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What's a "Normal" Weight?

What's a "Normal" Weight?

Your changing weight
Same height, different weight—how come?
Same height, same weight—is that normal?
How can I tell if my weight is normal?
What's my body composition?

Your changing weight
Change can feel like your enemy. Especially when it's your body that's changing. It can make you feel out of control. You may be getting hips but no breasts yet. Or maybe you're filling out a cute pink bra but your legs look like they belong on a pony. You may be taller than most of the boys in your class, or perhaps you think you're not tall enough. To top it all off, your friends seem to be growing faster, better, or more gracefully than you. No wonder figuring out what's "normal" is giving you a headache. back to top

Same height, different weight—how come?
People used to think that there was an "ideal" weight for every height. If you were 5'4", you were supposed to weigh X. If you were 5'0", you were supposed to weigh Y. Now we know better. No two girls are exactly alike. You and your best friend may be the same age and height, but you don't wear the same size khakis. That doesn't necessarily mean one of you is overweight.

Your weight may be different because:
  • Your body frame is larger or smaller.
  • Your diet, metabolism, and fitness level are different.
  • You have a different balance of muscle and body fat, also known as body composition.
If you aren't happy with the weight you are, you can change your diet by reducing the total calories you consume. You can boost your metabolic rate through strength training or resistence training. And you can increase your fitness level and burn more calories by getting in shape with cardio exercises. back to top

Same height, same weight—is that normal?
Maybe your best friend borrows all of your clothes. You're the same age, the same height, and you even weigh the same amount. Although you may feel like twins now, that will probably change. Especially if your diet, body composition, and fitness level are different. And that's normal! back to top

How can I tell if my weight is normal?
The numbers on the bathroom scale don't determine whether your weight is normal. There is no set number that says you are too thin, too heavy, or just right. Scales may be handy, but a better measure of a healthy weight is the proportion of fat to lean body mass. This is called your body composition. back to top

What's my body composition?
Because keeping track of your weight is not a good way to measure how healthy you are, focus on your body composition and use the body mass index calculator instead. A girl can't live by the scale alone. back to top

Learn more about:
overweight or obesity
body image
healthy diet for a girl
Last Modified Date: 2/28/2001
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