Monday, August 30, 2010

How Much Should You Weigh?

[I am blessed to have been asked to join the staff of the Fat2Fit Club blog (Fat2Fit Club) as one of their resident experts. This post first appeared on their wonderful site.]

Those of you who know me know that I DO NOT consider weight to be a valid measure of health. However, many people are curious about what their “ideal” weight might be. We are inundated with pictures of rail-thin models, both male and female, who probably have to run around in the shower just to get wet. These images can make us think that abnormally low weights are healthy, which they often are not. The truth is that we each have a very unique ideal weight, and that it may change as as our lifestyle changes. My belief is that how we FEEL is far more important than how much we WEIGH. Most people begin to feel more energy and have a more positive outlook as a result of losing weight. Increasing exercise levels can often accomplish those things even if weight loss does not occur.

I’ve shared a formula below that provides a guideline … NOT an absolute. Again, please don’t get hung up on numbers. Merely use this formula to help you set your own goals related to weight loss. For instance, my “ideal” weight as a 5’6″ woman with a large frame is 140 lbs, a weight which many people would consider “heavy.” Because of my physical make-up, I can fit into a size 4 at a weight of 140. Obviously, everyone’s physical structure is unique, so use the formula that follows merely as a suggestion. I confess that I find it runs a bit thin, so please do not be alarmed at the number it delivers as your "ideal" weight. Take it with a grain of salt and focus on improving your overall health.

Body weight is dependent on a lot of different factors. Believe it or not, bone density, liver size and brain size can affect weight. (So, the next time someone says you’re overweight, just tell them you have a big brain.) The numbers are not as important as the physical and emotional effects your weight has on your outlook and attitude.

A very simple formula for calculating your ideal weight is:

Men: Add 6 pounds for every inch of height over 5 feet to a base weight of:

Small Frame: 110 lbs
Medium Frame: 115 lbs
Large Frame: 120 lbs

Women: Add 5 pounds for every inch of height over 5 feet to a base weight of:

Small Frame: 100 lbs
Medium Frame: 105 lbs
Large Frame: 110 lbs

*I modified the formula to include the following:

Women: Add 5 lbs of body weight if you have a C cup bra size; add 7 lbs if you have a D cup.

Ok … what do you think? Is this formula crazy? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

In my next post, I’ll share a formula for how to determine how much food is needed to maintain whatever “ideal” weight you choose for yourself.

Have a glorious day!

Pamela Reilly, Naturopath, CNHP, CNC, CPH
Good Works Wellness

If those of you in Indianapolis would like personal support in your fitness and weight loss journey, feel free to check out my Smart & Fit Program which starts in September: Smart & Fit Program