How much should I weigh for my height?
This question lends itself to a very misleading type of statistic. People often assume that if we are of a particular height we should then be of a particular weight. But the truth is there is no ideal or specific weight you should be relative to your height. The real factor you want to focus on is your overall body fat percentage. For example, someone who is your current height and weight could have 35% body fat with a small amount of lean muscle. On the other hand, you could take another person with the exact same height and weight but they have 15% body fat and a higher level of lean muscle. Don’t be worried too much about what the scale reads. Focus on fueling your body with nutrient dense foods, building lean muscle with weight training and burning fat and calories with cardio workouts. This way you will have a lean and toned physique no matter what your weight is. While we are on the subject of body fat, let’s take a closer look at some common percentages:
The minimum percent of body fat considered safe and acceptable for good health is 5% for males and 12% for females. Women tend to carry this higher percentage of body fat due to reproductive and menstrual processes. It is important to note that fat has incredibly important functions in the body:
- Fat is our body’s reservoir for energy storage.
- Fat is involved in the production of many hormones.
- Many vitamins and other substances in the body are transported and broken down for use by the processes of fats.
- The covering of nerve cells and walls of cell membranes all depend on fats in the body.
The average adult body fat is closer to 15%-18% for men and 22%-25% for women. We all have a sort of genetic blueprint for the amount of body fat we tend to carry. This is why body fat percentage should not be used as our only marker for good health. It is quite possible for someone with a higher percentage of body fat to be in much better health than someone with a lower percentage. It is also quite normal for two people on the exact same workout and diet plan to lose or gain weight at very different rates. You can review this article which explains how to calculate your body fat percentage:
So whether you are 6 feet tall and weigh 150 pounds or 5 feet tall and weigh 150 pounds, the real question is are you at a healthy weight given your particular genetic blueprint. If through body fat testing you find that you are indeed carrying an excessive amount of body fat then you will need to take action through dietary changes and increased exercise. The easiest way to make healthy dietary changes is to cut out processed foods. These foods are generally high in calories and provide very little nutrients. A very simple and useful mantra to use when it comes to nutrition is, “If it didn’t grow on this planet naturally, you probably shouldn’t be eating it”.