Some of us have the keen habit of stepping on the bathroom scales, whenever we use the loo. And the number on the scales actually makes or breaks our day. If it is on the lower side then, hooray! And God forbid, if it is on the higher side then the rest of the day is completely ruined.
Stepping on the scales, regularly, is a good habit as it keeps you updated about any changes in your weight. But do not, for a moment, let it control your moods and life! Every individual’s weight varies, even if they are of the same height.
So, weight is not a definitive figure and it depends on the individual’s height, age, body frame and also body fat composition. In addition, there are many factors that need to be considered, when weighing yourself.
Let us take a detailed look at how you can determine your ideal weight according to your height, age and body frame. We’ll also take a brief look at why losing body fat is important as compared to shifting the number on the scales.
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Your Perfect Weight
Although there are a number of charts are available that give correlation between height, weight and sex. But these charts are incomplete as they do not keep in consideration the muscle-fat ratio, bone density and your body frame. These are important factors and should not be ignored, when weighing oneself.
We all know that both fat and muscles are important for our bodies. As much as you loathe fat, a specific amount of fat has to be in your body to perform certain functions. It forms part of the cell-membranes, lines the neurons, certain hormones are lipid in nature and is important for heat generation. That said, it should not exceed a given range.
When it comes to body composition, determining your body fat is more important than the number on the scales. If you are on a diet and exercising regularly then, at some point or the other, you must have noticed that the number on the scales is not moving. But you seem to have lost weight.
This is most likely due to the fact that you have been shedding fat and gaining muscle. Muscles are more compact than fat. They take up less space in the body, giving a leaner look but a slightly increased number on the scale.
But you should not be worried! Gaining muscle is much healthier than gaining fat, in any case. You can determine your muscle-fat ratio by using scales with Bio-electric Impedance technology or by using the Calliper method.
A man is considered obese if body fat is more than 25% and a woman is considered obese if body fat is more than 32%.
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Bone Density and Body Frame
Bone density is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. It can only be measured in the hospital, using a non-invasive and painless method termed as densitometry. To some extent, your body frame may affect your weight. According to the weight charts, there is a ten-pound increment for an increase in the body frame. But, remember this does not justify over-eating or putting on extra weight.
Bone density, on the other hand, is dependent on the stress that you put on your bones. If you have excess weight, you’ll be putting stress on the bone which will lead to an increase in bone density. So, bone density and an increase in weight are inter-connected.
Your Weight on The Scale Does Not Necessarily Equate Fat Loss
As important as weighing yourself on the scales is, do not be too dependent on it. It is, after all, just a number. It does not give you a good perspective about your weight composition. As mentioned earlier, losing fat and gaining muscle may not show as a decreased number on the scales. This can be detrimental to your weight-loss efforts.
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Keep an open mind, whenever you step on the scales. Your bowel movements, your water intake and your cyclical changes, all affect the number on the scales. Losing fat is always considered a priority, as compare to losing over-all weight. So target fat loss for a healthier you.
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BMI and Why It Is Important
Your BMI is another way to track your health progress. It is a measure of your body weight based on your height and weight. Although it is a widely popular and useful tool to measure your ideal body weight, it does not take into consideration a lot of factors like your body type, your muscle-fat ratio and even your bone mass.
But it still gives you a pretty good picture about your optimal weight. A BMI above 29% is considered obese, whereas a BMI between 25-29% is considered over-weight. A BMI between 18.5-25% is considered normal. These ranges are used equally for both men and women above 18 years of age.
Taking Inch-tape Measurements
If stepping on the scale is nerve-wrecking for you, you can keep a track of your general well-being by the age-old method of measuring yourself.
Taking regular measurements of your chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves, upper arms and forearms is a good way to, indirectly, keep yourself in check. How you fit in your clothes can also give you an indication of any weight changes.
Your weight is just a number on the scales. As important as it is, do not let it define you. Yes, you need to stay within a given weight range, but always remember, it varies from person to person. These are basic guidelines and you can follow them.
There is no such thing as an ideal body or ideal weight. Your ethnicity, your exercise routine, your genetics, your body frame, bone density and muscle-fat ratio, all affect your weight. You may be healthier, but weigh more or you may look thin but have a higher fat composition.
Stay happy, keep on moving and eat healthier to be a fitter you!