How to Find the Best Weight for You

'Dancing With the Stars' favorite Cheryl Burke knows one way to measure her best weight. Do you?

July 21, 2014
Cheryl Burke

For most of us, having a dancer's body would be better than hot fudge on a calorie-free sundae. But not so for Dancing with the Stars' Cheryl Burke, who stood up to her critics -- yet again! -- to defend her curves despite her recent 25-pound weight loss

Telling Access Hollywood in a recent interview that despite being smaller, she's had "no plastic surgery" and is simply eating healthier and exercising more. 

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"When you change your lifestyle, your body changes," said Burke. "I'm completely healthy. My curves are never going to go away. Have I lost weight? Absolutely. But not in an unhealthy way. I want everyone to know that. I love my fans. But words are hurtful, especially coming from people you think always have your back."

These comments come after mass criticism of a bikini selfie she posted via Instagram while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas earlier this month.

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With this level of unwarranted criticism out there, it's hard for we mere mortals to know what a healthy body should look like. So we talked to Alison Massey, a registered dietitian at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore to help you find your best weight zone.

Is Body Mass Index the best indicator of what a woman should weigh? BMI is a screening tool (check out Fitbie's free BMI calculator!) but it shouldn't be used to determine fatness. It's not always the best way to know if you're at a healthy weight, especially for women who are athletes.

Why is that? Muscle weighs more than fat. Athletes may be better off looking at their percentage of body fat rather than the number on the scale.

So if a woman is muscular and heavier than what the chart says she should be, is there a way to know if she's way off the mark? Yes. Waist circumference is a tool that lets people know if they are at higher risk for developing obesity-related conditions. A woman should have a waist circumference less than 35 inches.

Is there a point where accepting the fact that someone may be overweight -- which is arguable good for self esteem -- is not good for health? A good body image is certainly very important, but taking care of our bodies is equally so. Nourishing your body with good food and exercising regularly are important for overall health and can boost body confidence simply because you're taking better care of yourself. If a woman has a waist circumference of more than 35 inches, they need to realize they may be at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. 

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