When it comes to the question what should I weigh?. Often we rely on charts and graphs from a variety of sources. Rather than that approach today we are going to figure out how to calculate the optimum weight for you personally. We will take into account where you are in the life cycle and your activity level.
As A Female, How Much Should I Weigh?
If you look at a chart like this and think OMG I’m OVERWEIGHT! You are not alone! For much of my life I was on a merry go round trying to be some magic weight. When that failed I would yo yo diet or starve myself to lose weight again. Only to make up for it and then some.
Women Need Some Fat
For one thing women during child bearing years need to have some fat on their frames. Because we are all being poisoned by the food supply, we are gaining WAY to much weight and thinking our thyroids are to blame. While in truth they are part of the problem. But a bigger part is that our metabolism are so screwed up our bodies are simply trying to keep us alive by storing toxins and excess glucose as fat.
The going consensus is between 15 and 28% body fat for women is a good number to shoot for. If you are trying to get pregnant or going through menopause probably somewhere right in the middle is the sweet spot.
Menopause, Estrogen and Fat
Estrogen & Female Fat Distribution
- Estrogen increases the number of alpha-adrenergic receptors in the lower body of women. These receptors slow fat release. This is one reason why many women have a gynoid or pear shape fat distribution.
- Some evidence hints that when estrogen levels are higher, the activity of the alpha-receptors are greater suggesting that training in low estrogen states may speed fat release from more stubborn estrogen impacted areas (like the lower body).
- Estrogen also makes women store fat more in the subcutaneous areas (fat just under the skin and in the arms and legs), versus the deep belly fat in the middle of the body.
- Estrogen may have a different impact on deep abdominal fat, either not impacting it at all or speeding its release. This may be one reason why menopausal women who have lost the influence of estrogen see their fat distribution switch to the belly.
- Women have about 9 times more alpha-adrenergic receptors in the lower body than do men.
The upshot of Jade Teta’s post is that there are really 3 things going on.
- Estrogen/progesterone cycles
- Thyroid response
- Insulin/cortisol response
Estrogen while after menopause it does change things in the body, it is less of a problem then the insulin/cortisol responses. One of the only ways I have found to lose fat that has accumulated around my mid section over the last several years is to eat a ketogenic diet. This has helped me to lose 30 pounds over the last six months. I sleep much better and have not been hungry. Because I also support my adrenal glands with Ashwagandah I know longer struggle with anxiety and depression.
All That To Say Let’s Calculate What I Should Weigh
(You can plug your numbers in instead of mine to calculate what you should weigh)
First of all you are going to need a scale that measures body fat as a percentage of your total weight. I use this one which also calculates percentage of water weight too. As well as BMI, a number that means very little to me. Then you will need to figure out what percentage of body fat is optimal for you. As a post menopausal woman who is pushing 60, I can live with 20% body fat.
This is how my numbers looked this morning
163 total body weight (lbs), 26.5% body fat, 53.8% water weight, 27.8 BMI
To calculate the lean body mass you need to subtract the body fat percentage from 100%. In my case that would be 100-26.5 which equals 73.50 (or .735) Next you will take that figure (.735) and multiply it by your current body weight. So that would be .735 x 163 which totals 119. 119 is my lean mass weight.
To figure out what I should weigh, I need to divide the lean body mass number by 1-the goal fat percentage, in my case that would be 20%. This is what that looks like; 119/.80 (I got .80 because you take 100 subtract 20 equals 80. Then 80/100 equals .80)
The next step is to take your lean body mass (119 in my case) and divide it by the goal body fat percentage (.80) which for me turns out to be 148lbs. Subtracting 148 from 163 leaves me with 15 pounds to go.
Here is the formula:
- 100-Goal BF%=The number you need to calculate your goal body weight
- Lean Body Mass (LBM)/The number you need to calculate your goal body weight (above)=your target body weight.
It is pretty simple really. This way you also have control over what percentage of body fat you are aiming for based on your body composition.
Be sure to grab your copy of the Keto Basics where you can tailor a weight loss plan that works for you! And join us over in our Facebook Group. Where we will try to answer your questions and give you support.