I am a 32 year old 5’4″ female. I recently weighed myself and found that to my astonishment I now weigh 165 pounds. I put the weight on without really noticing it until I went to do some summer shopping. I was already about 150 pounds before the weight gain. I would like to know what my ideal weight should be for my height and also a healthy diet and exercise regimen to help me reach this desired weight. I also want to add that I had a baby a year ago and during my pregnancy I weighed 175 and I never fully lost all of the weight. Please help me!
In general, the guidelines of the National Health Institute recommend for women, 100 lbs. for 5 feet and five lbs. per inch, give or take pounds according to age. For men, it’s 100 lbs. per five feet and seven lbs. per inch.
Considering your age and height, your ideal weight lies somewhere between 120 and 140 lbs., depending on your body type. That’s a broad range but only you know where you feel healthy and comfortable. In recent years, the guidelines have slimmed down ideal body weights as extensive medical studies prove that thinner people are generally healthier and live longer than their heavier counterparts.
We’re not talking about super skinny or about victims of Anorexia Nervosa (an illness that causes people, especially females, to think they are too fat and starve themselves into stick figures.) Use common sense. When your bones start to show and people start to stare, you’re generally too thin. When you have to go to the children’s department to find clothes that fit you, there’s a problem. (We have included this to ward off letters of outrage from some officious types who think everybody who wants to lose weight is suffering from America’s “model-thin obsession.”)
As far as having had a baby, that’s no excuse so get with the program. We know it’s difficult for some women to lose post-pregnancy weight, so we are not entirely without empathy. But the same diet recommendations we make for everybody apply to new moms too. The main difference is that you need to exercise more, take time for yourself every day so you don’t eat out of frustration and/or boredom. Cut fatty foods including anything fried, butter, sauces and fatty gravies. Avoid baked goods and processed desserts. Avoid alcoholic and/or sugary beverages. Increase foods rich in protein such as chicken, fish, turkey and low-fat dairy products. Also increase intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and drink eight glasses of water a day. Cut out junk food and be sure to exercise daily. No days off for you until you begin seeing positive results. Good luck.
The SJ Wellness Center Staff
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