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Just as with people’s expectations of how fast they should lose weight, there’s a disconnect these days between what people weigh and what they think they ought to weigh. There are a few ways to look at what your best weight should be, but Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the most reliable to help you know what a healthy weight is for you.
The BMI is based on a calculation that estimates weight in relation to height. There are more precise measures of weight, but BMI allows researchers a quick and inexpensive way to compare the weight of different populations. It also lets you compare yourself to the findings of researchers on what is considered a healthy weight.
It is pretty clear that being overweight can have serious effects on health. There are well established connections between obesity and illness with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer, colon cancer, arthritis and stroke being the most common problems.
While you have probably heard all of this before, I like to talk with my patients about the real consequences for them of these conditions. If your weight leads to having diabetes or a heart attack will you be able to enjoy your son’s wedding? Will you live to see your daughter’s first child graduate from high school? There’s real pain in carrying around too much weight – arthritis of the knees, difficulty breathing, swelling of the ankles, diabetic foot problems – these are the facts of life for many with a high Body Mass Index.
BMI is a rough estimate of body fat. When I say “rough estimate” I mean both – an estimate and a rough one at best. The limitation is that it doesn’t measure body fat directly.
This table shows the range of weights for a normal Body Mass Index. Your Ideal Body Weight should fall between the weights for a BMI of 19 to 25.
For instance, if you are 63 inches tall (5 foot 3 inches), a good range for a healthy weight is between 107 lbs. and 141 lbs. Look at the table below to see if your weight falls within the normal range – or use the BMI calculator in the right-hand column of this page.
|Body Weight (pounds)|
Here’s what is considered a normal BMI.
Less than 18.5
18.5 to 24.9
25 to 29.9
30 or more
greater than 35
Now, for some of you this is going to be shocking information. It is amazing to me how disconnected people are today from what a healthy weight should be. While BMI information is not perfect, it is a pretty good guide — especially for the majority of the population.
Don’t worry, you can get to a healthy weight if you are overweight or obese. It does take some planning and work at taking action, but each day you’ll be making a real difference in your health.
One of the most significant issues today with folks getting too many calories is at lunch. It amazes me how many people don’t make their lunch to take to work with them. It is so expensive to eat out these days.
Being very conservative, if you eat lunch out each day and it costs $5.00, that’s $25.00 per week or about $100.00 each month. $1,200.00 per year!
Save your money and save your life! Start making your lunch each day and taking it with you. It takes all of 10 minutes to make a sandwich and put it in a bag with a piece of fruit. This is a critical part of this program. By making your lunch you not only save the money but you are in complete control of the amount of calories you’ll have each day at lunch.August 18, 2008