The holidays are over and many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to work on some something in our life that needs to change — including losing weight.
Why Is a Healthy Weight Important?
While it may not always be easy, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help you prevent and control many lifestyle diseases and conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.
What Is a Healthy Weight?
Preventing weight gain as you age is critical, no matter your current body weight. And interestingly, even if you feel you are at the right weight in terms of how you fit into your clothing, it is possible to have more fat than muscle weight on our bodies which can be detrimental to health in the long run. Too much fat and not enough muscle is unhealthy, no matter what in most cases.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
So where do you start to look at whether or not you are at the correct weight?
A good place is knowing your Body Mass Index or BMI – a measure of how much you weigh compared to how tall you are. There are BMI charts designed for adults and children, so you can also find out if your child is at a healthy weight for his or her height and age.
Your BMI is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. Health authorities worldwide mostly agree that:
⦁ People with a BMI of less than 18.5 are underweight.
⦁ A BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is ideal.
⦁ Somebody with a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight.
⦁ A person with a BMI over 30 is considered obese.
In some countries health authorities say the lower limit for BMI is 20, anything below it is underweight.
A study of more than 50,000 people, mostly women over age 40 — looked at BMI — obtained from scans. The major finding was that people with the most body fat, more than 35% fat for men and 38% fat for women, were the most likely to die within a few years, regardless of weight and BMI. This is why it is also important to focus less on what your bathroom scale says and more on your body composition of fat vs muscle ratios.
The location of your fat also matters. Waist circumference is going to correlate very highly with body fat. Waist sizes of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women are linked with increased risks for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
There’s No Secret to Fat-Burning
The equation is simply — cut calories and burn them, through diet and exercise, and you will burn fat. You also will burn some muscle, so you will do your body the most good if you include weight-lifting and other muscle-strengthening moves.
And there is really no such thing as an exercise that spot-reduces body fat. Whether fat drops first from your belly, waist or your hips is more a matter of genetics than work-out strategy. All around though, the goals you reach are about sticking with your exercise routines.