How Do I Know I've Reached My Ideal Weight?
FINDING YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT
Someone asked me a great question the other day. How do you know when you have reached your ideal weight? I didn’t understand the complexity in finding out the answer to this question till I went to text her back with an appropriate response.
There are so many factors that make up who you are physically that it is nearly impossible to pinpoint an ideal weight as a standard.
DOCTORS USE THE BMI CHART
Doctors use the BMI chart to try to indicate some standard determination of what “ideal” looks like for a certain age, height, or gender, but it clearly falls short. The reason being is that a simple chart cannot accommodate for differences imposed by other factors that make everyone unique.
In my attempt to answer the question of how do I know when I’ve reached my ideal weight, let’s look at the factors that determine your weight.
"Weight is a function of: activity, nutrition, genetics, sleeping habits, age, bodily efficiency (How is your digestion, body mechanics, etc.) and probably several other factors that I missed but these are the big ones."
What makes it even more difficult is that our body’s adapt to the stresses around it. Therefore, if I’m in an environment that stays consistent for a couple of months but then I’m removed and one of the factors that my weight is dependent on is changed for a couple of months, then conceivably my weight will change also.
For example, if I am eating the same, sleeping the same, my age doesn’t change to any large extent and my body has the same efficiency, but I change jobs from being an accountant that sits at my desk all day to a construction worker; then I suspect I will see some changes in my weight.
"My ideal weight then is circumstance dependent."
It is what it needs to be to accomplish the daily activity that is required (again, I’m holding variables constant with the exception of activity).
So now let’s release some of the constraints of the variables I’ve held constant. Let’s say we allow age to increase. I’m still assuming a perfect diet and now I’m holding the activity constant as well as the other variables I mentioned.
"Age and genetics are the only variables we have absolutely no control over."
While genetics is a variable that is very unique to you but stays the same, age is an ever changing variable that acts on almost all other variables that determine your weight.
As long you continue to consistently do the same activity, eat the same way, maintain the same sleeping patterns, etc. critical variables such as body mechanics, internal bodily functionality (digestion, respiration, etc) will likely decrease in efficiency due to age, thus causing a change in weight.
Therefore, your ideal weight is now adjusting to accommodate for a changing variable (age). This means if you find yourself at a “plateau”, you have essentially just reached your ideal weight for that period in time. You have to change another variable to cause the scale or measuring tape to move again. That could be nutrition, activity, sleeping, or some combination.
"This series of adjusting continues until you reach a new “ideal weight” and the process starts again."
Nutrition or food quality is a wild card. I’m not going to totally address all angles of it here but it’s a fact that the quality of the food we eat can/will affect your efficiency at digestion, nutrient absorption, and metabolism. If you become inefficient in digestion you will struggle with your ability to heal, sleep can suffer, fat storage will likely increase and all kinds of other issues can emerge. This is why having a diet involving as many organics as possible is important. We don’t know what GMO’s, or herbicides, food coloring, and other processing techniques do to our body.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’VE REACHED YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT?
So as you can see finding an ideal weight is not that easy. It’s a balancing act between controlling what you can and adjusting to what you can’t control and lastly marrying that up to what allows you to perform your daily tasks at the highest level possible. When you find your weight has stabilized and you feel great, perform great and are comfortable…Praise God you found your ideal weight!
I’ve created a simple checklist to help you figure out if you are at your ideal weight. Use this worksheet to understand what variables you need to adjust to reach your ideal weight. Once you see the items you don’t have checked it may be a time to reach out to one of our professionals to give you guidance.