“I need to lose some weight”, is the most common statement we hear around us. But most of us aren’t sure how much weight needs to be lost down. That’s because the definition of ideal weight varies extensively in different places and among different people.
If you belong to a Kardashian kind of family and have the most curvaceous people around you, then your ideal weight could be way high than normal. Alternatively, if you are born and brought up amongst fashion model figures, you could be aiming for a lanky posture and under-weight.
But that does not mean that whatever weight you aim for is ideal for you. How much should you weigh depends not only on how lean or obese you appear, but a number of other factors as well. According to Medical New Today, things like your Age, Muscle to Fat Ratio, Height, Frame Size, Gender, Body Fat Distribution and Bone Density play key roles in determining the perfect weight for your body.
There are a lot of indexes and measurement tools to determine how much you should weigh. These methods use different factors in the calculation process. Let’s take a look at the most widely used and fruitful methods:
Use BMI to calculate how much you should weigh
BMI, or Body Mass Index basically determines your ideal weight with reference to your height. In a general scenario, this index makes perfect sense, as we normally expect the taller people to have more weight than shorter ones.
Here is the Metric (most widely used) formula for BMI calculation. We are taking a 6 ft. tall man weighing 90 kgs:
BMI Metric Units: (Weight in Kilograms) / (Height in Meters)2
So that goes BMI= 90 kg / 1.82882 (meters) = 27.1 BMI
You can take a look at the optimal weight chart here.
Basically, people weighing less than 18.5 BMI are considered underweight. People between 25 and 29.99 BMI are overweight, and the ones crossing 30 BMI are obese.
Why is BMI so popular to calculate the optimal weight for a person?
BMI is arguably the best source of determining your ideal weight. This is because this index is the favorite of most general practitioners in the medical community. It is a very common tendency to relate the weight to height; we all do it. Hence, BMI gains its audience!
Does BMI have any Drawbacks?
A major downside of BMI is also that it takes ONLY height into consideration. Other factors mentioned above like gender, age, muscle to fat ratio, etc., are nowhere in picture. Sportspersons and athletes are usually muscular and large-framed. Hence, their BMI should be higher than normal. Similarly, senior citizens ted to lose their muscle strength with age. So their BMI should be lower than stated with height.
Is BMI dependable in knowing your ideal weight?
Long story short is that BMI is still the most near perfect method to judge the accuracy of your weight. But it does not qualify as a method to determine whether you are healthy or not. Often, physicians add 5% of the calculated weights for people with a supposedly larger muscle to fat strength (athletes and all), and deduct 5% from the calculated BMI of senior citizens and ill people.
Use WTH Ratio to calculate how much you should weigh
The Waist to Hip Ratio (WTH) speaks for itself. You get an idea of your optimal by creating a ratio of the circumference of your waist to that of your hips.
Now, you must be wondering how that would be a perfect weight calculator. Well, you must be knowing about two common body shapes- Apple and Pear. Apple shaped bodies have a larger waist size, while the pear shaped ones have heavier legs.
Scientific studies have shown that people having an apple body shape have a lot of visceral fat around their belly. This means all their vital body organs are surrounded with abdominal fat, making their health more prone to hazards and illness. As mentioned here, American Dietetic Association states that problems like heart diseases, diabetes, cholesterol- all are related to the abdominal fat.
How do you calculate Waist to Hip Ratio?
Begin by measuring your hip and waist. Measure your hips at the largest part of your buttocks. To measure the waist, take the size one inch above your belly button. If you wear low waist stuff, take measurements where you tie your pants.
Women with less than 0.8 WTH have lower risk of health issues.
Women between 0.8-0.89 WTH have moderate risks of health hazards.
Women over 0.9 WTH are largely prone to health problems.
For men, the margins go 0.9, 0.9-0.99 and 1.0 respectively.
Why is WTH becoming so popular for health and weight check?
WTH manages to throw light on the area that’s gaining maximum attention nowadays- the waist. A lot of studies have concluded that abdominal (visceral) fat can pose serious threats to your overall health.
Does WTH have any Drawbacks?
This method does not hold good for people with a large waist and an even larger hipline. For instance, if you have 44 inch waist size and 55 inch hip size, your WTH will fall around 0.8. This means you will be termed healthy by WTH. But are you really?
Is WTH dependable in knowing your ideal weight?
WTH can lead to inaccurate conclusions. It may not be as good as BMI in calculating ideal weight. However, it is a better option for people trying to know more about their health than just weight.
What should you do to reach the ideal weight?
Now that you have understood the whole concept of ideal weight for every age, gender, height, etc. etc., you can create a game plan to achieve it. Whether you are underweight or obese, here are a few cheat sheets to help you lose/gain weight:
It is a preconceived notion that exercise is only for people who want to get thin and lose weight. However, exercising is all about flexing your muscles to ensure overall fitness. Obese people have a different set of workout regimes and the lanky ones are made to exercise in an entirely different way. Since both obese and underweight people are unhealthy in some or the other way, exercising rectifies their core body functioning.
Regular walks, jogging, yoga- these mild exercises are basic for any person to practice.
Junk and oily foods harm your body immensely. Such unhealthy foods interfere with the proper functioning of your organs. Instead, as recommended by WHO, go for raw fruits and vegetables to reach the ideal weight.
Leafy greens, legumes, whole grains and nuts are a complete food and fulfill most of your nutrition requirement. Soak almonds, walnuts and dried figs overnight and eat them in the morning for protein intake. Focus on complex carbohydrate-rich food in your diet instead of simple carbs and trans fats like breads, butter, etc.
An average of 2000 calories per day is ideal for people bearing a normal weight.
There are two kinds of people in this world- the ones who eat to live and the others who live to eat. The former ones eat only as much is important for them to survive, mostly by force. And the latter are gluttons to the core and love to eat a lot. Both the types are polar opposites and don’t really follow the ideal weight-pattern.
The wise thing to do is to eat the optimal amount and at regular intervals. Instead of taking 3 large meals, go for 5-6 smaller meals including main course and snacks in between. Eat enough to fill your stomach, but never overload yourselves by losing control at the sight of delicious food. Check out some eating habits of healthy and fit people.
Last but not least, drink as much water as you possibly can. Water is the perfect and the most unparalleled drink that detoxifies your system completely. A lot of people have moved their focus to Green tea which is also a great drink to stay healthy. But in my opinion, nothing beats pure water to stay in shape.
How does Age affect your Weight?
According to Medline Plus, aging affects your body shape automatically. These changes, however, can be regulated, speeded up or slowed down through correct lifestyle habits.
As you age, your body begins to lose some of its lean tissue eventually. Even the key organs like liver, kidney and overall muscles begin to lose some of their cells. Bones may lose their density and tissues may fall short of the water content. Hence, often the definition of ideal weight changes as you age.
With the help of above mentioned measures, you can calculate your ideal weight and start working on it immediately. A perfect weight signifies a perfect health.