Now, you know that you want to lose weight. But how do you face this battle..how do you pick the right weight for you and your body structure? Do you find the model on the cover of a fashion magazine or your best friend, whose body you like, and try to reach the same weight as her? Or wait, do we pull out that prom dress or cheerleader outfit and set a “through back” target weight of 25+ years ago?
Nooooooooooooooooooooo…non of these are good ways to set a weight loss goal. There is no formula where you can just plug in your height, age, and gender and get a picture perfect number spit back at you. Remember, ladies, our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made…bottom line, WE ARE UNIQUE! When striving to get our unique ideal body weight, we have to consider health risk and personal satisfaction with our own appearance (not what another person thinks)…not even yo Boo, but what YOU think. Your ideal body weight is much more than a number on a scale: it is more like a state of being.
You’re at your ideal body weight when:
Your weight isn’t causing (or putting you at risk for) any health problems
Your weight doesn’t limit you from living the life you want
You can accept your body as it is, without feeling uncomfortably self-conscious
You can enjoy being in your own skin, without worrying too much about how you compare to others (or cultural ideals)
Height/Weight Charts, With electronics taking over calculating things that we used to do manually, the BMI machines have pretty much replaced the “old” height/weight manual charts. Below is the HANWI formula that has been around since before I was born. This is a quick and simple ways to estimate the normal weight range for your height. Here’s a simple formula you can use:
Women: Allow 100 pounds for the first 60 inches of height, plus 5 pounds for each additional inch (i.e. 130 pounds for someone that is 66 inches tall). Men: Allow 106 pounds for the first 60 inches of height, plus 6 pounds for each additional inch (i.e. 154 for someone that is 68 inches tall).
The number you get above is the midpoint of the normal range; subtract or add 10% to get the low and high ends (117-143 pounds for the female above, 139-169 pounds for the man).
People of average frame size should weigh close to the midpoint number, while those with large or small frames should be closer to the high or low end of the range. To determine whether you are large, small, or average frame, make a circle around the wrist of your dominant hand at the widest point (over the bones that protrude) with the thumb and middle finger of your opposite hand. If your thumb and finger don’t touch, you are large framed; if they just barely touch, you are medium, and if they overlap you are small framed.
Does you goal weight fit well within these ranges? If not, you might want to adjust it.
The method above will give you a good starting point for setting a goal weight that is reasonable (and healthy) for your height, gender, and age. However, not everyone will fit well within these ranges, and there’s no guarantee that a normal weight will mean good health everyone (or that being above normal automatically means you’ll have health problems, for that matter). Your state of health depends on other factors as well, including the quality of your diet and your exercise routine. But if the goal weight or measurements you’re hoping to achieve are very far outside the ranges you get from these methods, that’s a good indication that you may need to think twice about how realistic your goal is.
Valecia Weeks is a Professional Licensed Massage Therapist through the state of Texas as well as a birth Doula. She is a licensed ZUMBA instructor and a certified personal trainer with NESTA.