diet changes.

Time-restricted feeding

The time-restricted feeding (TRF) concept is simple: Narrow the window when you consume food. A recent small study conducted by Peterson with the Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center suggests that eating within a six-hour window may boost fat burn. Two other small studies found that even eating meals within an eight-hour period may promote fat loss. If this narrow time frame sounds like a freaky fad diet, don’t worry—Peterson says that a 10-hour window, like 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., is very doable and still works.

Keep in mind that shifting your entire meal schedule can be a tricky behavioral change. “Fasting isn’t for everyone,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, owner of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. “I am a fan of people working on eating less at night. Even stretching your fasting period from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. could have tremendous benefits.”

Two-week cycling

A study in the International Journal for Obesity found that obese men who dieted two weeks on, then two weeks off for 30 weeks lost more weight than those who dieted continuously. These intermittent dieters kept the weight off for the long term, too. The mechanism at play isn’t totally clear, but it’s possible that “the body may not fully adapt to intermittent dieting in a way that would permanently slow down your metabolism,” Peterson says.

You don’t even have to do two-week cycles. "We don’t know at this point what the ideal schedule is," Peterson notes. “To a degree, I think the scheduling depends on the person and her preferences.” So if, say, one week on, two weeks off seems more realistic for you, it’s fine to tweak the format to fit your needs. Peterson recommends giving it a couple of months for your body to adapt.

Before you try this on-off strategy, remember this: You can’t eat whatever you want during your no-dieting period. "Consuming 5,000 calories just because it’s a ‘free’ week is not efficient. You still want to think about filling your body with whole foods," says Jennifer Cholewka, RD, senior clinical dietitian at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Going vegan… until dinner

Popularized by the book Eat Vegan Before 6:00, by Mark Bittman, this scenario eliminates all animal products and focuses on eating vegan protein sources, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats until your evening meal. Plus, swapping animal protein for vegan sources slashes calories and saturated fat and has real weightloss potential. "When my clients break from consuming animal protein at all meals, they also realize how full they get when reintroducing it, so they often have a lot less at one sitting," Middleberg says.

On the flip side, she points out that you need to make sure you’re still getting enough protein, carbs, and fat during the day so you aren’t ravenous at dinner and end up overeating.

The 5:2 diet

This plan is named after a book by the same name. (Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Kimmel have both tried it.) A few studies have linked the regimen—which calls for eating normally five days of the week and only 25 percent of your typical calorie intake for two days of your choice—to weight loss and lower insulin levels. “If I were to try any part-time diet, the 5:2 plan would be my pick,” says Cholewka.

"You’re responsible for remembering your eating schedule and keeping an eye on calorie counts, but you aren’t burdened by strict food lists." However, keep in mind that, as your body adjusts, you may feel the effects of hunger more acutely, she adds.

Worried that severe restriction will get to you? Peterson reversed the plan a bit for herself. "In the past, when I lost weight, I did an approach where five days a week I would cut down about 15 percent of my calories," she explains. "Then I would eat healthy but normal for two days each week."

Source: Health bests

704-Lb. Woman Goes for Weight Loss Surgery After Finding Maggots in the Folds of Her Skin

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Lisa Fleming was already overweight when she gave birth to her first child at 15, and her weight only went up from there. But she knew it was absolutely time to make a change when, bedridden and weighing 704 lbs., she found maggots in the folds of her skin.

For the first time in years, Fleming, 49, is going to leave her bed — the same bed where her mom died due to obesity — and make the six-hour trip to get weight loss surgery.

“I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I’m not looking forward to having the paramedics move me out of this bed,” Fleming says in this exclusive clip from Wednesday’s episode of My 600-Lb. Life. “Lord, give me strength.”

Seven paramedics arrive with multiple emergency vehicles to get Fleming out of her bed, down a ramp and into an ambulance.

“The paramedics have to reinforce the ramp they’ll use to get me out of the house,” she says. “I can’t believe it’s come to this. But at least I’m doing something about it before it gets to be too late.”

And when they ask Fleming if she’s ready to go, she says that she “ain’t ever gonna be ready,” but tells them to go for it, because she knows “for a fact” that she’s “sick of this damn bed.”

Using her bed sheets and a dolly, the paramedics painfully lift Fleming out of her bed.

“Oh lord, please don’t let them kill me,” she says.

My 600-Lb. Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.

Source: Health bests