Talking about weight, especially weight gain, is typically hush-hush in that no one ever talks about it because no one wants to talk about it. Who wants to admit that they’ve gained weight or even disclose how much they weigh? No one; however, it’s a topic that needs to be talked about. In this article, we’ll go into depth about managing body weight including weight gain and loss, what a healthy body weight is and how our weight changes as we age.
To manage a healthy weight, your body mass index, or BMI, needs to fall between 18.5 to 24.9. This number is calculated using your current height and weight. Not everyone has the same BMI “standard,” so it’s important to talk with your doctor regarding your particular body type and not compare yourself to others.
Gaining weight is natural as you age and weight can fluctuate regularly. Understanding when weight gain is excessive or unhealthy, is the key to managing your weight. While a healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, an overweight BMI is 25.0 to 29.9 and any BMI over 30.0 is considered obese.
As you grow during adolescence, you gain weight, yet your metabolism is fast, so managing weight is much easier. In your 20s, your weight starts to plateau and remain relatively consistent. Your metabolism starts to slow, however, keeping active can help balance out your diet. For women, weight gain during pregnancy is common, but can be difficult to lose after the baby is born. For both men and women, hormones change as you age and your body can no longer process food like it used to. While gaining weight is a natural occurrence, it’s still important to remain within the ideal BMI range.
If your BMI is 18.4 or below, you are considered underweight. Losing weight is not as common as gaining weight, because it’s harder to do. Weight loss is typically the result of an intentional diet. Diets are a restrictive form of eating habit, where specific foods and drinks are either incorporated into or removed from one’s daily eating habits to achieve a purpose (typically of losing weight).
Weight loss is good if you are overweight and need to get back into the healthy BMI range, but it can be challenging. Talk with your doctor if you need assistance managing your weight.
What Affects Weight
- Age. The older you are, the harder it is to lose weight. As we age, our bodies change in how we are able to process foods and our endurance to exercise decreases.
- Gender. Men and women process nutrients differently, have different hormones, and experience different stages of life that affect how they gain and lose weight.
- Hormones. Hormone levels are a big factor in managing weight. If you are having a difficult time losing weight or find yourself gaining excessive weight, it could be a result of fluctuating hormone levels.
- Diet and exercise. What you eat and how you exercise can affect your weight. Eating a lot of junk food consisting of saturated fat, trans fat and processed sugar can cause an increase in weight, while eating leafy greens, fruits and vegetables and good protein can help you manage or lose weight. Exercising regularly encourages your body to process foods, break them down and burn calories.
A few other good habits to help manage weight is to drink plenty of water, get a good night’s sleep and avoid eating after dinner (especially late at night). If you still find yourself struggling to manage your weight, talk with your doctor about a diet plan that may be right for you.