What is Healthy Body Weight? Find Out Here
A simple search of “What is healthy body weight” returns thousands of different calculators that attempt to index your ideal body weight.
But the truth is, those calculators and measurements are at best loose estimations of your body composition based merely on your height, weight and age.
The true method of determining a healthy body weight is a complex, subjective process. Finding an ideal body weight with charts and formulas should be reserved for qualified professionals. Instead, focus on a weight that makes you feel healthy, energetic and allows you to eat and live normally.
One of the biggest indicators of a healthy body weight is your energy level. Having enough energy to be social, play sports and concentrate during school and work is an important step towards living a fulfilling life.
Promoting a healthy body weight
Eating habits can be a good method of identifying your healthy body weight. Healthy eaters generally eat only when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Your meals should have variety and be balanced across the food groups.
Here are some tips from Brown University’s Health Promotion.
Have breakfast within an hour of waking up.
Your body is craving fuel after a night’s sleep. Not only does having breakfast support an optimal metabolism, but studies have shown that having breakfast helps our bodies with appetite control. Study participants were found to experience less hunger all day long when they had breakfast –there’s something about that meal that is uniquely satisfying to the body.
Be regular with meals and snacks; try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours.
Erratic eating patterns with more than 4 hours between meals and snacks may cause the body to fight back against what it perceives as deprivation and uncertainty. It may cause the metabolic rate to drop, and it may signal the body to preferentially store calories as fat instead of spending them freely.
Think of the peace symbol when you’re planning your plate at lunch and dinner.
Aim to fill 2/3 of your plate with carbohydrates: a fruit serving, a cooked or raw vegetable serving, and a grain. The last third of your plate is for a serving of protein (animal or vegetable). Add a serving or 2 of fat to round things off, if your other food choices don’t contain much fat. This meal mix: carbohydrate + protein + fat provides the fast acting and long acting sources of energy that keep people well-fueled and satisfied for a longer period of time. When you are well satisfied, you’re less likely to feel compelled to “nibble” during the day, and you aren’t likely to arrive at the next meal or snack over-hungry and prone to over-eat.
Start eating when you are comfortably hungry, and stop eating when you are comfortably full.
Eating when you are at a comfortable level of physical hunger (instead of starving), and finishing when you are comfortably full (instead of stuffed) is one of the most powerful ways to make sure that your caloric intake stays appropriate.
Speak to a nutritionist to get help setting a perfect meal plan for you.
- Treat your body with respect.
- Give it enough rest.
- Fuel it with a variety of foods.
- Exercise moderately.
- Resist the pressure to judge yourself and others based on weight, shape, or size.
- Respect people based on the qualities of their character and accomplishments, rather than just because of their appearance.
Listen to your Body
- Choose a variety of foods that contribute to a healthy diet, and eat when you are truly hungry. Stop when you’re full.
- Eat what appeals to you. Do this instead of any diet, and you’re likely to maintain a healthy weight and avoid eating disorders.