I get this question quite a bit: “What is my ideal weight?”
It seems that most people have trouble with trying to figure out how much they are “supposed” to weigh. The problem stems from the media and the way people’s bodies are portrayed. This leads most people have a “look” that they feel is perfect for them.
The truth is, these numbers that these models, actors and actresses come up with might be very false. In addition, very often these celebrities have personal trainers and nutritionists who watch their every move, not to mention, when they are not working (on set) they have the ability to spend several hours in the gym. They have clear advantages over you and me. Therefore, these types of bodies are very hard to obtain and maintain.
This then brings us to the question, “what is my ideal weight?” This is very hard to determine but the best advice to really give is to forget about the number on the scale and focus two things
1. How you look and feel about your body, and
2. Your body fat percentage.
A 150 pound man with 28% body fat will look very different compared to a 150 pound man with 10% body fat and a sculpted six pack. This is why you should focus on what you look like in the mirror and at body fat percentage and forget about what the scale says.
What Should I Look at in the Mirror?
First, realize that standing on the scale is a huge waste of your time. That number between your toes doesn’t tell you if you are fat, skinny or muscular. It doesn’t tell you if you have the shape you want. If you want a number to judge progress, then go with your body fat percentage instead. Even then, it’s only going to tell you so much. If you are going for a certain look, then go to the mirror and look at yourself.
Focus on several areas that you’d like improve and then create an action plan to address those areas. If you want more toned arms, then find a good weight lifting plan to get you there. Six pack abs? You will then have to start a weight lifting program and a follow a somewhat strict nutrition plan.
Certainly cardio (long, slow or interval) will help with the process, but remember this: you cannot spot reduce fat. You will burn fat all over your body. That is to say, if you are a little soft around the middle, thousands of crunches won’t burn just the fat on your belly (or, if I am being honest, crunches won’t burn much fat at all).
On the other hand, generally speaking, you can sculpt your body with weight lifting. You *can* target specific areas to change (unlike fat burning). For example, generally speaking, focus on curls, your biceps will grow. This applies to every muscle group in your body.
Use a combination of a solid nutrition plan, fat melting cardio and sculpting your look through weight training to change the way you look in the mirror. Forget about what the scale says…
What Tests can I do to Determine my Body Fat Percentage?
What if you are like me and you *need* numbers? There are several tools to help determine your body fat percentage. First, let me give you some guidelines… the truth about abs is this: for a male to start seeing his six pack abs, he should be around 10% of body fat, and for females it is about 14%.
By the time their abs are visible, they would have already been following a somewhat healthy diet. Realize that diet is the most important factor. There is an old saying that says, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” And I completely believe this to be true.
Three are a couple of ways you can measure your body fat percentage. You can use hydrostatic weighing, bioelectrical impedance (BIA) or simple measurements. One of my favorite ways because it’s pretty simple is to use the army body fat worksheet.
Ultimately, the answer to “what is my ideal weight?” will depend on how you look to yourself. Try your best to forget about your actual weight. Once you start to see your body change, you then will realize that you are achieving your goals. Avoid being addicted to the scale. Focus on seeing your waistline shrink and you will definitely begin to feel and look healthier than ever before.
The Truth About Abs by Mike Geary
Comments? Criticisms? Concerns? Let me know in the comments below!