You’ve probably heard talk of your “ideal” body weight, but what exactly does that mean? Obviously, it’s different for everyone; there’s no number to cite, and while your body mass index (BMI) is an important indicator of health, it’s certainly not a perfect and precise measurement.
Your ideal weight is simply the point at which you experience optimum health. At this weight, you benefit from peak energy levels, you feel your best, and you eliminate excess weight as a risk factor for developing cancer, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.
Generally speaking, your ideal body weight is achieved when your BMI is somewhere between 20 and 25. A body mass index between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, and a higher BMI indicates obesity. You can quickly find your number with this online BMI calculator.
Here are five tips I like to share with my patients and private coaching clients:
Weight Loss Tip #1: Exercise in the Morning
When you exercise in the morning, you jump start your metabolism. Increased metabolism helps you burn calories throughout the day. An early workout also gets it in when motivation tends to be at its highest, and it’s something you’ll feel good about all day long. Starting your day with a real accomplishment helps keep you on track for the rest of the day.
Weight Loss Tip #2: Lift Weights
Cardio gets the most attention for burning calories, but weight lifting and resistance training are another key part of achieving an ideal body weight and more energy. These types of exercise build muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn throughout the day. Building muscle also improves overall health and helps you feel great about yourself.
Weight Loss Tip #3: Eat Snacks
Yes, you read that right. Eat snacks between meals. Going hungry for hours just makes you likely to overeat at meals. Choose nutritionally dense whole foods. For example, a serving of blueberries or other fruit is packed with nutrients and low in calories; a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or other nuts provides plenty of protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients.
Weight Loss Tip #4: Eat Salads for Lunch
Salads get a bad rap as diet food, but they can be exceptionally nutritious and delicious while helping you reach and maintain your ideal body weight. Use dark green lettuces and combos of fresh veggies, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, or a serving of fish or other lean meat. Go light on a heart-health oil-based dressing. You get lots of antioxidants and other nutrients, and a real energy boost that lasts.
Weight Loss Tip #5: Stretch Before Bed
It’s such a simple, beneficial thing to do, but you don’t often hear it. Stretching before bed is an effective way to stay loose, limber, and at less risk of an injury during exercise. It also improves circulation and relieves stress to help you sleep better, promoting increased energy, especially for those morning workouts.