Finding out what should be your healthy weight can be a very confusing topic. We are all bombarded with pictures of stick-thin women and information about the latest fad diets. We all have different bodies, come in different shapes and sizes, and lead different lifestyles. It is difficult to know what actually is the ideal weight for our specific body type. This article will discuss what is a healthy weight and also discuss portion distortion.
What Is A Healthy Weight?
A healthy weight is based on a healthy body mass index or BMI. This number will help provide clues into weight-related issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and blood pressure. Your body mass index is simply a comparison of your height to weight ratio.
Body Mass Index Table
For women who measure 4’10” - 5’, a healthy BMI is between 85 lbs to 117 pounds. For women 5’1” to 5’4”, a healthy BMI is between 98 lbs to 130 lbs. For women between 5’5” to 5’8”, a healthy BMI is between 115 lbs to 163 lbs. For women between 5’9” to 6’, a healthy BMI is between 125 lbs to 183 lbs.
As a measurement, if your BMI is between 19 to 24.9 lbs, then you are in the healthy range. If your BMI measurement is between 25 to 29.9 lbs, then you are categorized as overweight. Any BMI above 30 is categorized as obese.
In addition to a healthy weight, certain body shapes are more prone to developing health related diseases. This risk applies to women who store fat around their stomach or bellies. Women should aim for a healthy waist that is less than 35 inches.
Achieving Your Healthy Weight
If you are in the overweight or obese category, you may be interested in losing weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most effective way to lose weight is to follow a well-balanced, calorically restrictive diet that falls between 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. The Mayo Clinic also advises 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days.
One of the most difficult parts of remaining on a low calorie diet is due to portion distortion. Over the past few decades, the size of food in America has significantly increased. It is no wonder that we no longer know what a healthy size portion of pasta looks like. For example, a bagel only had a 3” diameter 20 years ago. Now the average bagel is 6” in diameter and weighing in at 350 calories.
A portion is the amount of food that you decided to have for a meal or snack. Unfortunately, a portion is often much larger than the recommended serving. Below is a guide to help you visualize healthy portion sizes.
1 serving of protein (fish, chicken or beef) should be the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
The recommended serving of cooked pasta or rice should be half the size of a baseball.
The recommended portion of cheese should be similar to 4 stacked dices.
A recommended cup of salad is equivalent to the size of a baseball.
A recommended medium baked potato is the same size as your fist.
A slice of bread should be similar to the size of a cassette tape.