Natural Body Size

Our bodies do not have one weight that they keep for their lifetime. Our weight will change as we grow, age, are sick, have children, and go through physical changes. We can also have dramatic daily and monthly weight changes. Natural body size can also be affected by medical and psychological factors or medications.

There is not one weight that is right for our bodies – there is a natural weight range. Our body weight range (and body shape) has been genetically passed on to us by our parents and grandparents.

Just like our height, eye colour or shoe size, we have little control over what our adult weight and shape will be. We have to wait until we are adults to know what our weight range will be.

Female athletes who are still growing and training (generally you will continue to grow until two years after your menstrual period starts) naturally gain weight and height each year.

Between the ages of 9 and 16 years, it is normal and healthy for a female to gain (on average) between 2-5 kg. (5 – 10 pounds) each year and to grow as many as 28 cm. (10 inches) during those growing years. (National Centre for Health Statistics)

Natural body size for an adult refers to the weight, size, and shape of your body after a year of eating a variety and balance of foods, eating when you are physically hungry, eating until you are comfortably full, and living an active lifestyle.

So, if you are eating at least three balanced meals with lots of variety and several snacks throughout the day, eating all the foods that you enjoy, and living actively, it is likely that you are at your natural body size. We cannot compare our body size and shape to others. We are all made differently.

There are many ways for athletes to improve performance without changing their weight- like working on physical strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, sport-specific skills, or mental aspects like focus, preparation, visualization and goal-setting. There is room in every sport for athletes of different weights, heights, shapes and sizes to succeed.

Each of our bodies- even an athlete’s - has a weight range, shape and size that is natural and that will maximize athletic performance.