Healthy Weight or Natural Weight?

Intuitive eating
Weight loss
Healthy eating
two feet on a scale

If you are asked the following question:

What is health? Is it to have a healthy weight? Is it to be thin according to societal standards?

Maybe, maybe not.

Healthy weight

In definition, a healthy weight is based on the body mass index or rather the BMI. This is a widely used measure in the health system, but it is a simple calculation of weight divided by height squared. Does it indicate the distribution of body fat? And is muscle mass taken into account? The answer is simple: No. How then can we define a healthy weight with this simple calculation?

Taking into account only the BMI, the focus is on a weight "health" based on generalities leading us to lose weight in order to be in the right standards while disregarding our psychological and physical well-being.

And if instead of talking about healthy weight, we were talking about natural weight?

It represents a weight towards which our body tends naturally without having to restrict excessively. The ideal weight we have in mind does not always represent the optimal weight for our physical and mental well-being. This natural weight can approach the standards of a healthy BMI as it can diverge from it without necessarily involving bad habits of life. Concretely, it means you do physical activity for 3 or more times a week, your diet is varied and balanced, but your weight does not seem to go down. Be careful, no need exaggerate, you are probably in your natural weight zone.

The concept of natural weight is much more than just a number on the scale

Indeed, each individual’s weight is regulated according to several determinants that make up their morphology. This includes sleep, genetic background, age, medication, psychological stress related to daily life, smoking, weight history, hormone levels .... And more.

Keep in mind that while the combination of physical activity and healthy eating is a major factor in changing your lifestyle leading to weight loss, many other factors unique to you need to be addressed.

Now you understand why a weight loss process similarly done in two different people will not necessarily have the same.

Keep in mind that even if your efforts at weight loss are not enough to reach your ideal weight, the lifestyle changes you've made will have a big impact on your physical and psychological health.

Let's redirect the attention from weight on the scales towards physical and psychological well-being!

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist