For many, losing weight is more than a path to true health—it can become an obsession. There are times when reaching a weight-loss milestone can lead to the difficulty in switching into maintenance mode. When spending much of your time trying to lose weight, the desire for “just a little more” can be overwhelming.
Our culture values skinny, but there can be a time when too much weight-loss is detrimental to both physical and emotional health.
The question remains—how skinny is “too skinny?”
It can be a touchy subject, because weight patterns are distinctive, and vary with each person. Being too thin stresses the body in unique ways, sometimes difficult to understand.
The most common way to determine normal weight is the Body Mass Index (BMI)—the correlation between height and weight. A normal BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. However, the human body varies considerably in individuals, and some medical professionals have questioned the use of BMI as an arbiter of good health.
Another problem is self-image. Losing large amounts of weight is encouraged—especially for the clinically obese—but once the ball “gets rolling,” it can become difficult to stop. Some people who have reported losing large amounts of body mass will continue to see themselves as “fat.” This self-image will lead to the health pendulum swinging the other way—with excessive dieting, fasting and eating disorders.
Some of the signs that someone may have lost too much weight:
• Moodiness or mood swings.
• Substantial muscle loss, resulting in exaggerated joints (knees and elbows).
• Menstrual cycle becomes irregular or stops abruptly.
• Exercise stops being fun and becomes more of a chore.
• Insomnia, sleeplessness and restlessness.
• The body chills easily—feeling cold all the time, no matter what the temperature.
A proper weight for your body is the basis for a happy and healthy life. To ensure you are on the right course for your personal body goals—see your doctor or medical professional.