What Is a Healthy Weight?

Are you unhealthy if you are not at a healthy weight? Does being at a healthy weight mean that you’re healthy? What does healthy weight mean, and why is it important?

What does healthy weight mean?

A healthy weight, or normal weight, means that your Body Mass Index falls within a weight range that is not associated with an increased risk for weight-related diseases and health issues.

Body Mass Index is determined by your height and your weight. BMI doesn’t measure body fat, but it often correlates with direct measures of body fat. A higher BMI tends to indicate higher body fat, and a lower BMI indicates lower body fat. Adult BMI and BMI for children and teens are calculated differently.

Use the calculator below to find your BMI.

  • Underweight means a BMI under 18.5
  • Healthy or normal weight means a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9
  • Overweight means a BMI between 25 and 29.9
  • Obese is a BMI over 30

Body mass index is a screening method rather than a definitive measure of a person’s body fat, and it’s not meant to replace guidance from a medical professional. Body mass index is an easy way to monitor and get a general idea of a person’s body fat, but it is not a diagnostic tool for disease risk. 

It’s also important to remember that your BMI weight category isn’t an indicator of your overall health. Being within a healthy weight range doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re healthy. Being underweight or overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy either.

Why is it important to be at a healthy weight?

According to the CDC, people who are obese are at a higher risk than people at a healthy weight for various diseases and health conditions, including:

  • body and joint pain
  • lower quality of life
  • sleep apnea
  • breathing problems
  • cardiovascular disease
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • type 2 diabetes
  • osteoarthritis
  • disability
  • depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides

Even losing a little bit of weight – five to ten percent of your total body weight – can provide health benefits for those who are overweight or obese.

How can you maintain a healthy weight?

Regular physical activity and a balanced, nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Don’t look to fad diets if you’re outside of the healthy weight range. Popular diets are often difficult to maintain, they may limit your nutritional intake, and they rarely produce long-term results. People trying to lose weight may want to lose the weight as quickly as possible, but your goal should be healthy weight loss rather than rapid weight loss.

Research shows that people who lose weight gradually - 1 to 2 pounds a week - are more likely to keep the weight off. Living a healthy lifestyle is key in maintaining a healthy weight. Click To Tweet

Whatever category you’re in – underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese – you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you determine what your healthy weight is, and also help ensure that you’re in good health. Schedule an appointment with a doctor in Northwest Arkansas today.