Post by Sharon
*Note: I am not a health care professional. I am a woman who studies subjects she is focused on. Curious about calories, I did some diving into the facts and am sharing them now.*
If your goal is to drop weight and get in a healthy weight range, knowing how many calories you burn with any activity is helpful. You might be surprised to realize what you burn each day. If you're gaining weight while doing a healthy calorie burning each day, your calorie intake needs to be looked at.
There are some things to consider when looking at weight-height charts for ideal weight range. They don't take into consideration muscle mass or frame size. I am 68 inches tall. If I had a small frame, I would be in the 140s. When I am in the 140s, people ask me to please eat a sandwich. I have a medium frame so 145-157 is ideal. When I am in the 150 range, I am both confident in a bikini and look healthy. When I go into the 140s, I begin to look gaunt and feel weak.
How do you know your frame size?
Wrap your thumb and middle finger around your wrist. If your fingers overlap, you are small-framed. If your fingers meet, you are medium-framed. If they do not meet, you are large-framed. I have a tiny space perhaps 1/4 inch between my thumb and middle finger, so I am on the larger side of medium framed which means my ideal range is somewhere in the lower half of 150s.
Remember that what your weight looks like on another person can vary a LOT. This has much to do with frame, muscle mass, distribution of body fat (are you someone who stores in his abdomen and tend to not gain weight in the arms?)
For instance, these women are the same weight (250), but see the differences for them?
Both of these women below are 140 -
When I modeled, we used to compare ourselves and our bodies to find what is ideal. Because of a very athletic childhood, I had built a body that was strong and efficient with calories, but I also inherited my father's tendency for weight in the trunk and skinny limbs if I gained weight. A friend had a huge problem with hips and butt area so even a tiny bit of extra weight made her very pear-shaped.
There are so many variables that the best indicator of YOUR particular weight at your height is how your health is doing, how confident you feel, and how much stamina you maintain.
Sadly, when we lose weight, we lose it everywhere, so if you are working to get belly fat off, you might get skinny limbs. You have to decide if you want to go for a flat belly and emaciated looking arms and legs. That's a personal call.
The key is to understand that your weight was never the value by which people determine your worth. It is your personality, your kindness, your mind, and heart. This is where the term "complete package" comes from. So long as you feel healthy and have good stamina, your weight is fine.
Here I am (below) at 118 pounds and 5'8" and size 4. As you can imagine, I stood up and I began to faint. I was eating like mad, but my metabolism at 21 was so fast, I couldn't get weight on.
I was essentially a stick figure. And I felt horrid. I would stand up, begin to faint, and when I slept, my elbows and hips bruised from contact with the mattress and no body fat to comfort me.
Above - me at 156 pounds and size 8 at 5'8". Slender and confident, but feeling healthy. Don't get winded walking, climbing or exercising. Not freezing to death and light-headed. Enough padding to have stamina.
Now, let's look at the calorie count for activities to shed some light on how easy it is to burn calories and up your muscle mass and hence your metabolism.
These numbers are for a 5'10" man in the 150s for weight.
Running is 590 calories an hour.
Hiking for one hour is 370 calories.
Gardening and yard work 330 calores an hour (dancing and golf provide same count).
Weight lifting 220 calories an hour.
Bicycling is 590 an hour.
Swimming is 510 an hour.
Walking is 460 an hour.
I've found a combination works well - get myself moving an hour a day and take out a source of unnecessary calories daily. For me it's sodas and fries. If I were to order fast food, it'd be a sandwich or salad, but I don't need the fries. The food already fills me plenty fine and drinking 180-300 calories makes no sense. I don't have to stress too much if I remove potatoes and soda from my diet. I don't miss them in the least. As I like fizzy drinks, I buy the carbonated waters with flavoring added and zero calories. If I don't eat fries or chips with a sandwich, I have a pickle.
Let's be honest, we have to eat. That's part of fueling the engine. To be on a rigid diet the rest of your life is a constant test of your will versus your desire. Reasonable works best. If you are compelled to complete your plate of food, use a dessert plate. Simple and effective. Small adjustments add up.
The more I put my focus on a "diet" and a "plan," the more chances I am going to quit in a day or two. My body sleeps better if I moved around during the day, so I do heavy activity at least an hour a day, often times more. I don't need a gym. I just need a garden, house cleaning, a sidewalk, some dance tunes, a mat to stretch on. And, I cut out the thoughtless calories I don't miss.
Ultimately, your goal weight is a personal combination of your body's proportions, your frame size, your health conditions, your ability to maintain it, and your general confidence.
Ideal weight is not a number on a scale or a size of pants. It's what weight you can maintain and be healthy, while feeling you have better things to focus on than the last 5 pounds.
Remember, when you see a size 2 model looking absolutely perfect in a magazine, remember this - that's her job. She must maintain that weight and meet standards for photography and marketing efficacy. Your job is not the same job. Your job requires another set of skills and focus. She is no less worthy for not having your attributes and you are no less worthy for not having hers.