Find your perfect weight
Old-school nutrition will tell you that you need to fall within your healthy weight range according to your BMI to be at your perfect weight.
For all those who are new at this, BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is commonly used to give you an idea of whether you’re “underweight”, “overweight”, “obese” or an “ideal weight” for your height.
Here is the thing. BMI was never intended to be used to measure individuals health. The BMI was originally devised in the 1830s for a study on human growth and, a century later was adopted by insurers and researchers studying obesity. Because it was convenient, non-intrusive and can be used for everyone with a body, BMI was adopted as an easy and inexpensive way for doctors to assess weight in their patients.
Although never intended to be used for individuals (only populations), today we are told that our health is determined by our BMI. Well, that simply isn’t the case.
The notion that thin people are healthy and large people unhealthy is a load of crap!
For example, a person could eat junk food all day, never exercise, maintain a lean build but be considered healthy according to BMI. On the flip side, someone else could be an athlete, train daily, eat really well and be considered obese (and therefore, unhealthy) according to BMI.
Recent studies have found that many people with BMI levels at the low end of normal are less healthy than those now considered overweight. And some people who are overly fat according to their BMI are just as healthy as those considered to be of normal weight. This leads me to conclude that:
The size of your body does not dictate your health.
How you treat your body determines your health.
Regardless of your size or weight, the question always needs to be: Am I healthy? What can I do today to take care of my health?
Do you have a goal weight?
Perhaps it is an arbitrary number you formulated in your mind or you last weighed that amount at your wedding, when you once had food poisoning or when you were 12.
Maybe you are sitting at a ‘healthy’ weight but are keen to lose a few more kilos just to ‘feel more comfortable’. I know when I was struggling with my body and food, my happy weight was far lower than what was actually possible.
The problem with creating a ‘perfect weight’ goal is that you may be sabotaging your weight and health to get there. Research and experience show that focusing on weight loss as your primary goal is most likely to produce weight cycling and, over time, worse health outcomes.
So then, what is the alternative? How do I find a weight at which I am comfortable, healthy and feel great?
Sidenote: I’d love for you to listen to my podcast No Wellness Wankery, which will help you sidestep wellness wankery (phew!) so you can be healthy without dieting and feel better in your already wonderful body.
Find your perfect weight
Almost daily, I get asked by my clients – How do I find the perfect weight for my body? The answer is simple.
Eat when hungry, move your body daily, eat mostly plants, whole foods and less processed junk foods, and your body will naturally find it’s the perfect weight for your body type.
Perhaps you are a size 6 or a size 16. Either way, if you are energetic, happy and active, you are on the right path to health.
Health is far more holistic than simply fitting into the right size pants. Overall health and well-being are about wellness in body, mind and spirit… When all these moving parts come into alignment – then you are at the perfect weight for your body.
I believe we need to ditch the BMI, and start to use a far more appropriate measure of your weight – your health. Ultimately, if you eat well and exercise, your body will find a size and shape that is perfect for you.