Maintaining a healthy weight is an important aspect of health that stands on both the opposite ends of the spectrum. Some people pay extra attention to their weight, while some fail to grasp its importance, thus giving less attention it. Weight isn’t only a determinant of how one’s body will look on the mirror, but most importantly, maintaining and sustaining a healthy weight lowers one’s risk of developing chronic, life-threatening health conditions.
The journey towards a healthier lifestyle starts with having an understanding of your own body as it varies from one person to another. Your health status, age, sex, bone density, and muscle to fat ratio, are some of the factors that you should consider. If you’re planning to improve your health through weight management, the first thing that you should know about is your ideal weight.
What Is Ideal Weight?
Essentially, ideal weight refers to an individual’s optimal weight that is proportionate to your height, it also predicts a person’s life expectancy. Maintaining your ideal weight as you age is important to keep your health in its best condition, and help your body function accordingly. If you want to determine your weight accurately and efficiently, the best way is to look at your body composition.
Body Composition: Components of an Individual’s Weight
While people have different weight, height, health status, medical history, and other factors, individuals have one thing in common: body composition, which contains four components which is fat, protein, minerals, and body water.
People who have bigger frames don’t always have a heavier weight, and people with smaller frames aren’t always healthy. It’s about finding the perfect ‘fit’ for your body by ensuring that you’re at your ideal weight. Looking at your body composition, it can be difficult to determine which components are changing whenever your weight is fluctuating. Thus, understanding your muscle and fat percentage is of good. But you might be wondering, what is body fat? Muscle mass? How can you make use of these?
Body fat isn’t just the extra fat protruding in your belly. It pertains to the adipose tissues stored as subcutaneous fat a.k.a fat visible under your skin, visceral fat or fat found in organs, and essential fat. Basically, the higher body fat percentage relative to your lean tissues, the higher your susceptibility to obese-associated diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.
On the other hand, muscle mass is the overall weight of muscles in your body. Lower muscle mass is connected to people with more sedentary lifestyles, thus they’ll have more difficulty in movement, metabolism, building and retaining muscle, and disease prevention.
Understanding your body composition is an excellent way to determine and analyze your ideal weight because what you see physically doesn’t always reflect how healthy you really are inside. Another helpful way to find your ideal weight is by computing your body mass index, finding your weight circumference, or using ideal weight equations.
Ways To Measure Ideal Weight
1. Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is an assessment method to easily identify your weight amongst four limited categories: underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. BMI is computed by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. However, take note that BMI is best applied to adults of age 20 and older, and there’s a different interpretation for BMI among children where age and gender are also factored into the equation.
Looking at the results of your BMI, here are the corresponding values associated with each adult weight group:
- Underweight: Less than 18.5
- Normal or healthy weight:5 to 24.9
- Overweight: 25 to 29.9
- Obese: 30 and higher
2. Ideal Weight Formulas
Identifying ideal weight went through a lot of computations. The most updated equations for ideal weight today are the following:
- Weight in kilograms (kg) = 2.2 x Body Mass Index (BMI) + (3.5 x BMI) x (Height in meters – 1.5)
- Weight in pounds (lb) = 5 x Body Mass Index (BMI) + (BMI / 5) x (Height in inches – 60)
However, these formulas can’t be entirely reliable because people can weigh more or less than their body composition. For example, muscular individuals have low body fat but higher body mass. There are also people who have a normal BMI but have undergone a change, such as losing their muscle mass and replacing it with body fat, which isn’t a good sign.
3. Waist Circumference
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that considering both an individual’s BMI and waist circumference provides a more accurate indication of a healthy or ideal weight. Thus, take a measuring tape and wrap it on your waist. For women, given that you’re not pregnant, a waist circumference of 35 and more inches, and any circumference higher than 40 inches, means a higher risk for obesity and related health conditions.
The Better Indicator Of Ideal Weight
While these methods assist you in pinpointing your ideal weight, there’s no exact method to accurately identify your ideal weight. Therefore, it all boils down to your mindset of achieving the best weight that makes you feel good, comfortable, and confident about yourself. Do you feel healthy whenever you’re restricting yourself from taking your lunch? Do your rigorous exercises hurt too much? When identifying your ideal weight, you have to follow it up with techniques and habits that you have to develop to stay at a healthy weight. The best approach is to take these discussed methods into consideration while setting realistic goals that’ll lead you into contentment.
Tips In Achieving An Ideal and Healthy Weight
Since numerous factors affect your weight and health condition, it’s worth consulting and hiring health professionals such as physicians, nutritionists, fitness coach or weight lifestyle coach. They will guide you on your journey towards a healthy weight.
Moreover, consuming a healthy, balanced diet packed with nutrient-dense foods is a must for everyone, as well as getting involved in physical activity at least 150 minutes in a week. If you have a higher goal to lose or gain weight, you’ll have to exert more effort into this, and curate your habits that will fit a weight loss or weight gain regimen.
Overall, having an ideal weight presents several advantages for maintaining a good quality of life. While ideal weight can be described as subjective, people should work hard in achieving an ideal, healthy weight that makes them happy and confident, without compromising their health. If you’re looking into being a better person than today, the best place to start is building good health and lifestyle habits, specifically reaching a healthy weight.