While our society generally understands that being overweight comes with certain health risks, many think that looking “fit” automatically means good health. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
People with a low BMI can still have a lot of visceral fat (making them skinny fat) and, despite looking fit, they can actually be at risk of developing conditions such as irregular blood pressure or high blood sugar levels.
So what does healthy weight really mean? And what can you do to ensure you’re in good shape? Let’s find out.
Someone’s weight status can be assessed is by calculating their BMI. However, although this particular approach can be a solid way to gauge a person’s fitness level, out-of-context BMI can be misleading.
For instance, a person with a disproportionate amount of muscle tone and body fat could get a “normal” BMI without truly being healthy. Similarly, someone who has a lot of muscle and a low level of body fat could be considered overweight or obese due to a high BMI.
For this reason, it’s also not a bad idea to include additional measurements in the assessment data. Waist circumference is a great way to check if you’re at risk of being overweight; so are resting heart rate, body fat percentage and basal metabolic rate.
In other words, if you wish to ensure you’re at a healthy weight (or want to see where you stand so you can improve your overall well-being), the first step will be to get an objective check of your weight status.
Once you have a solid idea of where you stand in terms of your current weight, you can start taking action to improve your overall health. Whether this means gaining or losing weight, it doesn’t matter as much as doing your best to incorporate healthy practices into your everyday routine.
The following strategies are all excellent choices for those who want a data-based approach to achieving a healthy weight.
The most popular weight management strategy anyone can implement is counting calories. And although it’s a superb way to ensure you’re getting the right amount of energy, it can lead to food intake imbalances.
For this reason, the superior alternative to calorie counting is to track macronutrients. With this approach, you can set the ideal amount of carbs, proteins and fats for your needs (and goals) and focus on eating nutritious, high-quality foods. It’s an excellent way to properly energize your body without allowing yourself to consume surplus calories that would otherwise turn into excess weight.
Another popular way to manage weight is to track activity, heart rate and respiratory rates with widely available fitness trackers. These wearables offer an excellent solution for those who need an extra dose of motivation to achieve a healthy weight.
For example, an activity tracking device can help check how much you’ve worked out during the day and offer helpful reminders to pick up the pace. If your goal is to gain weight or allow your body to recover from strenuous activities, the same tech can also remind you to take things slow.
Moreover, some of these devices also offer the functionality of tracking sleep quality. Considering the fact that sleep directly impacts your ability to gain or lose weight, even a standard fitness tracker can be a great tool to help manage your weight.
Finally, if you want to take things to the max and employ a biohacking tactic to achieve a healthy weight, consider regularly monitoring glucose levels.
Essentially, glucose monitoring works by using a small wearable device that continually monitors your glucose levels and gives you a great way to assess how different foods affect your body. By changing what, how and when you eat, you can effectively keep your blood sugar levels stable. That, in turn, will allow your body to burn any stored fat (or help you prevent it from doing the same).
Regardless of your strategy, when making any changes to your well-being routine, the best way to go about it is to embrace a holistic approach to improving your health. This will mean paying attention to your nutrition and activity levels and making sure any change you make is incremental, sustainable and genuinely good for your overall health.
And to guarantee you’re doing what’s best (and not working against your body or an underlying condition), it’s essential you start any well-being journey by consulting with your doctor. They’ll do a thorough check-up and ensure you’re ready to change your habits and call your attention to anything you need to keep in mind during your journey to secure the best possible results.
About the Author
Sarah Kaminski is a life-enjoyer, positivity-seeker and curiosity-enthusiast. She’s passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She’s an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.