Contents: Am I at a healthy weight? How do I lose weight? How do I gain weight?

Am I at a healthy weight?

There are many formulas out there to assess your weight status. The following are commonly used equations that use your weight to help you evaluate your current health status. The products of these equations are based on general data, and therefore don’t account for differences in activity level, muscle mass, and frame size. Keep this in mind when calculating your results.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) – Hamwi method

Ideal body weight is an estimation of a healthy weight based on height.

Formula:

Females: 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height
5 pounds for every inch thereafter

Males: 106 pounds for the first 5 feet of height
6 pounds for every inch thereafter.

Examples:

Kara is 5’7” tall. Her IBW is;
100 pounds + (5 pounds x 7 inches) = 135 pounds

Dave is 6’3” tall. His IBW is;
106 pounds + (6 pounds x 15 inches) = 196 pounds

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index is a ratio of weight to height. BMI is one of many factors used to predict risk for developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, some cancers, or diabetes. Although BMI is used to judge body weight and estimate body fat, it is not a direct measure of body fatness. People with a higher BMI tend to have a higher percentage of body fat, except for highly muscular individuals. (For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/bmi-means.htm)

BMI = 703.1 x [Weight (lb) / Height (in²)]

Example:

Danny is 5’11” (71") and weighs 178 pounds. His BMI is:
703.1 [178 / (71)(71)] = 24.8

Based on the table below, Danny is considered to be at a normal weight.

BMI Classification Table

 BMI Classification < 18.4 Underweight 18.5-24.9 Normal 25.0-29.9 Overweight > 40 Obese

How do I lose weight?

To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit, which means you need to burn more calories than you take in. You can do this by decreasing calories consumed or increasing your amount or intensity of exercise. Plan to lose ½ -2 pounds per week. Losing more than that may indicate you’re eating too little or exercising too much.

1) If you reduced your daily caloric intake by 300 calories per day, how much weight would you lose in 1 month?

(300 calories)(30 days) = 9000 calories

(9000 calories)/(3500 calories per pound) = 2.57 pound loss per month

2) If you burned an extra 100 calories per day by walking for 30 minutes 5 times a week, how much weight would you lose in 1 month?

(100 calories)(5 times per week)(4 weeks per month) = 2000 calories

(2000 calories)/(3500 calories per pound) = .57 pound loss per month

From ADA’s: Complete Food and Nutrition Guide

Weight Loss Tips

-Listen to your body. Make a conscious effort to eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. It is amazing how many people will eat strictly because it’s “lunch time” without paying attention to how hungry they really are.

-Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that it’s full. Try putting your fork down between bites and take a sip of water to help slow you down.

-Eating should be an enjoyable experience. Sit down, take your time, and make eating the only event at mealtime. Eating while watching TV or studying makes it easy to overindulge. Concentrate on enjoying your food by taking in all the sights, smells, textures, and flavors.

-Have healthy snacks close at hand. Keep whole fruit and sandwich bags of fresh vegetables in the refrigerator so they’re easy to grab and take on the go. Whole grain cereals, crackers and low fat cheese sticks also make great snacks.

-When snacking, place food into a bowl or on a plate instead of eating it from the bag. How many times have you sat down to a movie with a bag of popcorn and before you know it you’ve eaten the whole bag?

-Make a grocery list and shop on a full stomach. This way you’ll be sure to purchase only what you need and won’t be tempted by buy extra goodies.

From ADA’s: Complete Food and Nutrition Guide

How do I gain weight?

The process of gaining weight is just the opposite of losing weight. You need to increase your caloric intake by 3,500 calories to gain one pound. Read through the following example to calculate calories needed to gain weight:

If you eat an extra turkey sandwich (240 calories) and a piece of fruit (60 calories) per day, how much weight would you gain in 2 weeks?

240 calories + 60 calories = 300 extra calories per day

300 calories (14 days) = 4200 calories

(4200 calories)/(3500 calories) = 1.2 pounds gained every 2 weeks

Weight Gaining Tips

-Eat a snack before bedtime.

-Get some exercise before meals. This will boost your metabolism and increase your appetite.

-Drink fluids before and after meals instead of with meals. This way you won’t fill up on fluids during the meal.

-Select nutrient and calorie rich foods over “light” or “low fat” versions. For example, select 2% or whole milk over skim.

-Enjoy health drinks like Boost or Ensure. They pack a lot of calories and nutrients into a small volume of liquid. To increase calorie value, make a milkshake with these drinks by mixing them with ice cream in a blender.

From ADA’s: Complete Food and Nutrition Guide