As you go about starting to make important changes in your diet and workout plan to foster a healthier lifestyle and reach your goal weight, one question that may come is the question of how much you should weigh.
While you may have a goal number in mind – possibly derived from a weight that you used to weigh back in your collage days, that goal number isn’t always in line with what would be considered a healthy weight for you to be at.
It’s vital that you take health into consideration here because if you don’t and attempt to lose more weight than you should, not only are you putting yourself at health risk, but you’re going to find that your body fights you more and more to get down to this very low weight, making the process of weight loss seem miserable.
When assessing how much you should weigh, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at what these are so you can get an appropriate answer to this question.
Look Beyond Body Weight
The very first thing that you must do is to remember that you should always look beyond just your body weight. The problem with just using the number staring back up at you from the scale as your one and only guide is that it doesn’t take into account how much lean muscle mass you have.
Those who have more muscular bodies may weigh more as muscle is a very dense form of body tissue, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are overweight or unhealthy.
In fact, you can have someone who has plenty of lean muscle mass such as a professional athlete who is heavier than someone who doesn’t, but yet is a whole lot healthier as they’re in shape and don’t have the body fat accumulation that the lighter person does.
It’s not weight that you want to concern yourself so much with, but more your body fat percentage.
If you can get your body fat percentage tested then this will be the absolute best indicator of how healthy you are.
Males, who require less absolute body fat compared to females, should have a body fat percentage within the range of 8 and 22% while females should have a healthy body fat range of between 21 and 35%.
If you fall beyond this body fat range then you’ll want to seriously consider losing weight as you’re carrying excess body fat, which is putting you at risk for health conditions.
If you’re within the healthy range but have a very high body weight, then you needed concern yourself with this as it simply indicates that you have a large portion of lean muscle mass – tissue that will actually promote health rather than take away from it.
Factor In Genetics
Another important thing to consider when answering the question of how much should I weigh is your genetic background.
If you have a family history of obesity, then while you can definitely fight this through a healthy lifestyle and regular workout sessions, just realize that there is a slightly higher chance that you may also struggle with gaining weight.
While you definitely cannot use genetics as an excuse for being overweight, your parents will influence factors such as how fast your metabolism is and the propensity of your body to store body fat.
Remember though that both of these can be altered with a good diet and workout program so it’s definitely not something that you have no control over.
Simply, it’s just something to be aware of as it may come to influence your body weight over time if you’re not careful.
Utilize A BMI Chart
Now, one tool that you can use to assess your body weight with is a BMI chart. These have been developed by medical professionals and will look at your height against your body weight and help to place you in a certain range so you can see whether you’re classified as healthy, underweight, overweight, or obese.
While the BMI chart is definitely a good one to use and can give you some type of representation of how much you should weigh based on your height, bare in mind that for those who are very muscular, these charts are notoriously off.
You could be a professional football player and rank in as the obese category despite the fact that you have lower than average levels of body fat.
So use the BMI chart but always take into account your own individual body. If you clearly can see that you aren’t carrying a lot of excess body fat and are coming in as overweight, don’t stress about this. For some people these charts are very off.
For the ‘average’ individual though they do tend to provide a good guideline to use.
Remember Fluctuations Are Normal
Finally, last but not least, keep in mind when assessing how much you should weigh that fluctuations are quite normal.
If you step on the scale one day and see that it’s gone up 3-4 pounds, try not to get too worked up over this. Step on it again in a few days and see if that ‘gain’ is still there.
Weight fluctuations are incredibly common, especially among women, and can be due to the foods we eat, the time of the month, or even stressors that we are facing in our life (high levels of stress tend to cause the body to retain water).
By taking this into account you can better assess whether it’s true weight gain you’re experiencing. When answering the question for how much you should weigh for yourself, set a weight range, not a specific number as this will be a much healthier approach to take.
So there you have everything that you need to remember about how much you should weigh. If you keep these points in mind, then you should definitely be able to derive a safe and healthy body weight for you to be at.