Health experts give you the facts about healthy weight, whether it’s related to a healthy lifestyle or your heart rate.
Complicated to define, healthy weight
More than 40% of adult Americans are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So it’s no wonder so many people are trying to lose weight. In fact, even if you aren’t exactly the weight you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lose it.
“With all the attention paid to weight loss today, people are often conditioned to think that no matter how much they weigh, it’s never right,” says Lori Zanini, registered dietitian in Manhattan Beach, Calif. It’s unfortunate and it puts unnecessary pressure on individuals who may be perfectly fine the way they are. ” There is no single formula for how much you should weigh. Being healthy can take different forms for everyone. It can also change as you get older, she explains. “It might not match what you see in the movies or even in your own photos from 10 years ago.”
If we can’t trust societal cues and a bathroom scale, how can we tell when our bodies are fine – and healthy – as they are? See if you can relate to these eight telltale signs.
You have a healthy lifestyle
Even though a healthy lifestyle is a priority for you, you have failed to lose weight. It’s frustrating, of course. Make sure you’re not following a suboptimal diet, such as those that require you to cut out certain food groups altogether.
Another reason that could explain why you always stay at the same weight: you are already at a healthy weight.
“I often see patients who are active and feeling good, but have a high body mass index (BMI) because of their muscle mass,” says Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at Boston Medical. Center.
Being healthy is more about strong muscles than about weight. Regular weight lifting, endurance exercise, healthy eating can all help you feel fit and achieve the weight your body naturally wants to achieve in order to stay healthy. “
You are overflowing with energy
If you can get through your day without having four cups of coffee or a ton of caffeinated sodas, you’re probably at a healthy weight. (These seven things can drain energy, though.) “When you’re at your ideal weight, you feel fit and energized,” says Stephanie Middleberg, dietitian in New York City. While this may seem like an imprecise indicator, science supports the same point.
According to a 2015 study published in the journal Sleep and involving 1,300 volunteers, people with a healthy weight are less likely to experience episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness than people who are obese.
You are almost at your goal and your weight is stable
If you’re healthy, relatively close to your target weight, and have seen the same number appear on the scale for years now, your body is probably fine the way it is – even if you think there is room for ” improvement ”. (If you’re unsure of your approach to eating, here are 10 reasons why your diet doesn’t seem to be working.) “Your ideal weight should be a goal you can achieve and maintain without restricting yourself too much,” explains Stephanie Middleberg.
“If you are at a healthy weight, your current weight should be fairly stable. You shouldn’t constantly lose or gain weight, ”adds Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, author of The Super Woman RX.
Consider your resting heart rate
While the majority of people aim to maintain a healthy weight, wearing a size 4 or 6 is something that might cross the mind of some. This is a question that goes well beyond appearance, however. This is about your overall health, including your resting heart rate (the number of times your heart beats per minute when you are at rest).
While a lower rate indicates that your heart is working well, a higher rate could be a warning sign of heart disease. “A normal rhythm is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, and the lower the number, the better the physical condition regardless of weight,” says dietitian Lori Zanini. As long as you are at an acceptable level for your health, you shouldn’t bother too much with those few pounds that you are still trying to lose out of pride.
You have a healthy waistline
If excess fat lodges around your waist, you may be at higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, warns Lori Zanini. “For men, a healthy waist measurement is less than 100cm while women should aim for less than 89cm.” Not sure how to do it? To get an accurate number, measure with a strip placed just below your belly button; if you’re under the upper limit, you probably don’t need to lose weight to be healthier.
Trying to lose weight makes you unhappy
Dieting can actually be emotionally damaging: certain dietary restrictions can double your risk for depression. Take the time to analyze your efforts first: if you continue to exercise and eat well and the number on the scale does not move, it could be a sign that your weight is where it should be and that your body doesn’t want to lose any more weight, according to dietitian and personal trainer Jim White. (It could also indicate that you are building muscle and losing fat, which is also a good thing.)
“This is especially true if you feel like you really couldn’t eat better or train harder or for longer without taking a toll on your life,” he explains. No one wants to spend four hours a day at the gym or give up all of their favorite foods. Tell yourself that if your body is fine the way it is, it’s probably not worth doing the same.
“Each person has what is called a natural weight. This is the weight at which your body is naturally comfortable without the need for excessive training or a strict diet, ”explains Lori Zanini.
“People who try to drop under a certain weight by imposing severe calorie restrictions or intense training and who have difficulty doing so maybe trying too hard to drop below their natural weight. Result? Their body fights back and can prevent them from losing those stubborn few pounds, says Lori Zanini. Knowing if you’re at your natural weight can be quite a challenge, but it’s usually a weight that is easy to maintain for a long time and doesn’t lead to cravings or cravings, ”she concludes.
You are already thin
Your body fat level is a good indication of your fitness level. Believe it or not, people who are not overweight can be too fat – their fat percentage puts them at risk even if their weight is in the lower range. And the opposite is also true: some people can appear heavy even if their body fat level is normal.
Instead of relying on a scale, BMI, or chart to determine if you’re the right weight, consider getting your body fat tested, suggests Christine M. Palumbo, a dietitian-nutritionist in Naperville, in Illinois.
“Companies offer annual biometric tests for insurance purposes and many sports clubs also offer this service. If your fat levels are normal for your age and gender, you are probably at the right weight. ” According to the American Council on Exercise, a healthy rate is between 14% and 31% for women and between 6% and 24% for men.
You like your appearance
Forget the BMI and healthy weight charts because they just aren’t accurate, says Isabel Smith, celebrity dietitian in New York City. “The Body Mass Index is misleading because it does not take into account fat in relation to muscle. Healthy weight charts and calculators can be valuable tools, but they shouldn’t be completely relied on. And there are surely other factors to consider. “
With your happiness in mind, Isabel Smith explains that your ideal weight should be the one where you feel happy and healthy. “By focusing on adopting positive, healthy behaviors, you will start to feel better about your body and you are likely to improve your overall health and also your appearance.”
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