lot of us get really hung up on that number on the scale. But
weight doesnt tell you much about your health and fitness
status, or even how you look! A crucial part of determining
how much you should weigh has to do with what makes up that
weight. For example, is your weight made up of a healthy ratio
of muscle, bone, and fat? Knowing this can help you interpret
your scale reading.
limits on "desirable" thinness have not been set.
The popular notion is that, as long as a woman isn't "badly"
anorexic, being thin is not hazardous. Our standard of normal
body size has become so thin that average weight people are
considered abnormal. What has actually been proven, however,
is that people on both extremes of the continuum (excessively
thin or over 100 pounds above the norm) have increased health
risks. The majority of those who consider themselves "overweight"
are not. To get a better idea of your health, you should consider
your weight, body mass, and body fat percentage.
lower body weight is not necessarily the goal to improve
your health or enhance your appearance. Have you ever
heard it said that muscle weighs more than fat? What that
means is that muscle is more dense than fat. A pound of
muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but muscle mass
is more compact and only takes up 1/3 the space! If you
go on a healthy weight loss program, which includes regular
exercise, you will almost certainly gain muscle and lose
fat. The scale may stay the same or may even go up, but
you lose inches, since muscle takes up less space.
Body Mass Index
body mass index (BMI) is a screening tool to assess weight
status. Keep in mind that BMI is only based on height
and weight; it does not take into consideration your body
composition or genetics. A healthy weight for you may
be higher than the BMI standards. Your eating habits,
physical activity patterns, other lifestyle choices, body
composition and genetics are more important than any number
on the scale in determining what weight is right for you.
Use BMI as a rough indicator, and consult a health care
professional to help you determine what weight is right
Body Fat Percentage
Some body types carry more fat than others--no matter
what you eat or how much you exercise. Percent body fat
does not necessarily tell you how healthy or fit you are,
or tell you how you look. There are large-framed students
who have a higher percentage of body fat who train for
triathlons, exercising several times a week and eating
a healthy balanced diet. Other students may be ultra-thin
and have a lower percentage of body fat, but dont
consume adequate calories or nutrients, lack physical
endurance and strength, and dont look healthy or
BMI, there is no one universally accepted set of body
fat standards. A normal and healthy percentage of body
fat varies substantially, and the results from the calculator
should not be regarded as definitive for what is healthy
and normal for you personally.