Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain weight, or shift your weight (think gaining muscle and reducing fat), there are steps you can take to help you maintain or achieve your optimal number.
A healthy weight is associated with many benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Also, a healthy body weight usually means better energy and a more positive frame of mind. Who doesn’t want that?!
Before we dive into the 10 ways to help you reach your ideal weight, let’s review what the term “ideal weight” means.
In technical terms, your ideal weight is based on your height, frame, size, and sex. Below are the instructions for using the Hamwi equation to determine your ideal weight.
100 pounds + 5 pounds for each inch above five feet, and -5 pounds for each inch below five feet. (Example: If a woman is 5’ 4”, her ideal weight would be [100 + (5+5+5+5)=120lbs]
106 pounds + 6 pounds for each inch above five feet and -6 pounds for each inch below five feet. (Example: If a man is 5’ 8”, his ideal weight would be [106 + (6+6+6+6+6+6+6+6)=154]
(Don’t worry, weight that is within 10% of your calculated number is totally acceptable!)
For a more intuitive approach to weight management, you want to think of ideal weight as the weight in which you feel your best and can safely maintain.
Instead of relying on the number on the scale, think about all aspects of your life and the way they affect your body. In addition to the food you eat affecting your weight, lifestyle factors play a big role, too. Stress, sleep, relationships, and exercise are just some of the lifestyle factors that can play a role in achieving or maintaining your ideal weight.
Sometimes putting too much emphasis on body weight can have an adverse consequence. You might find yourself creating an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise. It can even put a strain on your relationships. Rather than focusing on the number on your scale, focus on maintaining balance (Heck, you might even think about tossing that scale in the garbage!).
When considering the big picture, think about these 10 tips for achieving your ideal weight.
1. Opt for Whole, Nutrient-Dense Foods
This is something you’ve probably heard a time or two, but do you actually walk the talk?
When you incorporate healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins, you’re doing your body a huge favor! Fiber from plant sources is also really important. Not only does it keep you feeling full longer, which prevents you from snacking, but fiber supports gut health.
Strong gut health has been linked to better weight management and numerous other health benefits.
Lastly, a well-balanced diet helps you maximize your nutrient intake, as well as contribute to satiety (this means feeling full).
2. Reach for the Right Beverage
One important aspect for managing your weight is to consider the drinks you consume in a day.
If you’re opting for sugar-sweetened or high-calorie beverages, you are filling up on empty calories and will be more likely to eat more calories during the day, too. Instead, reach for a glass of water.
A great rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces each day. (Example: Someone who weighs 140lbs should drink about 70 ounces per day).
For those of you looking to gain weight, reach for a nutrient-dense smoothie!
3. Limit Additives
Too often, a fast paced life may have you turning toward certain foods and products out of convenience.
Unfortunately, these products often contain additives that can have negative consequences on your body, and leads to unwanted weight gain.
Additives can prohibit the body’s ability to metabolize fat which makes weight regulation difficult. Also, certain additives are chemicals that have been found to be endocrine disruptors.
To reduce your exposure to additives, select fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, limit processed meats, use glass and stainless steel containers, avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols), and wash your hands before and after handling food because chemical additives in plastics are so common in things you touch throughout the day.
4. Manage Stress
You know living a stressful life has an adverse effect on your health, but do you know why?
Stress affects your weight in two ways.
First, when you are stressed, the body increases the production of stress hormones which tells the body to go into fat-storage mode. This means your body becomes more effective at storing fat. In fight or flight mode your body holds on to what it has and stores anything new that is introduced.
Second, stress affects your emotions, which causes you to seek comfort food, often in the form of fatty, sugary foods. So when you’re stressed you are more likely to turn to high-calorie foods, which your body is more efficient at turning them into fat, and weight gain occurs.
You can’t avoid stress, but there are several things you can do to help prevent the effect stress has on your weight.
Activities like yoga, exercise, mediation, deep breathing, and reading or enjoying music helps manage stress levels.
Grab your “StressLESS” Coloring Book here.
5. Eat Mindfully
When it comes to weight management, you might not think about the relationship between WHAT and HOW you are eating.
Eating quickly can lead to consuming more than you need. Also, eating too fast means your body isn’t given the time to properly absorb nutrients and digestion is hindered.
Instead, slow yourself down and be mindful of the food you’re eating, and chew it slowly. Enjoy and be present in the moment!
By slowing down you might find that you are satisfied sooner and eat smaller portions. This is a relaxing and easier way to manage your ideal weight.
6. Make Time for Breakfast
Breakfast can be a hot debate: To Eat, Or Not to Eat.
The truth is, when you consume a well-balanced breakfast, you feel full all morning long, and are less likely to binge eat later in the day. Eating large meals late in the day can not only affect your weight, but your sleep too!
My go to breakfast is Crockpot Overnight Oats. Easy to prepare, slow cook them overnight, and then wake up to a warm & healthy breakfast.
7. Don’t Skip Meals
If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, skipping meals can have a negative effect on your goal.
When you skip meals you are more likely to crave and binge certain foods. You might find yourself making impulsive food choices and eat much more than you normally would.
When you make time for meals you have better hunger management throughout the day and this usually leads to making better food choices.
8. Enjoy Food at Home
Eating out is a favorite pastime, but when enjoyed too often, weight gain can become the result. Most restaurants offer large portion sizes, and their delicious meals are often higher in fat, salt, and sugar. Therefore, frequently eating may eventually lead to weight gain. Cooking at home allows you better control over your caloric intake, as well as the quality of the foods you’re eating. Exploring different types of foods, recipes, and cooking techniques are fun ways to maintain your ideal weight.
Check out my blog post on Lemon Parsley Oil Roasted Vegetables here.
9. Make Sleep a Priority
In a world where sleep deprivation is worn like a badge of honor, be the one who says “hell no!”
Lack of sleep is directly connected to an increase in inflammation in the body.
When your circadian rhythms (your physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle) are disrupted, there will be an increase in inflammation. Inflammation will often create conditions that lead to weight gain.
Also, when you are sleep deprived your body will produce more of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone that signals you to eat. When you have more ghrelin circulating in your bloodstream, you will find yourself turning to eat more often than when you’re well-rested.
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and don’t let anything get in the way of getting your beauty sleep.
Use my FREE Sleep Tracker to help you get your beauty rest back on track!
10. Get Moving!
One of the best things you can do to achieve or manage your weight is to find time to move your body.
Exercise has numerous benefits that include relieving stress, burning calories, mood regulation, and blood sugar balance. Bonus: Exercise boosts your metabolism when you aren’t working out.
If regular exercise isn’t part of your routine, what are you waiting for?! Join a local gym, go running with a friend, try a new yoga class, or simply start by taking a nice, long walk. Just remember to follow up your workout with some protein to aid in muscle repair.
I recommend the Sweat app to all of my clients. They literally have something for everyone. From HIIT to Yoga, and everything in between, the Sweat App is an amazing tool to help you keep your workout goals on track. Sweat offers numerous programs to choose from, On Demand Workouts, a Panner, and so much more!
If reaching or maintaining an ideal weight is important to you, try the 10 tips above.
Add in one a day, or try them all at once! Find an accountability partner who helps keep you on track and is there to cheer you on.
And remember, big changes happen over time, and start with small steps in the right direction. You’ve got this!
stablishing strong habits on a daily basis is the best way to achieve optimal wellness.
My 1:1 and group coaching programs walk you through how to take small steps that lead to BIG CHANGE. Sustainable change.
Book your FREE discovery call here. I can’t wait to help you live the life you’ve always dreamed of living!
Not ready for coaching? I get it. Hope we can work together soon! In the meantime, check out my Wellness Workbook and jumpstart your journey to better health. No better time than the present.
To Your Health!
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