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If you're reading this blog it's most likely because you're making the effort to lose that extra weight that's crept up on you over the years.
But one of the questions that you might have now is:
"How much should I weigh?"
Some say to use Body Mass Index (BMI), with others believing it's utterly pointless and you're better off plucking out some arbitrary number and going with that.
Then there's that figure on the sad step and there's also the weight at which you feel "just right".
But which one is correct?
Let's be honest. The journey to losing weight is already a difficult one, with more obstacles than a tough mudder course. In reality, the above question is one that you could really do without.
What do you want to weigh?
In this modern day society, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But not everyone's opinion is the correct one. Your friends, family and work colleagues might have an extremely well constructed argument on what your ideal weight should be, but it only comes down to one thing...
Simply put. Your definition is what matters.
Most of us have a happy weight. That weight where you're comfortable in your own clothes, you don't hate the mirror every time you see your own reflection, you're happy when you're at the gym and you don't deny yourself that cake Tracy brought into work for her birthday.
You see, your ideal weight is highly individual. Circumstances, context and goals are so varied, pinpointing your ideal weight using a predefined chart or calculation is rarely going to hit the mark.
Ideally, it's time to drop the ideal weight
You might have that ideal weight in mind. Or you are sticking to BMI. I guess 60kg is a round number right?
Maybe you're casting your mind back to when you were younger and "thinner". After all you don't remember having anxiety or issues with your weight when you were 16.
But then again... you didn't have a career, family and rent due at the end of the month.
However, that topic and blog is for another day.
I can confidently tell you, whatever you choose right now for your ideal weight, it rarely ends up being the right one.
Ideal Weight Vs Ideal Happiness
Aim for a weight that makes you happy over your ideal weight. Not only is it a more achievable goal, but will make the process and journey of losing weight more enjoyable rather than a punishment. If you start seeing it as a punishment you then begin to resent ever starting.
Once you start to resent it, you will eventually give up. Blaming yourself, starting and stopping the process over and over again and never getting any further.
In my opinion, your focus should be on overall health and building healthy consistent habits, which may or may not include a reduction in weight and/or body fat.
Once you make this the focal point of your journey then your ideal weight takes care of itself.
Who cares if you're healthy and happy at 84kg, 101kg, 60kg or 55kg?
As long as you're both healthy and happy then that's your ideal weight.
So if ideal weight isn't the answer how do we focus upon health?
Very good question. Let me answer it with these 5 markers of health.
Hold up. Wait.
Haven't I just said there is no ideal weight? Let me explain.
Yes, weight isn't everything. I won't go back on that. But it's still a good measure of progress when used in the right way.
Remember to interpret and read the scale numbers correctly. With wild fluctuations on a day-to-day basis which typically occur due to water weight. It can be easy to get carried away with the ups or depressed with the lows. So learn to read the scales for what they are, your current weight in time.
Waist : Hip Ratio
Your waist to hip ratio is a decent indicator of health. Plus all you need is a tape measure, so it's pretty easy to do.
Just make sure you are consistent with how you're taking the measurements. Secondly, much like your weight, be mindful of the time of day... and month for females. These might have an impact on your readings.
Waist : Hip Ratio = Waist (cm) / Hip (cm)
Visible Changes In Your Body
Body composition is commonly what you, me and most other people put most of their attention into.
Whether this is a woman looking to get "toned" or a guy looking to strut on the beach front with his top off, body composition is where it is at.
In simplistic terms, it means body fat down, muscle mass up. The formula for success.
The best thing about this, it's easy to track that progress objectively. Regular progress pictures, measurements of key body parts and how your clothes feel are great measures. Daily tracking is too much, but every 2-4 weeks is a sensible start.
Exercise & Activity
Becoming more active is going to help you improve your health.
From simply increasing your step count to throwing around some weight in the gym, each will help achieve the holy grail of a calorie deficit. It all adds up, pushing your body and health in the right direction.
If you were once unable to walk up a flight of stairs or unable to bench press without having a mini heart attack after, to now almost gliding up stairs and bench pressing your own body weight with little to no issues.
These performance markers are ideal in allowing you to judge how your body and well- being is improving.
The often forgotten part of the puzzle. The one piece that is missing from the box. Yet so important in completing the bigger picture.
From keeping hunger at bay, aiding and promoting recovery, to simply letting yourself recharge, sleep is so important to track. Not just the amount, but also the quality.
7-9 hours is an ideal range. Although you might find you have and can operate on less, which is fine... just be conscious of aiming for as much unbroken sleep as possible.
When an ideal weight marker make sense
I know I've told you that the idea of ideal weight is misguided. But in certain populations, weight goals are a great tool.
For example, someone who is clinically obese and clearly needs to lose a lot of weight could benefit from weight based goals. Whilst dropping 5-10kg may not be easy, it's likely to be more rapid and achievable with a larger individual, therefore more motivational. So targeting these goals makes sense.
Please remember though... as you gain a better understanding of nutrition and the dieting process, these big strides forward are more difficult to come by. In the end they often serve to be an emotionally draining weight loss anchor, rather than the motivational stepping stone they were originally intended to be.
The bottom line on your ideal weight
Here's the thing.
Scale weight, when used the right way, is a great measure of progress. But it's not the only measure of success, and if this is your only way of tracking progress, you're doing it all wrong.
You are more than the sum of your gravitational pull towards the centre of the earth. You are a thinking, feeling, emotionally driven human being. So start thinking smartly about your goals.
Your ideal weight is a number that is based upon a random choice or a personal whim. If you love the way you look and feel 3kg above where you set your "target", doesn't really matter does it?
Even more, if you're still set on working with an ideal weight, work within a range rather than a precise number. Working with a precise number for the rest of your life, you'll be hitting the panic button with each daily weight fluctuation.
So... take a step back. Relax. Fluctuating a few kilos either side allows you to enjoy life. Allow yourself to be flexible with food and remove yourself from under the miserable cloud that the scale can bring.
Need More Help With Your Weight Loss Goals?
Did you enjoy this article and want to know how RMS Personal Training can help you further to achieve your weight/fat loss goals?
Then send us a message to see how I can help.
Or head over to https://www.rmspersonaltraining.com/ for more information.