So as promised I have done a little reading online into the whole ‘ideal weight’ malarkey and just as I expected, you should take it with a pinch of salt! In a nut shell, the reasons being: It shows no consideration for body composition and makes no distinction between lean body weight and fat body weight.
So whilst it gives a rough guide of what your weight should be, that is really all it is, a ROUGH guide. The same also goes for Body Mass Index (BMI). In fact, the height-weight ratio charts were originally created for insurance purposes, not health and fitness! Therefore, we shouldn’t rely upon the scales as at primary measure of weight loss, and such a focus is often the very reason that many fail on their journey!
The best measurement of weigh loss is in fact the body fat percentage! There are several methods through which body fat percentage can be measured, machines are often used (such as the healthy weight machine I used at boots) but there is a great deal of scepticism over the accuracy of this particular method. The most reliable method of measurement is the use of calipers; these are readily available to purchase and guidelines of how to measure correctly can be found in abundance. However, I personally would not trust my own measurements so I will be sticking to the trusty old weight machine at boots… Whilst it may not be completely accurate, it can give me a round about idea at the least!
Additionally, according to the NHS, the circumference of an individual’s waist can provide information on their health; excess fat carried around the stomach can cause more health problems than fat carried around the thighs or bum. Individuals who carry excess weight around their stomach are suggested to be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and suffer from heart problems. The ‘ideal’ waist circumference for a female according to the NHS is 32″ or less, a measurement between 32-35″ is classes as high, whilst anything greater that 35″ is deemed very high. These measurement differ for males, these can be found on the NHS website.
In order to work out the health risks of your waist circumference, you can use the simple formula of dividing your waist circumference by your hip circumference. A ratio of greater than 0.85 means you are carrying to much weight around your middle.
Reading this reminded me to take some measurements and from these I worked out my hip:waist ratio (37/39) giving me a result of 0.95. Yes whilst this is only a mere 0.1 away from the recommended maximum ratio, after trying it with a range of numbers it is evident that I would need to lose at least 5″ from my waist in order to gain a result of below 0.85! Furthermore, any inch loss from my hips would reasily in the need of a greater loss from my waist in order to maintain a 0.85 ratio! So that little 0.1 is actually pretty big!!
So what is your ideal weight? Well that’s easy, it’s whatever you weigh when your body fat percentage is within the recommended range! Of course, it is important to remember that none of the afore mentioned methods measure your health or your value as a person, these can not be measured. Therefore, such methods should simply be used as tools to help us gain a level of insight into our bodies!
big love 😘