It's a common misconception that you have to weigh a certain amount or look a certain way in order to be happy with your body. However, not all bodies are built the same way. You may be the same weight as a friend but have different muscle and fat composition, so comparisons like these are hardly valid. Instead, try these tips to help you find your “happy weight”, and in doing so lead a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI is a measure of body mass based on your height and weight, and can be found using an online calculator. The value of your BMI shows your relative risk for common health problems like heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and is a helpful indicator of which direction your “happy weight” should lie in. However, take this value with a pinch of salt because the method of calculation does not differentiate fat and muscle, which may cause your BMI to appear higher even if you are athletic by nature.
Calculate your Waist-to-Hip Ratio
Having more fat deposited around your waist, versus your hips, puts you at higher risk of health problems. To measure, simply wrap a measuring tape around your waist just above your hipbones after you have let out your breath, and then measure the circumference of your hips. Then, compare your waist-to-hip ratio against healthy standards for men and women.
Assess your health risks
Health risks vary across individuals, and it’s important to evaluate your own before arriving at your “happy weight”. For instance, an individual with a family history of heart disease may need to pay more attention to their BMI and waist-to-hip ratio, since their pre-existing risk may be exacerbated by factors such as excess bodyweight.
Tap into your “feel-good” indicators
This is perhaps the most important factor for you to consider when determining your “happy weight”, because at the end of the day, you want to feel comfortable in your own skin. By being in tune with how your body functions and feels, you can change your behaviour accordingly in order to live a quality lifestyle. Ask yourself:
- Do you feel rested and energised in the morning without caffeine?
- Are you physically active at least four times a week?
- Are you appropriately satiated after having your meals (as opposed to having unpredictable food cravings)?
- Are you mentally alert and physically energised throughout the day?
- Do you feel good in your clothes?
If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, then chances are that you’ve found your happy weight!
Finding your happy weight may be tricky because there are so many factors to be considered. However, these tips will make it easier for you to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself in the long run.