What did you say to yourself the last time you looked in the mirror at your full body?
- Did you say, “I need to lose X pounds”?
- Did you just shrug your shoulders and walk away?
- Did you smile and say, “I can tell my body is healthy and strong”?
If you said “I need to lose X pounds”, then you are not alone. According to a study, 80% of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their bodies.
What is your body supposed to look like?
How do you know what weight you body is meant to be?
At what weight does your body feel and work at its best?
What Determines Your Body Weight?
Your body weight and composition is determined by:
- Weight set point
- Physical activity levels
- Hormone profile (sex, appetite, and stress hormones in particular)
Weight set point
Set point is the weight range in which your body is programmed to function optimally. The set point theory indicates that our body will fight to maintain that weight range.
I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me back up. Many parts of our body, both physical and emotional, are determined either in part, or completely, by genetics. For example, height is mostly determined by genetics (some environmental factors may have a little influence, but for the most part it’s genes). In general, people accept their height, knowing that there is nothing they can do to change it.
In general, the same idea applies to weight. Genetics plays a large role in determining the weight that our bodies will function optimally, or function at its best. This is called your “set point”.
Find and maintain your weight set point
You want to feel good. You want your body to work optimally. How do you do that?
- Maintain a state of energy neutral energy balance. That means, energy in (calories) = energy out.
- Add muscle to your frame. Muscle is a “metabolically active” tissue so more muscle you have, the more energy your body burns while at rest. This doesn’t mean you need to bulk-up. Besides helping maintain your body’s set point, strength training also helps develop strong bones (very important as you age), enhance your quality of life (improves your ability to do everyday activities, including better balance), manage chronic conditions (such as arthritis, heart disease, depression, and diabetes), and sharpen your thinking skills.
- Nutritious food. Get the majority of your calories from nutritious foods that you enjoy.
- Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Or if you can’t get a full night’s rest, take a nap.
- Practice self care. Manage your stress levels.
Let’s get started
- Do you want to incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle but don’t know where to start?
- Are you struggling with finding nutritious foods that you enjoy and aren’t time consuming to prepare?
- Do you want to do something but have not idea what that is!?