There’s been a strong shift towards wanting to live a healthier lifestyle in recent years, and this is definitely a good thing considering the obesity and healthcare epidemics facing the United States today.
One of the most important things an adult can do to make sure they enjoy good health is to take the proper steps to maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity causes a whole host of major health problems and working to be fit and stay in a healthy weight range is one of the best things an adult woman can do to stay healthy as she ages.
However this is much easier said than done and it certainly doesn’t help matters that finding two or more healthy weight range charts that agree with each other is going to be a challenge in and of itself.
Add in issues like age, frame, and yes, even breast size, and the numbers can shift multiple pounds in either direction.
That being said, this is a very important step for any woman who wants to stay in top notch health.
Healthy Weight Range for Women: What the Research Says
There are a wide variety of factors that go into what makes a healthy weight range for women.
Height, frame, age, and sometimes even breast size can all have an effect to move the needle one way or another when it comes to trying to determine the ideal healthy weight range.
Fortunately, the health industry in general has moved away from traditional BMI the last few years and has begun focusing on more accurate measures for determining actual health.
While there are some pretty decent rule of thumb charts it is important to always remember that these are guidelines, not hard and fast rules with no movement in either direction.
Different sources may have slight variations on these numbers, and the best way to really narrow it down is to have a full physical done that includes body fat % testing and measurement of body parts (like the waistline) to see how everything matches up.
However, here are some charts using a variety of sources(1),(2) that give an idea of the range that many modern charts deem as healthy.
It’s important to note that there are different ranges based on small, average, and large frames, and there are always exceptions like the super skinny tall person or the legitimately muscular average frame.
However, as a basic starting point here are some common heights.
The first number is a general average weight considered healthy, the two following are a number for a “small frame” and then a “large frame” in that order.
Between those three numbers you can get a sense of what a legitimate healthy range for a woman of a certain height might be.
4’10 – 107 avg: 101, 118
5’0 – 110 avg: 108, 120
5’4 (average height for a woman) – 131 avg: 120, 139
5’8 – 138 avg: 128, 147
6’0 – 154 avg: 144, 168
Those are pretty large ranges and things like muscle mass and shape can have a major needle moving effect on what your actual ideal range is.
Best Way to Lose Weight if You’re Outside the “Healthy Range”
While it can be frustrating when you try to lose weight and struggle, that doesn’t make it impossible – and that certainly doesn’t mean you should stop trying! The key is to get the right balance between a healthy diet and exercise.
This doesn’t mean starving down with a very low calorie diet or running a daily marathon – there is a such thing as overkill and the goal isn’t just to lose the weight but it is also to pick up the habits to help maintain that healthy and happier lifestyle afterward!
Pick a healthy diet (South Beach is one of our favorites – read about it here) you are likely to stay with. Start by removing one bad food item and adding one good one to your regular habits if you want to shift slowly to a good diet, keeping that up over the days and weeks until you’re eating habits are great.
Make sure workouts are not just cardio but throw in some weight lifting. Stronger muscles and bones will be critical as you age and more muscle means burning more calories from your resting metabolism.
Studies have also shown that adding weight lifting to your workouts will lead to more fat loss than just cardio alone.
If in doubt, change things up with some HIIT routines to really get the metabolic furnace rolling!(3)
Diets and Pitfalls to Avoid
One of the most common pitfalls is eating too little. This can actually hurt your chances when it comes to long term weight loss because your body will go into starvation mode!
Diet doesn’t mean you have to look for a fad diet or something that is impossible to maintain over time (in fact you shouldn’t do either), but it simply means finding a healthy eating plan.
This could mean switching to the Ketogenic Diet (read about it here) if you love fatty and protein laden foods but can get rid of sugar and carbs easily, or it might mean the Mediterranean diet for a heavy dose of veggies and light on the red meat.
In other cases, many people will find they are relatively healthy but just need to drop a few bad habits that are sabotaging them from the weight loss they would otherwise be enjoying.
Finally, watch out for domino foods. A spoonful of peanut butter is probably fine. But how often do you settle for one spoonful?
One glass of red wine isn’t going to sink you, but a bottle will.
Just be cautious of these potential dietary landmines and you will be much happier and much more likely to pull off your weight loss (or weight maintenance) goals if you avoid foods that you know are a natural weakness.
Avoid temptation to begin with then you don’t have to spend energy on will power.
There are plenty of options out there for adult women looking to trim off some weight and get back down into that healthy weight range once again.
By focusing on a balanced approach of moving more, being a little bit more active, and eating a little healthier, you will find that you have all the tools you need to get the job done and to enjoy the many benefits that come with a healthier weight and life.
Ben Corbin brings more than 20 years of experience as a health and wellness author and writer. He holds a master’s degree, has a passion for health and fitness, and is driven to provide readers with accurate and honest information. Learn more about Ben and the DadQuarters mission at our About page.