What is the exact healthy weight for your body?
Reaching your ideal weight is often a result of making small changes to your daily habits.
But how do you figure out how much you’re supposed to weigh?
People can look beautiful in a variety of shapes and sizes; however, because of the negative impact of inflammation on the human body, it is sometimes healthier for people to have a smaller waist size.
If your intention is to become leaner than you are right now, it can be helpful to first understand from where – exactly – you’re starting.
Also important is to understand where you want to end up – by determining what the healthy weight for your body actually is.
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“What Is a Healthy Weight for Me?”
By knowing how much fat is on your body today, you’ll then be able to determine what weight loss techniques are working for you and which are not moving the needle. Knowing this will better assist you in reaching a healthy weight.
The Body Mass Index or BMI is a system used to measure your percentage of body fat, and to determine if you are at a healthy weight – using your height, weight, age and gender.
The results of the index will tell you, generally, if you’ve got a healthy body fat percentage and what your ideal ratio of fat-to-muscle probably is.
Though other methods are more accurate for learning what your current percentage of body fat is, the body mass index formula can still be a convenient way to get a quick, general idea.
It is important to remember that each human is different, and your ideal weight is whatever ratio of fat to muscle helps your own body perform uniquely well.
In other words, your healthy weight might be very different than someone else’s.The mirror deceives. Here's how to REALLY tell if you've gotten thinner or heavierClick To Tweet
“How Much Fat Do I Need to Lose?”
There are plenty of free BMI calculators on the web that will tell you your approximate Body Mass Index, but you can even do the math yourself:
BMI = Weight-in-pounds / (Height-in-inches x Height-in-inches) x 703
You can then compare your BMI number to the list below:
- 18.4 or lower: Underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9: Normal weight
- 25 to 29.9: Overweight
- 30 or higher: Obese
…when my local gym was offering a free Body Mass Index test I jumped at the chance to get tested”
Of course, our bodies are all different genetically, and this calculation doesn’t take into account how much of your body is actual fat and not muscle (and it it is therefore not always suitable for athletes).
It’s important to keep an objective eye on one’s body fat. The mirror deceives. Many of us think we’re thinner than we really are, while others see fat where there is none.
Excessive belly fat can be a sign of toxicity, inflammation, and potential future health challenges, so it’s good to know where you really stand in terms of your fat-to-muscle ratio.
Trying to determine the exact number of pounds that you should weigh is tricky.
Standard bathroom scales weigh your muscle tissue as well as your fat tissue – even though a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat (and looks a whole lot better).
Though many people use the BMI as an indicator (check out your Body Mass Index with a free online fat calculator or contact your gym to see if they offer this service), the BMI method is often not good for people of extreme heights or people who strength-train at the gym – because it doesn’t account for muscle tissue or bone mass.
How to Figure Out Your Ideal Weight
The absolute best way to determine your ideal weight is, oddly, not to focus on pounds at all but rather your body’s percentage of fat:
- in most cases, it’s healthiest for men to have body fat between 6% and 17%
- for women, it’s usually best to have body fat between 14% and 24%
More important than which method you use to determine your level of body fat, is that you stick with the same measurement method.
For example, if one method reveals that you are at 28% body fat, well, maybe you are really 27% or maybe 29%, but what will probably be accurate is how much you’ve gained or lost.
If it says you’ve lost 6% or gained 6%, that number will probably be accurate if you’re using the same measurement method as you used before.
- Previously, I shared how there is a fairly simple formula for figuring out how to lose a pound each week permanently
- and I’ve also explained how preparing internally for change can help to easily make external changes to our appearance, including helping us to lose fat and get into shape
- I’ve also previously revealed that certain menu items, such as freshly made green smoothies, can be startling in their ability to reduce belly fat specifically.
There are two tools that you’ll need to help you track your fat loss. One costs about $50, the other costs about $1.
Get a Bathroom Scale with a BIA Feature
In the old days, we could only use calipers – or special scales that weighed us in water – to determine our true percentage of body fat.
Fortunately, today we have other options. Many bathroom scales that you can buy today at your home-accessories store include a BIA feature (Bioelectric Impedance Analysis) that reveals your current level of fat.
Your hydration levels may create a margin of error in the figure, but if you measure at the same time of day (such as when you wake up in the morning after using the bathroom), that can help to minimize the already-small risk of error.
Get a Measuring Tape
You’ll need to get the cloth or soft-plastic kind of measuring tape that tailors use (not the metal ones that handymen use) in order to measure your waistline.
The measuring tape won’t tell you your percentage of body fat, but it will tell you how many inches you’ve gained or lost in your waist, and in some ways this can be even more important.
When I measure my waist area, I measure in two places:
- the skinniest part of my waist, right underneath my bottom rib, when I suck my stomach in as hard as I can
- the widest part of my waist — I run the tape over the center of my bellybutton and then around the widest part of the “love handle” area
Write down both numbers each time you measure and you will have an accurate idea of whether or not your gaining or losing fat in your waistline.
Research reveals that a slimmer waistline means a longer life, so this is an important area to track meticulously.
You’ll perhaps think I’m kidding, but sometimes what’s also helpful is to keep one pair of your favorite skinny jeans in your closet. When you pull those jeans on, how well those jeans fit – or don’t – will give you a fast indication of your current fat percentage that is strangely more accurate than what the most expensive lab equipment would tell you.
Do Smoothies Make You Fat?
As many of my readers know, I had significant success permanently losing body fat by added freshly made green smoothies to my daily diet.
Whether smoothies make you thinner or fatter, depends on the smoothie.
A freshly made green smoothie can help you reach your perfect weight.
On the other hand, when some people say “smoothie” what they really mean is some low-quality, overly sweetened powder from a can they got at the grocery store, mixed with milk and a banana. Those kind of smoothies can make you fatter. But a daily fresh green smoothie made correctly can help you get leaner, stronger, and healthier.
Do Quantity or the Quality Matter More in Your Calories?
There are so many differing opinions on whether the number of calories or the quality of calories is more important for losing fat and achieving a healthy weight.
The truth is, simply: both.
People who still believe that only the number of calories matter do not understand about inflammation.
Many of the modern world’s most common diseases are linked to chronic inflammation.
Yes, excess calories can convert to fat, but what is also true is that the healthier you are, the better and more efficiently your metabolism works.
To keep your body’s various systems running optimally you need to stay out of their way and let them do their job. A diet full of inflammatory foods can impede your systems’ optimal functioning:
…inflammation is the body’s natural response to irritants. When the irritants don’t let up because of diet… the immune system can spiral out of control and increase the risk for disease. A growing body of research is revealing how abdominal fat and an unhealthy diet can lead to inflammation. Some scientists are investigating how certain components in foods might help. Dietary fiber, for instance, may play a protective role against inflammation” ~ Laura Landro / WSJ
It’s a good idea to, periodically, take a fresh look at our daily habits: what are we eating and drinking?
We think we know what foods we’re consuming each day, but do we really?
By being exposed to different nutritional ideas, we are inspired to see our daily diets in a new way. Many people find freshly made green smoothies to be anti-inflammatory and helpful in achieving a healthy weight.
Believe It or Not, Some People Need to Gain Weight
Not everyone needs to burn ample amounts of fat tissue.
In fact, some people need to add weight.
Some people could use a little more body fat but usually what they most need is an increase in lean mass.
If you’re one of these folks, then it seems important to share with you that there are two excellent ways I know of to gain weight:
- nuts and seeds
- strength training
Nuts and seeds are high in calories – the good kind of calories. They are nutrient-dense and packed with protein. My favorite are the sprouted, raw seeds – such as pumpkin seeds.
Though I’m a huge fan of Pilates and yoga, if you’re wanting to gain weight than you need to hit the gym and do some good strength training exercises.
It will add much-needed muscle tissue onto your frame and help you to feel – and look – great.
By the way, if you happen to be a smoker, and you want to gain weight, then quit smoking and you will absolutely add on a few pounds (plus, you’ll live a longer and happier life). If you happen to have medical insurance, you might be able to check yourself into an all-paid 8-day cessation program, and walk out of it a rested and fit – and healthy non-smoker.
Getting Your Own Body Mass Index Tested
We sent Sean Cameron out into the field, to see what it was like to get one’s Body Mass Index (BMI) tested. Here is what he reported:
“To get a more accurate result you can take a Body Mass Index test using a machine. When my local gym was offering a free Body Mass Index test I jumped at the chance to get tested to see if my current weight was a healthy weight.
“My own personal health journey started when I married my vegan wife last year. Not stocking meat and dairy in the fridge meant 18 pounds have dropped-off of me!
“I remember looking at my Body Mass Index before and being a high-normal so it was time to see how much my body has changed.”
“The friendly Gym Instructor imputed my details into a Body Mass Index monitor (as you would in the BMI equation). I then held the machine’s two metal handles so it could calculate my body fat. It does this by sending an electric current through your body tissues and measures the resistance to calculate your total body water, and then determines your fat-free body mass. It also tells you what your healthy weight is.
“If the words ‘electric current’ had you worried, don’t worry – I didn’t feel a thing.”
“You can easily buy one of these machines online but it’s important to use it correctly for a truly accurate result. Luckily I had an expert to guide me or I’d have just held it like a Mario Kart controller.”
“My result was 16.3 percent which is normal for my gender and age (11% to 21%). This meant I had a Body Mass Index of 21.6. which my instructor described as a healthy weight – Naturally, I rushed home to tell the wife.”
Basically, your Body Mass Index is a simple way for you to tell if you are underweight, normal or overweight.
It’s also a way to determine what changes you may need to make – or what progress you are making – on your journey towards a healthy weight.
Free Body Fat Calculator – http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
Volume and Density of Fat VS Muscle – https://plus.google.com/u/0/ DaneFindley/posts/BrKLaMidyfx
Guidelines for Body Fat Percentages – https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/112/what-are-the-guidelines-for-percentage-of-body-fat
The Deal with Inflammation – http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303612804577531092453590070
The Mayo Clinic on Quitting Smoking – http://www.mayoclinic.org/stop-smoking/