Ideal Body Weight
How would you like to add ONE YEAR to your life?
If you're just 10 pounds overweight, you may be cutting your life short by up to 12 months. Only 10 extra pounds may be more hazardous to your cardiovascular health than either diabetes or living with a smoker.
Short and long term weight loss studies indicate that proper weight loss can lower blood pressure, lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, raise "good" (HDL) cholesterol, reduce the odds of getting diabetes, hypertension and even diminish abnormalities in heart structures that are associated with obesity.
An entire year! What would you do with all that extra time? Write your memoirs? Take your dream vacation? Become an activist for a noble cause? Just think of the impact you could make with one free year.
First, you need to learn what your ideal weight is. Most medical journals refer to something known as Body Mass Index or BMI. Your BMI is determined by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters).
That's a bit much for our purposes here.
Instead, I've put together a height/weight table so you can quickly look up, based on your sex and height, what your ideal weight should be. Remember, this is a RANGE. If you are outside the range on either end, you should talk with your doctor or nutritionist about a weight modification program.
One more note, this table is only a measure of weight and obesity based on the Body Mass Index. There are other tests that can be used to determine your overall body composition, such as body fat percentage and your resting metabolic rate (metabolism).
This table was designed by calculating the healthy range of weights using the Body Mass Index (BMI) information for the corresponding heights. Then the healthy range (from 19 to 25) was divided into three groups, small, medium and large.
To find out where in the range you fit, measure your body frame. To do that, check your wrist size. Wrap your middle finger and thumb around your wrist.
- If the fingers overlap, you're small-boned and should be on the lighter end of the scale.
- If your fingers just touch, you'll probably be best around the middle.
- If your fingers don't touch at all, your ideal body weight is probably at the higher end of the scale.
UNDER THE SMALL FRAME RANGE - Thin may be in, but being too thin can actually be unhealthy. Women primarily fall in this category, but it's not unheard of in men. Extreme cases may lead to anorexia, muscle wasting, bone degeneration and even death. If you are under the low frame range, visit a doctor or nutritionist to see what steps you can take to add muscle and put on some healthy weight.
WITHIN THE RANGES - Congratulations. You are in a very select group. Your weight is considered ideal. You should concentrate on proper nutrition and an exercise program to keep yourself in that range.
ABOVE THE LARGE FRAME RANGE - Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about starting a program to lose weight now. But don't just go on a diet. Studies have shown that losing weight through a combination of diet and exercise provides the best long-term results. Most people who only diet tend to gain back all the weight they lose, plus some, within two years. If you put the weight back on, you are basically wiping out the benefits of the weight loss.
If you don't find your height on this table, we'll calculate your ideal body weight automatically.
One thing standardized tables fail to consider is people who have more muscle. If you're heavier than the ideal range that these tables show, it's OK as long as your body fat is within acceptable ranges. That means for men, your body fat should be at 17% or below and women 24% or below.
If you're more than 20% higher than the ideal range for your body, even with a low body fat, your odds of suffering from health related complications starts to increase. Muscle is good, but there's a point where even too much of that isn't beneficial.
Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.