What Is a Healthy Weight for You?

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Part of being healthy is getting to and staying at a healthy weight. We’re not talking about being skinny. We’re talking about achieving a weight that reduces your risk for disease.

You’ll also find that maintaining a healthy weight gives you more energy, improves your mood, and helps you tackle those day-to-day challenges life always throws at you.

Have you tried to eat better or get to the gym more often in an attempt to lose weight? Most of us have. It’s tough to make changes when you’re surrounded by unhealthy choices and constant demands on your time.

Sometimes it’s best to set a realistic goal, then begin making small adjustments in your eating and exercise plan. If you keep walking in the right direction, you’ll surely get there. The staff at FIT Academy is here to help you reach your fitness goals.

How much should you weigh to be healthy?

One way to determine a healthy weight for yourself is to check your body mass index (BMI). That’s the criteria healthcare professionals most often refer to for a quick assessment.

If your BMI is too low or too high, that typically means you’re at a higher risk for many health problems, regardless of how you perceive yourself to look and feel. You can use the table below to find your BMI.

  1. Find your height in the column on the left
  2. Locate the number closest to your present weight in the row across the top
  3. Draw a line across the row and down the column to find your BMI

Men and women both use the same BMI chart, even though the way they carry their weight is often different.

BMI and weight
BMI Chart – Courtesy of NC Public Health Dept – Public Domain

How to interpret your BMI number and determine your ideal weight

Here are the generally recognized BMI breakdowns. We realize that not all bodies are the same. The information here consists of overall guidelines. Talk with your physician to get specific recommendations.

BMI number groups and comments:

BMI under 19: Indicates an underweight condition for most people. Add some pounds. You may have bone loss and low iron. Women may not be getting their monthly periods. You may get sick often or feel sad and tired. Getting pregnant while underweight can also be risky and lead to health problems for both mom and baby. Ask your healthcare provider for recommendations.

BMI 19–24: Indicates healthy weight. Congratulations! Keep up the good work by eating smart and moving more. Check your BMI at least once a year to make sure you stay on the right track.

BMI 25–29: Indicates an overweight condition. Let’s get started! You are more likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure,and heart conditions. Getting pregnant while overweight can increase health risks for both mom and baby, such as premature birth and certain types of birth defects. The good news is you can improve your health by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds.

BMI 30+: Indicates obesity. Are you ready to make a change? You may already have diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. You may also be at a higher risk for stroke and certain types of cancer. Getting pregnant while obese can increase health risks for both mom and baby, such as premature birth and certain types of birth defects. Making small changes over time will add up fast and move you toward a healthier weight.

How to set and reach your healthy weight goal

Check the green area of the BMI chart and choose a weight goal based on your height. For example, if you are 5 feet 4, a healthy weight for you is between 110 pounds and 149 pounds.

Once you know how much weight lies between you and your goal, you can start working towards that destination. Each pound you lose will move you towards a healthier weight and gain invaluable health benefits for you over the long run.

Here at FIT Academy, we’re on your side all the way. Through a combination of better eating and a steady commitment to exercise, most people can get to their healthy weight goal within a reasonable amount of time.

The amount of time will depend on where you are, where you need to be, and your commitment to the change.

Talk with a FIT Academy coach. Let us know what you plan to do, and we’ll go out of our way to help you and encourage you on the journey.

-- Thanks to the North Carolina Public Health Department for the information in this article.
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