Sience of Sexy: Waist to Hip Ratio

My general long-term goal is to reach and maintain a 0.70 waist to hip ratio. 

To find out your wait to hip ratio, measure your waist at the narrowest part and divide that number by the measurement of your widest part in the hips. Waist divided by hips. You will likely get a number between 0.7 and 0.8

From Wikipedia:

A WHR of 0.7 for women has been shown to correlate strongly with general health and fertility. Women within the 0.7 range have optimal levels of estrogen and are less susceptible to major diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and ovarian cancers.

Women with a 0.7 WHR are usually rated as more attractive by men from Indo-European cultures.

I love this goal because:

  • This goal suits a wide range of female body types. You can be very thin or very plump, even plus sized. What matters is the proportions of your body. It's a race against yourself, and not against other women. 
  • The ratio reflects real wolrd appearance, unlike the scale or even body fat measurements. We all know women with a few extra layers of fat who are sexier than thinner, less shapely women. 
  • It's healthy. No wasting away, no extreme muscle gains. It's about balance and health. 

In order to achieve my broader goal, I am working with free weights to gain mass in my glutes, hips, and thighs, and to improve my body composition.

This is my progress so far:

And this is my weight gain progress:

Since my WtH ratio is improving, and since I have almost no fat on my butt and thighs, I hope I gained mostly muscle.

My specific medium-to-short-term  goals are:

  • Be able to do a pull up and a chin up

(currently: can only do half pull up and half chin up. Starting point: neither)

  • Be able to do ten push ups

(currently: five. Starting point: zero)

  • Bench press 65 lbs x 3 reps

(currently: 60lbs x 3 reps is my absolute max. Starting point: could not lift the 45lb bar) *update: now I'm at 60x4. Hey, it's a big deal!* 

  • Deadlift: 135lb x 5 reps

(current: 135 x 1 reps, but very uncertain about form. Starting point: 95lb)

  • Squat 135lb x 5 reps

(current max: 125lb x 5, but unsue of my form. Usually I go up to 95 at most. Starting point: 40-60lb) **update: 135x5 achieved! Now I need to keep doing them.. which I might not. I'm still afraid of doing them wrong. **

* this goal is on hold. Going lower weights, high reps now until I figure out form. Been doing widowmakers on 45-60lbs, with a pause in the hole, and feeling a lot of burn.

  • Standing dumbbell shoulder press 25lb x 5

(current: 17.5x3, depends, usually I go only to 15lbs. This is exactly where I started. Pretty much no change here, but I haven't worked on it either). *update: new max is 20x5*

  • Plank 3 minutes

(current max: 2.5 minutes, but that happened only twice. Usually I die at 90 seconds.)

  • Side plank 2 minutes

(current: usually max at 90 sec. Started at: 30-60s)

  • Bulgarian split squat: 12 reps, 3 sets, any weight

(This is a new one for me. Usually I do around 8lb x 5 each leg, at least 2 sets. One time did 12lb x 12, nearly died). 

In terms of measurements, so far I have added exactly one inch to the widest point of my hips. It took about a year of slow and very gradual work. I would like to increase it by one more inch. I'm not sure it's realistic, but I'll keep working and I'll see what happens. I'll be happy with half an inch more, or even just maintaining my current gains if I can reduce my waist size to achieve my desired WtH ratio.

My biggest problems:

  • Not having a human next to me to correct my form. I'm afraid I'm doing somethin wrong. I could be pushing myself a lot harder.
  • My knees. 


Access to a gym, enough time to work out, already in the habit of working out. I log all of my workouts on Fitocracy. 

I am SweetPotatoPie on Fitocracy. Follow me if you want to. 

 Project Milestone: Share proof of one positive fitness habit change

I joined MyFitnessPal and began logging my macros yesterday. I want to be more careful about what I eat, and make sure I get plenty of protein.  My goals here are:

Workout day: Protein 124g, Fat 53g, Carbs 232g, total calories 1900

Rest day: Protein 124g, Fat 63g, Carbs 50g, total calories 1267

I don't care if I gain or lose weight doing this, but my plan is to gain muscle and lose some fat. I want to log my food for 2-3 weeks so I have a better understanding of the nutritional value of my food. 

I created a macros tracking template on google  - feel free to use it for yourself. Go to 'file' and click on 'make a copy.' You can enter your own macro targets for workout days and rest days.

This is my profile page on MFP, feel free to add me.

Jan 27th **update: I hit 0.7 yesterday!! And today I am 0.705. That was quick! I will fluctuate of course, but this is cause for celebration. It only took 5 days of tracking my food!* *

** Second update: just reached my squat goal, 135 x 5. Hurray! I've been pushing in a more focused way now because I wrote it all down here. My bench press and shoulder press are improving, too. It's all happening :) ***

Feb 13, 2013

I am still logging my food on MyFitnessPal. My butt is shrinking :( but so is my waist. I am starting the 5/3/1 program "boring but big" while doing a kind of IF. I eat a ton of protein every day, eat a deficit on rest days and a surplus on workout days. My fat intake is high. Not sure if that's bad, but I'm ok with it for now. I make an effort to consume a lot of good fats from fish, flax, avocado. 

Here is my updated WtH progress chart. I reached 0.7 for 2 days, and now I'm 0.71. 

Seeing the bigger picture is so motivating!

Compare it to just looking at one month :

 Not as exciting!

Here are individual waist and hip measurements spanning about 6 months, not taken in context of a waist to hip ratio. 

My waist appears to be going all over the place. My hips are generally increasing in size. If I didn't have a ratio chart, the waist measurements alone would have discouraged me. 

I try not to fret over the dips in my hip sizes because those correlate with dips in my waist size as well. It usually means I have been under caloric restriction. I work to gain muscle, and sometimes I dip when I lose precious hip fat. The trend is still up, so I'm happy. 


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