Many of us judge our personal health by our weight. However, in order to know if our weight is healthy, we must answer the question, what is a healthy weight?
Per the Mayo Clinic, a “healthy weight means that you have the right amount of body fat in relation to your overall body mass. It is a weight that allows you to feel energetic, reduces health risks, helps prevent premature aging (such as worn out joints from carrying around too much weight), and gives you the best quality of life.”1 This is an excellent definition of a healthy weight. There are some key phrases that I want to point out to you:
- “the right amount of body fat”
- “feel energetic”
- “prevents premature aging”
- “best quality of life”
Basically, we do need to have some fat, energy to function, slow the wear and tear on our bodies, and live a best quality life. The next question is what is a healthy weight for you and me?
The Mayo Clinic, like many in the medical community, recommends using your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a better measure of body fat than the weight on the scale which includes, fat, muscle, water, tissue, etc. The Mayo Clinic has made it easy with the use of a chart for you and I to find our current BMI, and with a target BMI of 19-24 to find our goal weight. Click the link to access the chart: Mayo Clinic BMI Chart
Now, that we have a clear picture of where we need to be for our best health, here is some helpful information on our weight:
- The best time to weight is in the morning. If mornings are too hectic, weight yourself at the same time of the day on the days you take your weight.
- Use the same scale to avoid scale variability in sensitivity. Sometimes that difference between the numbers past the decimal point, for example 0.7 and 0.5, may make us feel differently.
- The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends that losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy rate of weight loss.2
- Weigh once a week on the same day. Make it a ritual. You may choose to weight yourself more often, but with a healthy goal of 1-2 pounds, you may not see much of a difference on a daily basis.
- Talk to your doctor about your weight to make sure the goals that you set are healthy for you.
As we journey together, incremental improvements will lead to lifelong habits that will keep the weight off and not cause us to rebound. This is a process. We are worth it.
- The Mayo Foundation for Education and Research. 2019. What is your BMI. Accessed on 3/29/2019: http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/eat/what-is-your-bmi?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20160426
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Losing Weight. Accessed on 3/29/2019: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html