Staying Fit

What’s A Healthy Body Weight For Me?

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By Patricia Jurek, RD, MBA

The weight that we want, and the weight that’s right for us, sometimes don’t line up.

While it’s desirable to be skinny, thin doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Just like being a few pounds larger than you’re accustomed to doesn’t not necessarily mean you’re overweight – you can be fit at the same time.

Finding the right balance between those two numbers lives squarely in the intersection of your body weight and your height. Here’s what you need to know.

Calculating Your BMI
Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a calculation derived from a person’s weight and height, and though it isn’t a measure of your body fat percentage, it is a solid screening tool to identify possible weight problems in adults. It allows you to compare your own weight status against that of the rest of the population of adults.

You calculate your BMI by dividing weight (in pounds) by height (in inches) squared, and then multiplying by 703. A BMI range of 18.5-25 for men and women is considered normal. Or you can use an online calculator to help you quickly do the math.

Muscle and Fat
Expect to have lower muscle and more fat with age, just as you should remember to use the weight chart as a guide tool, but still tailor it to your specifics. But don’t let the number be the only thing that guides you – you can have a low BMI but still be unhealthy – it’s a mode of reference, but it only tells part of the story.

Speak To Your Doctor
When it comes to finding the right weight for your body type, lifestyle and health considerations, you want to set yourself up for success. This may mean looping in your physician to discuss what measures to take to get you back on track, and possibly to develop a fitness or dietary routine with which you’re both comfortable. Additionally, expect to make adjustments along the road to your optimal weight, to accommodate your changing needs and progress.

To make an appointment with a Henry Ford provider, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936).