Why Losing Weight Can Save Your Life During COVID-19

By Diana Sanchez, Staff Writer

Photo by Houcine Ncib on Unsplash

Did you know that how much you weigh can seriously impact how severe your symptoms could be if you were to get COVID-19? The pandemic is changing how we see the world, how we interact with others, and it's affecting how we view ourselves. Now more than ever, it’s important to ask ourselves: do I need to lose weight to stay safe?

While there is still so much we don’t know about COVID-19, how it truly affects us, and what the long term consequences might be, what we do know about the disease is continually growing. Among this is the knowledge that obesity makes it much tougher for people to recover from COVID-19. 

Why? Good question. Let’s discuss.

Why Does Obesity Make It Harder to Recover from COVID-19?

While many people who become infected with COVID-19 experience mild to no symptoms, individuals who are obese are much more likely to develop severe symptoms and require medical care to survive. In fact, obesity is the second most common reason those affected with COVID-19 need hospital care, coming in closely behind elderly patients who require special care because of their age.

Obesity is also typically the underlying reason for the health conditions that are proving really challenging to overcome when combined with COVID-19. This includes: 

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol

If you fall into the overweight, obese, and severely obese categories, this is certainly a great time to start making an effort to bring your weight down to healthier levels.

What is My Ideal Weight?

Ideal weights are different for different people, and certainly lose some meaning if you are very muscular since muscle weighs more than fat. Below is the height and weight chart released by the National Institute of Health.

Height Weight
Normal Overweight Obesity Severe obesity
4ft 10″
(58″)
91 to 115 lbs. 119 to 138 lbs. 143 to 186 lbs. 191 to 258 lbs.
4ft 11″
(59″)
94 to 119 lbs. 124 to 143 lbs. 148 to 193 lbs. 198 to 267 lbs.
5ft
(60″)
97 to 123 lbs. 128 to 148 lbs. 153 to 199 lbs. 204 to 276 lbs.
5ft 1″
(61″)
100 to 127 lbs. 132 to 153 lbs. 158 to 206 lbs. 211 to 285 lbs.
5ft 2″
(62″)
104 to 131 lbs. 136 to 158 lbs. 164 to 213 lbs. 218 to 295 lbs.
5ft 3″
(63″)
107 to 135 lbs. 141 to 163 lbs. 169 to 220 lbs. 225 to 304 lbs.
5ft 4″
(64″)
110 to 140 lbs. 145 to 169 lbs. 174 to 227 lbs. 232 to 314 lbs.
5ft 5″
(65″)
114 to 144 lbs. 150 to 174 lbs. 180 to 234 lbs. 240 to 324 lbs.
5ft 6″
(66″)
118 to 148 lbs. 155 to 179 lbs. 186 to 241 lbs. 247 to 334 lbs.
5ft 7″
(67″)
121 to 153 lbs. 159 to 185 lbs. 191 to 249 lbs. 255 to 344 lbs.
5ft 8″
(68″)
125 to 158 lbs. 164 to 190 lbs. 197 to 256 lbs. 262 to 354 lbs.
5ft 9″
(69″)
128 to 162 lbs. 169 to 196 lbs. 203 to 263 lbs. 270 to 365 lbs.
5ft 10″
(70″)
132 to 167 lbs. 174 to 202 lbs. 209 to 271 lbs. 278 to 376 lbs.
5ft 11″
(71″)
136 to 172 lbs. 179 to 208 lbs. 215 to 279 lbs. 286 to 386 lbs.
6ft
(72″)
140 to 177 lbs. 184 to 213 lbs. 221 to 287 lbs. 294 to 397 lbs.
6ft 1″
(73″)
144 to 182 lbs. 189 to 219 lbs. 227 to 295 lbs. 302 to 408 lbs.
6ft 2″
(74″)
148 to 186 lbs. 194 to 225 lbs. 233 to 303 lbs. 311 to 420 lbs.
6ft 3″
(75″)
152 to 192 lbs. 200 to 232 lbs. 240 to 311 lbs. 319 to 431 lbs.
6ft 4″
(76″)
156 to 197 lbs. 205 to 238 lbs. 246 to 320 lbs. 328 to 443 lbs.
BMI 19 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 54

 

Your ideal weight depends largely on your age, body build, frame, and height. You have to remember that the weight range above is exactly that - a range of acceptable weights for your height. For example, I am 5’4” and I have a large frame. My weight recommendation range is 110-140 lbs. The lowest I’ve ever weighed as an adult is 130, and I can tell you I couldn’t possibly weigh much under that without looking sick. There are plenty of other women who are my height who can weigh between 110lbs and 130lbs and look and feel perfectly fine - I am just not one of them. So I aim to stay around the 130 mark, because I know that's a healthy weight for me.

You do want to stay within your weight range for optimal health and you certainly don't want to fall into the overweight or obese categories.

How Can I Lose Weight to Stay Healthy During the Pandemic?

Like most things in life, this is one of those things that’s easier said than done. But, it’s still entirely possible! Especially if you have the right information at your fingertips. You will need a combination of diet and exercise to meet your weight loss goals.

If you’d like to look at dieting ideas, check out these blogs: 

What is the DASH Diet? 
What is the MIND Diet? 
What is the 5 Bite Diet? 
What is the Raw Food Diet? 
What is the Paleo Diet? 
Is Keto Right for Me? 
7 Day Keto Meal Plan 
What is Intermittent Fasting? 
How Can I Stick to a Diet? 

If you’re interested in finding a good workout program for you, check out these blogs:

What are the Best Workouts for Weight Loss?
How Can I Get Started Running?
What are HIIT Workouts?
Do at Home Workouts Really Work?
Is Yoga Right for Me?

Please take care of yourselves, ladies. Your health and well-being are important, so don’t stop prioritizing it. 

Have you tried to lose weight because of COVID-19? What has your progress been?


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