Before I get to the what, I do want to briefly address the who part of the question. In part, you determine what is healthy, as do your health professionals, and society plays its sometimes skewed role in defining health. Society exerts its influence particularly in media and advertising determining how the body is viewed. Beauty is frequently equated with health. Do I need to say that that is not true? Your health professionals determine healthy by levels of reduced risk for disease and occasionally by outdated ideas like BMI. Why is BMI outdated? It is strictly a height versus weight chart. It does not take into consideration muscle mass. Finally, you determine how you define healthy by how you feel and think about your weight and size. This is ultimately why I want to help you achieve YOUR “fine”.
Health professionals would tend to say that your BMI should be between 18.5 to 24.9. If you are lucky enough to have a physician who understands that muscle mass should be counted, then according to the American Heart Association it should be recommended for men to be between 6 & 20% body fat and for women, 13 & 25% body fat. And just as beauty does not equate to health, neither does clothes size. It is possible to be the size you desire and not be healthy. It is possible to be underfat or overfat while still being the size you desire. Underfat means that your body fat percentage is lower than recommended which can lead to a number of health concerns. It is also possible to be your desired size/weight and be overfat, meaning that your body fat percentage is higher than recomended leading to higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc., even if you are only 115 pounds if 30% of that is fat your are at elevated risk! Your resting heart rate should be between 60 & 100 bpm, with lower being better because it means your heart isn’t working as hard. Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are vital to know. The fifth number that I think you would want to know is your fasting blood sugar, just to make sure you are not pre-diabetic or diabetic.
Society, which should read as media, advertising, food industry, and diet industry, will tell you often and loudly what healthy is. The food industry, especially fast food and heavily processed foods are not interested in your health. They are interested in making money. For the most part “food” companies are like drug dealers, they don’t care if you die from their products because there is someone in line behind you to take your place. So, am I saying don’t eat out? No. But I am saying that if you eat out every meal and/or from pre-made store bought meals do not be surprised when you are overweight or overfat, and have high blood pressure, high resting heart rate, and/or high cholesterol. And it is possible to make healthier choices when eating out. Fast food places just don’t make it easy to find or choose the healthy choices in most cases. Restaurants are easier but still not easy. Chemists work to make flavorings for chips, gummie snacks, and candies stronger and therefore more desirable than the real thing. We begin to crave the stronger flavor and the real flavor for some people becomes less satisfying. The diet industry is as bad. “You can lose weight without changing your diet or exercising!” Can anyone say “phen-phen”? The diet industry can be in such a hurry to get the next new miracle drug out on the market they don’t bother to wait long enough to see if it will kill you! If you don’t change your diet and don’t exercise, any weight you might lose on the diet pill/supplement will be gained back when you stop taking said pill/supplement.
What is healthy? For me, it is having a reasonable body fat percentage, being strong enough to do what you like to do without becoming exhausted, you like how you look and how your clothes fit. You want to be in a category of reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc. Be happy! Reduce your stress. Share your life with friends and family. Pursue interests and hobbies with enthusiasm. Love yourself and others. Be Fine…let me help you.
Get your groove on.