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How Much Should You Weigh?

written by: Larry M. Lynch • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 5/18/2011

"How much should I weigh?" Who hasn't asked that poignant question? With so many factors involved, how do you even approach the answer intelligently - and safely? An essential part of the answer can be found here, with just a few simple steps.

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    How Much Should You Weigh?

    San Andres bikini girl PICT0091 Never mind the charts, tables and other pragmatic methods for determining how much weight you should lose (or gain in some cases). Here are two clinically safe, proven means to determine what your safe, healthy weight should be no matter what your age, gender or lifestyle might be. First, take the “pinups" of those half-starved teenage waifs off your refrigerator now and get real. Knowledge is power – the power to determine with reasonable certainty what you should be tipping the scales at for optimum health.

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    Why Be Wary of Your Weight?

    You might say to yourself, "I feel fine, I'm not really too much overweight" or “I prefer being more svelte than a bit heavier." Okay, but you should still know what the best weight or weight range is for you, medically speaking. Why? Because a dearth of health-related problems await those who might “stray" a bit too far from their ideal weight range. This can be especially true if you’re over 35 or 40 years of age. The health risks multiply rapidly as you age beyond forty or bulk up beyond the “overweight" category into “obese". Moderate to severe health ailments like:

    • shortness of breath
    • migraines
    • hypertension
    • diabetes
    • circulation problems
    • heart ailments

    ...among a host of others, can evolve from obesity-induced conditions.

    Part of any fitness or general health regime includes monitoring your Body Mass Index and body fat ratios.

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    What’s Your Ideal Weight Range?

    Perhaps I'm about to step on a lot of toes here, but so be it. So just how do you determine your ideal weight, or rather, your ideal weight range or body fat levels, anyway? Well, here we’ll discus two of the most medically accepted and used methods. Both of these methods are easy to apply and can provide fast, accurate results in most people’s cases.

    Please continue on to the second page of this article to learn about the two best height-weight or body fat determination methods, including online tools to help calculate what your BMI and waist circumference is, compared to what it ideally should be.

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    Calculating your Body Mass Index or BMI

    For determining your optimum height to weight ratio the Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a supremely useful tool. It’s used by health professionals to get an accurate overview of a person’s ideal weight. Your Body Mass Index is defined by your weight (in kilograms or pounds) divided by your height (in meters or inches) squared. Using the BMI as a benchmark, a BMI of less than 18.5 makes you “underweight"; a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered “normal". When your BMI is 25 to 25.9, you’re considered to be “overweight". A person with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered to be “obese", In addition, a BMI of 27 or greater is also technically a “pre-diabetic" condition or at least an “at-risk" prognosis. You can learn your Body Mass Index right now using these handy online BMI Calculators. Or if you prefer, try these quick, easy-to-use Body Mass Index Tables.

    BMI Calculators:

    The first, http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ is for standard measurements in inches, feet and pounds.

    The second, at: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bminojs.htm is for both standard and metric measurements.

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    Measuring Your Waist Circumference

    The second method of determining your ideal weight range or body fat levels we mentioned earlier is by measuring your waist circumference. This actually measures abdominal fat.

    Here’s the way it works:

    Measure your waist circumference by placing a tape measure around your waist (at the navel or below). This will provide a good idea of your abdominal fat which is another indicator of your heart disease (and other obesity-related ailments) risk.

    If you’re a woman and your waist measures 35 inches or more, then you are at an increased risk of heart disease and other obesity-related conditions. For a man, the critical waist measurement is 40 inches or more. To check out your heart and obesity-associated disease risk relative to having a “normal" waist circumference, have a look at this informative Waist Circumference BMI table online:

    Risks of Obesity-Associated Diseases by BMI and Waist Circumference

    Now remember that losing just 10 per cent of your excess weight significantly aids in lowering your obesity-related conditions and heart disease risk The more weight loss your achieve and the closer you get to a “normal" weight range for your gender, height and body type, the lower your heart disease risk will be.

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    How Much Should You Weigh?

    Just how much you should weigh is determined by a number of factors, so it’s highly advisable to consult a qualified medical professional before embarking on any dramatic weight loss regimen. But with these guidelines, you’ll have a good idea of whether you need to lose weight – or even gain weight. You’ll be better informed to ultimately answer the question of “how much should I weigh?"