Wondering what is the key to maintaining a healthy weight? You aren’t alone. An estimated 160 million Americans are overweight or obese, and getting that weight under control is one of the essential keys to lifelong health and quality of life.
And while the tips for reaching a healthy weight are simple on paper, obviously many people struggle to adhere to them on a regular basis.
That’s why we’ve put together this short guide that tells you if you’re at a healthy weight, and how to stay there if you get there (or once you do).
What Is A Healthy Weight?
There are different ways to determine what a healthy weight is. For example, body mass index (BMI) is a popular test. BMI takes into account your height and weight and gives you a number between 18.5 and 35.
Because your weight is a combination of several different tissues and not just fat, you do have to take into account height to determine a healthy weight for you.
- If you’re 5 feet tall, a healthy weight is between 97 and 127 pounds.
- If you’re 5 feet tall, you’d be considered obese if you weigh 153 to 179 pounds.
- If you’re 6 feet tall, a healthy weight is between 140 and 183 pounds.
- If you’re 6 feet tall, you’d be considered obese if you weigh 221 to 258 pounds.
As you can see, the numbers vary greatly.
The drawback to BMI is that it doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass. So if you are an athlete or have a lot of muscle from exercising, the BMI scale might consider you overweight, or even obese at a relatively low body-fat percentage.
Other Healthy Weight Tests
BMI isn’t the end-all-be-all of healthy weight tests. There are other calculators you can use to determine if you are overweight.
- Taking a waist circumference measurement (this one you can do at home like BMI)
- Hydrostatic testing
- Waist-to-hip ratio
- Body Adipose Index (BAI)
Talk to your doctor about these alternative methods or use Google to find a calculator to help you do it at home.
Are You At A Healthy Weight?
Now that you’ve done a few calculations, you should know if you’re at a healthy weight or not. This information will help inform your decision-making throughout the rest of this article, so go calculate that number now.
If you aren’t interested in taking tests (because you either know you aren’t at a healthy weight or just don’t want to do it), you can proceed under the assumption that you may have some weight to lose.
Tips For Losing Weight
There are several things you can do to get yourself down to a healthy weight. Many of them may not seem new (most people know about diet and exercise, for example), but you might be surprised at the level of commitment you have to make to shed fat.
As the old adage goes, abs aren’t made in the kitchen. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, so the first thing you need to get under control if you want to achieve a healthy weight is your nutrition.
Most diets focus on scarcity, meaning you omit certain foods or food groups from your diet in an effort to lose weight. But you can do the opposite and still get results.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on eating three good meals a day. Base those three meals around wholesome foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fat sources. And avoid processed foods and sugar.
Also consider things like:
- Portion control- if you eat too many calories, you won’t lose weight no matter what you eat
- Meal timing- some people do better with one or two big meals per day. Others find it easier to eat several small meals throughout the day. Find what works for you.
- Supplements- vitamins, minerals, fish oil, and veggie capsules can help you account for the foods you aren’t getting in your diet.
The other end of the weight-loss sword, if you will, is exercise. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or a ton of knowledge about lifting weights to move your body daily. Simply start with daily walks and some at-home bodyweight exercises, and you might be surprised by the results.
At the end of the day, weight loss is largely contingent on the number of calories you eat. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll burn and the more food you’ll be able to eat.
Did you know sleep loss limits fat loss? When we sleep, our body’s recover and repair hormones ramp up, and your internal environment is actually quite conducive to burning excess fat. Depriving yourself of sleep is a surefire way to have that weight stick around.
Not sleeping enough is also a stress on the body, which has been proven to lead to belly fat in certain people.
Above All, Stay Consistent
If you aren’t at a healthy weight, you need to be patient and take it one day at a time. It’s unlikely that you’ll get results in one week or even a month. Instead of focusing on when you’ll “arrive” at your results, focus on making the healthy habits you’re enlisting now a lifestyle.
This, above all, is the most important thing for maintaining a healthy weight. Too many people achieve their weight goal only to gain it back because they didn’t focus on the daily habits that made them successful.
What Is The Key To Maintaining A Healthy Weight?
At the beginning of this article, you were wondering what is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Well, now you know.
Informing yourself about your current numbers matters, and so do daily habits like exercise, nutrition, and sleep. But above all, if you want to maintain your weight, you need to be consistent and stick with it.
Otherwise, the weight you lose will come right back. So focus on today and don’t worry about tomorrow!
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