What is my ideal body weight and fat percentage?
With 5 Tips how to keep your body weight and fat percentage in check
With the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), the measurement of the abdominal circumference or the BMI, you can determine relatively easily whether you have a normal weight and body fat percentage or are considered underweight or overweight.
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Normal weight or ideal weight - what's the difference?
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. The normal weight indicates a range within which the weight is considered healthy. With the help of the body mass index (BMI), for example, the normal weight can be determined.
In contrast, the ideal weight usually follows aesthetic specifications and purely personal goals. For many people, the ideal weight - especially in today's age of self-optimization and "size zero" - is below normal weight and can be dangerous to your health. Conversely, some people who are overweight feel good about themselves and maintain their personal ideal weight. The ideal weight is therefore not necessarily suitable for defining a healthy weight.
Determine your perfect weight: waist-to-hip ratio
In contrast to the BMI, the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) does not take weight or height into account, but rather the distribution of fat in the body. The waist circumference is divided by the hip circumference to determine the WHR (waist-to-hip ratio). The value should be less than 1 for men and less than 0.85 for women. The waist-to-hip ratio also provides information about the body type: a value below 0.80 indicates a pear shape, a value above 1.0 rather an apple shape.
A look in the mirror usually reveals this. If you have a round belly, you belong to the apple type. Most of the time, men tend to be apple types - just think of the beer belly that many men have. If the fat is on the thighs, buttocks, and stomach, it is called the pear type. Women with their body fat distribution sometimes referred to as “saddlebag” fat, mostly belong to the pear type. While too much body fat can be unhealthy, fat around your hips is considered healthier than abdominal fat. Also called visceral fat - it wraps around your abdominal organs deep inside your body and is considered the most harmful kind.
A quick way to determine your ideal body weight and fat percentage
Another quick way to determine the right fat percentage is to keep your waist less than half your weight. It’s the simplest way to remember. The goal here is to keep your waist-to-height ratio at or below 0.5 and together with your BMI offers you the best and easiest way to determine your ideal body weight and fat percentage.
Healthy weight: Belly fat has to go
Belly fat is an important factor in calculating the waist-to-hip ratio. The higher the value, the more fat is on the stomach. But also viewed in isolation, the so-called visceral fat depot can provide information about your health. Belly fat is metabolically active and can therefore increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Apple types are more affected than pear types.
A healthy weight is reached when the abdominal circumference is no more than 88 centimeters for women and 102 centimeters for men. To measure your waistline, place a tape measure around your waist, between your ribs and pelvic bones.
Determine BMI with weight and height
The body mass index (BMI) is a good reference value for correctly classifying your own weight - for example underweight, normal weight, or overweight. BMI is calculated as the ratio of body weight in kilograms and height in meters squared.
Other methods of calculating your normal weight and body fat percentage
There are several indices that are similar to BMI, for example, the Broca index. This calculates the normal weight using a simple formula: Height minus 100 centimeters. Based on the calculated value, the inventor Paul Broca, a French surgeon, also defined the ideal weight. For a man, for example, this was 10 percent below normal weight. In 19th-century France, this was considered the lower limit to be considered fit for military service. It was only in the second half of the following century that the Broca index was used by many to underpin the ideal weight - below normal weight - which was generally perceived as aesthetic.
Like the body mass index, the Broca and Ponderal indices suffer from the weakness that they do not take body composition into account body. This is where the Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI) comes in. This is still relatively new and is particularly popular with athletes, as it provides information about the proportion of lean muscle mass in the body. However, the formula requires that the body fat percentage is known.
5 tips to help you achieve normal weight
To help you achieve a normal weight and an ideal fat percentage, here are 5 scientifically proven tips.
Tip #1: Eat fewer carbs a day
Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet is one of the best ways to burn fat and achieve your ideal weight.
A low-carb diet helps to reduce cravings and leads to weight loss 'automatically' without having to count your calories every day.
Countless health organizations have been preaching low-fat diets for the last several decades. The problem here, however, is that low-fat diets often don't produce good results. The much better alternative is alow-carb diet. On this diet, simple carbohydrates and refined products are reduced and replaced with whole grains, vegetables besides protein and healthy fats.
The low-carb diet not only helps you lose weight, but it also improves your health. Reducing carbohydrates in the diet helps lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. This will also increase good HDL cholesterol and decrease bad LDL cholesterol.
It's normal (on a strict low-carb diet) to lose quite a bit of water in the first few days. Losing weight will then be slower after the first week, but from then on body fat will be burned as a source of energy.
For more information listen to my podcast “Eating Low Carb – What are the rules, and can it help you lose weight?”
Tip #2: Eat without being distracted
Being aware of what you put in your mouth every day can save you hundreds of calories a day.
Both children and adults who eat in front of the television or while playing on the computer very often do not even notice how much food they are eating. In this way, you very quickly eat a lot more than you think and want.
A review study (collecting data from 24 individual studies) found that participants who were distracted while eating consumed about 10% more calories than people who were fully focused on eating.
Not paying attention to your meal will have repercussions later in the day. The people who were distracted ate 25% more calories during later meals than the people who weren't distracted.
That's why it's not smart to sit in front of the TV or computer or stare at your smartphone when you're eating. Distracted eating can lead to extra calorie intake and long-term weight gain.
Do you want to reach and maintain your ideal weight? Then don't let yourself be disturbed or distracted while eating.
Tip #3: Use smaller plates and portions
When you compare the plates of a meal to those from a few decades ago, one thing immediately strikes you.
They've gotten a lot bigger! This can also be clearly seen in comparison to other countries. What we consider a small portion is considered a large portion there. Instead of super-size, we need to downsize our portions.
Larger portions also encourage people to eat more and lead to weight gain and obesity. No wonder nearly 36% of the American population suffers from overweight and obesity.
For a healthy weight, it is advisable to use smaller plates, as this makes the meal appear larger. A large plate, on the other hand, makes a meal appear smaller, which means that you are more likely to scoop it up.
If you serve yourself a little less, you will almost certainly eat a lot less. And you probably won't even notice the difference.
Tip #4: Just skip breakfast once in a while
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” you hear people say again and again.
When I then say that skipping breakfast every now and then can't hurt, the indignant reactions don't take long.
Unfortunately, this breakfast myth is firmly anchored in our society.
However, in order to achieve (and maintain) a normal weight, it is highly recommended that you skip breakfast on a regular basis.
It's true that people who eat breakfast are generally healthier than people who don't eat breakfast. But that's not so much due to breakfast, but rather to the people themselves. People who eat breakfast tend to be healthier through life. They tend to have a healthier eating pattern, with lots of fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
On the other hand, people who skip breakfast frequently are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and exercise less.
The fact that breakfast eaters are healthier is primarily due to their healthier lifestyle and not so much to breakfast.
Skipping breakfast two or three times a week will lead to a calorie deficit. You might get a little hungrier and eat a little more for lunch, but it won't be enough to make up for the calories you skipped from breakfast.
Various studies have found that skipping breakfast can reduce total daily caloric intake by up to 400 calories per day.
Also kind of logical if you skip a whole meal a day.
The question of which is better, breakfast or not, was examined in a study of more than 300 overweight men and women. The study extended over 4 months, in which, among other things, breakfast was omitted in one of the participant groups. There was no difference in weight between the groups at 4 months.
So it was completely irrelevant whether people had eaten in the morning or not.
The results of this study are supported by other studies looking at breakfast habits and their impact on weight loss and achieving an ideal weight. Skipping breakfast had no appreciable effect anywhere.
To be more clear what I am talking about. We need to give our digestive system a rest. We often eat late, sometimes not before 8 or 9 pm, When you start eating again the next day before going to work, often as early as 6 am, it interferes with the rest period you should give your body. As a minimum, I suggest waiting at least 12 hours before eating again. For women, the ideal “rest” period would be 14 hours and for men 16 hours. So do as I do. Make lunch your breakfast and enjoy an egg and veggie wrap.
For more information listen to my podcast “Intermittent Fasting – What is it, and how does it work?”
Tip #5: Lose weight together
Helping you lose weight is often the deciding factor in whether you succeed or not.
In times of stress, we often tend to reach for food when we're not hungry.
Social support from friends and family is very important to achieve your goals and stay motivated.
Tell the people around you (and who you care about) that you want to reach a healthy weight so that they can support you when it might be very difficult and everything threatens to go wrong.
Many people also find it much more comfortable to lose weight together with others. You can do this with your partner or with a good friend. This way you work together, motivate each other, and support each other throughout the process.
If you prefer to be with people who do not belong to your immediate circle, no problem either. You can then join certain interest groups (such as Weight Watchers ) or register with an online forum. It has been proven that both face-to-face support and the support that an online community can provide can help with weight loss.
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How to keep your ideal body weight and fat percentage, I will show you in my upcoming podcast "Is my weight normal? Tips for a flat stomach". Check here for more information about the podcast as well as an overview of all our episodes!
For now, I wish you every success in boosting your body's natural energies by keeping your weight in check!
Enjoy your day!
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I can’t wait to meet you soon, and hope that you will share many more ideas how to maintain your weight during the holidays. And, of course, any tips how we can really enjoy the festivities. LET’S GO! Let's enjoy the celebrations without the usual waist line sufferings.
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