When people consider how they want to look their best one of the first questions they may have is how much should they weigh? Questions about weight and proper weight can be subjective and people are also bombarded by conflicting messages from the media. The medical industry counsels individuals who are too heavy so that they must return for periodic checkups and may suffer from diseases related to obesity. The food industry pushes people to eat more to satisfy their happiness and psychologists continue to make a boatload of money helping people to understand why they eat for comfort. The weight loss industry is a multibillion-dollar industry all built around helping individuals to lose those extra pounds. But, do you really have extra pounds?
While most people are able to be swayed in one direction or another, very few feel as if they receive an unbiased answer to how much they really should weigh. There are calculators online to help you calculate what your “ideal body weight” should be, body mass index calculators to help figure out what your range should be and a multitude of information about a variety of different body types. But none of this actually gives an individual an accurate number of how much they really should weigh.
Unfortunately, there is no such number. Unfortunately, there is no unbiased, totally accurate number for each individual person. We are all individuals and have different metabolism, ages and gender. Any ideal body weight number will be based upon our age, gender, metabolism, lean body mass, height and several other factors.
Any goal number for your weight should take into account all of the factors we discussed earlier. Far too often the number we believe is ideal for ourselves is actually too small and based upon the media’s idea of what the ideal body weight should be for men and women. Those models depicted in fashion magazines are airbrushed and touched up to the point that sometimes they don’t even recognize who they are.
When we have this small number in our mind of how much we should weigh, our diets go awry and the process becomes slower and agonizing. Your ideal body weight should be adjusted to how you fit into your clothes, your energy level, your height, your age and your overall fitness.
For instance, women generally have less lean body mass than do men. Since muscle weighs more than fat and since muscle burns more calories than fat, women must weigh less and eat less in order to achieve that weight. On the other hand, women who increase their lean body mass through strength training will find that they can eat more food, lose more weight but will ultimately have a number that is slightly higher on the scale than if they did not have lean muscle mass. This is because muscle weighs more than fat.
The ultimate goal is that the woman will look excellent in her clothes, have a toned body as well as lots of extra energy. This information cannot be accurately estimated by using a number.
The final factor in determining how much an individual should weigh is the waist to hip ratio. Scientists have determined that how much fat you have and where it is located is very important. Fat distribution patterns are often inherited. Studies have indicated that individuals who are shaped more like an apple, with fat stored in the upper body, abdomen and trunk will have higher risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, triglycerides and low levels of good cholesterol.
To find this measurements use a tape measure to accurately measure your waist. Use the smallest measurement below the rib cage and above the bellybutton. Divide that number by your hip measurement which is the largest area around the widest part of the hips. Men who have a ratio greater than one are considered apples while women with values higher than .80 are considered apples.
The ideal body weight can be estimated by using body mass index, basal metabolic rate and acknowledging the amount of exercise you are willing to do on a daily basis. In order to determine whether or not an individual is carrying extra weight, it is essential that the amount of weight on the bathroom scale, the body mass index and body fat percentage are all considered prior to determining whether or not a person should lose weight.
Only through good self-evaluation and accurate measurements can people determine whether or not weight should be lost, and how much.