A Healthy Weight-by Jennifer Scott
Weight Loss 101An important step in your weight loss journey is setting a realistic goal for your end weight and/or BMI (Body Mass Index).
Your Goal WeightIt's just not sensible to start a weight loss plan without first considering an important question: Is the weight I want to achieve realistic for my body? Answering this question truthfully will go a long way in preventing frustration down the road.
Hopefully, you have already talked to your doctor about your weight, you should have a healthy weight goal in mind based on what she told you.
If you haven't seen a doctor yet, you can find reliable height and weight charts at your doctor's office or a local hospital wellness center. You can also access some, like the one the USDA provides, online.
Rather than setting a "magic number" as your goal weight, give yourself a range within about five pounds of your healthy weight.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, consider making mini-goals of five or 10 pounds every six weeks to two months rather than focusing on your end weight.
As a rule of thumb, you should weigh yourself once a week as you diet. You should try to weigh yourself at the same time each day to get consistent readings as your weight can vary throughout the day.
Your BMIYour doctor may also assess your BMI. BMI is the most widely-used form of weight-tracking today. It helps health care providers measure your risk for weight-related health issues.
You can find out your own BMI with a simple formula:
Divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared. Multiply by 705.
For example, consider a woman who is 5'6" and weighs 190 pounds:
Height of 5'6" = 66 inches
66 squared (66 x 66) = 4,356
190 divided by 4,356 = 0.0436
0.0436 x 705 = 30.75
This individual's BMI would be rounded up to 31.
BMI is categorized as follows:
- Less than 18.5--underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9--normal weight
- 25 to 29.9--overweight (Individuals who fall into the BMI range of 25 to 34.9 begin having some health risk concerns.)
- 30 or more--obese
- 40 or more--morbidly obese
Your Waist-to-Hip RatioLast, but not least, your doctor may also mention your waist-to-hip ratio.
Waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by taking your waist circumference and dividing it by your hip circumference.
Those who are considered "apple-shaped" (fat accumulates around the belly) are at a much higher risk for heart disease and hypertension than those who tend to carry their weight in the hips or thighs.
Pretty informative stuff!