What Is a Healthy Weight

By Ken D Taylor | Healthy Aging Body

Apr 29
what-is-healthy-weight

Finding your healthy weight is a very important part of healthy aging...
Learn to find what is healthy for you.

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“I’m in shape. Round is a shape.” - Garfield the Cat

healthy-weight-problem

The Problem With Healthy Weight

One of the biggest problems that many people, including a large percentage of doctors, focus on is keeping your weight below a certain number. The idea is that this will reduce your risk of diseases that tend to show up in people with higher levels of body fat, such as diabetes. This seems to make sense. The only draw back is that focusing only on weight may not be the best idea for you. There may be more here that meets the eye.

Let's take a look at what the experts say about maintaining a healthy weight so we can help you find out whether you're okay now or you've got some trimming to do, and how best to monitor yourself as you trim away.​

healthy-weight-recommendations

Conventional Weight Recommendations​

Many people believe that being fat can lead directly to a reduced lifespan and an increased risk of disease.​

This is an idea that the media reinforces frequently with headlines that directly connect deaths to obesity. This is why doctors and health organizations recommend trying to keep your weight at a specific level. ​

Unfortunately, no one really knows whether diabetes, heart disease and similar conditions that often occur in heavier people are caused be the extra weight or if the weight gain and the diseases occur because of other factors, such as inactivity and genetics. 

That means while weight charts can be a beneficial place to start, they shouldn't overrule other healthy indicators.

What you may want to do:

  • Find out all that you can about your family history
    • Does your family have any obesity or overweight issues?
    • Hearth disease?
    • Diabetes?
  • What is your lifestyle now
healthy-bmi

BMI and Its Problems​

The body mass index (BMI) has been around for a while and has a few caveats to be aware of.

Doctors recommend maintaining a BMI of about 19 to 25 for most people. One of the caveats is this method of measurement isn't always relevant. In fact, BMI was designed to keep track of body mass for large populations, not individuals. BMI doesn't measure how much body fat you have either. 

That means that some people with little muscle mass and lots of fat may show a healthy BMI, while folks who have a lot of muscle and less fat may be listed as obese.

BMI-Who benefits, who doesn't

  • Athletes who have a lot of muscle - no benefit
    These folks will get an overestimation of body fat.
  • Elderly people who have lost muscle - no benefit
    BMI will underestimate their body fat.
  • Anyone else - can benefit
    BMI should be good as a rough guide.
  • Pregnant women getting a BMI during first prenatal visit to the doctor - can benefit
    • Obese women who are planning on having children should seek preconception counseling
measure-waist

The Important Measurements For Finding Your Healthy Body Weight

Keeping tabs on your body weight and taking BMI's are just a couple of measurements to help you find your healthy body weight. Remember, this is just one important factor of a healthy body.

Another important measurement is simply measuring your waistline. In fact, this is a better way to predict possible healthy issues that may be coming your way.

You see, when your belly and other organs are surrounded with fat, giving you a large waistline, you are priming yourself to develop obesity-related health issues as you get older.

The Correct Way To Measure Your Waistline:

  • Use a flexible cloth measuring tape directly on your skin.
  • The sweet spot for measuring is the equator that is just about in line with your belly button.
  • Make sure the tape is not twisted against your back and is comfortably snug against the skin - not so snug that you're digging into your skin.
  • Take a couple of breaths and mark your measurement after a normal exhale

The numbers you want to avoid:

  • For the men folk:
    • 94cm - 104cm / 37in - 40in: You're overweight and headed for an increased risk of obesity and related heart conditions
    • 104cm/40in or more: You're obese and headed for a very substantial increased risk of heart disease
  • For the Ladies
    • 80cm - 88cm /31.5in - 35in: You too are overweight and headed for an increased risk of obesity and related heart conditions.
    • 88cm/35in or more: You're obese and headed for a very substantial increased risk of heart disease.

Exceptions to the above:

  • Waist measurements are meant for adults
  • The above measurements are geared more for Caucasian men and women and Asian women
  • For Asian men 90cm/35.5in: You're overweight. Over 100cm/39in you're obese.

It's highly recommended that you talk with your doctor. That way you'll have a better understanding what is most appropriate for you.

best-time-to-weigh

The Best Time To Weigh & Measure Yourself

Now that we got that under our belt, let's turn now to the best way to weight and measure yourself. A simple routine but very important in helping you find and work your way to a more healthier kilo/pound of you.

To start, you need to have a decent scale. I'm using a Tanita Ironman. It's really nice. It measures not only weight but body fat %, basal metabolic rate (BMR), muscle mass, visceral fat, and my favorite, metabolic age. The last one is really nice when it reads 10-years younger than you are. 🙂

tanita-ironman

Tanita Ironman Body Composition Scale

The Tanita Ironman is the best health scale to monitor weight, body fat, muscle mass, metabolic age and MORE!
Click here to read the review

It's best to weigh and measure yourself about three hours after rising, having a meal or after doing a hard workout. You want to be completely naked.

To give you an idea. I usually measure myself once a week in the late morning. Also include taking the waistline measurement at this time too.

Taking your readings in a consistent manner will give you the most accurate readings. Then you can see a more accurate percentage of change over time.

All this should be done in consultation with your doctor. Once you have established where you are now with your weight and the healthy weight goal you want to achieve, you can start using healthy body strategies that will help you best reach your healthy weight goal. 

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About the Author

Ken D Taylor is an active aging member of the human race. His mission is finding ways to make each trip around the sun filled with healthy days-- his story

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