How Much Should I Weigh for my Height?

If you are wondering ‘How much should I weigh according to my height’, let us first tell you that you cannot find one answer to this question. Someone who is young and short but very athletic will have a very different weight as compared to a person of the same height who is of the same height but older with pre-existing medical conditions. To get a better idea of your height and weight ratio, many people will suggest you follow the BMI chart, which takes in to consideration your height and tells you the related weight you should try and achieve.

Your body’s ideal proportion of body fat according to your height is a component of the Body Mass Index (BMI). These characteristics, along with your age and gender, are the most commonly used information for determining your ideal weight. Some BMI charts do indeed take this information into account, but others may omit one or more of the criteria, especially age and gender. The resulting BMI can be a helpful number to guide you through your weight loss, although using more specific information about you provides similarly specific information about how much body fat you should be carrying while remaining healthy. However, you should understand that BMI will only give you a broad measurement of your weight in relation to your height, keeping in mind your activity levels.

How Much Should I Weigh



BMI calculator from here

The formula used to calculate your BMI is:

Pounds and inches Formula:
weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

Divide weight in pounds or lbs by your height which is calculated in inches and then squared and multiplied by a conversion factor of 703.

Kilograms and meters Formula:
weight (kg) / [height (m)]2

For those using metric system, it is possible to calculate BMI by dividing weight measured in kilograms by the height measured in meters and then squared.

Why Body Mass Index (BMI) Is So Important?

Having a high BMI is an indication that you have too much body fat in proportion to your size, gender and age. Although a BMI is not specifically used to diagnose obesity, it provides a fairly accurate picture of your overall health. Obesity is one of the most dangerous, and preventable, health conditions, although it does not directly cause any specific health problem. Instead, being obese, which means having a BMI that is too high according to height/weight charts, indicates that you are at significantly higher risk of developing chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

Age, Gender, Physical Fitness and Weight versus Height:

Your BMI ideally is a product of calculations that include your age, gender, height and even your ethnicity. Although you don’t need all of these characteristics to get a rough estimate. Women will nearly always have a higher percentage than men, especially during their childbearing years when additional fat stores can be used for protection and support during pregnancy. As you age, your body fat percentage also increases, due to decreased physical activity as well as normal changes associated with aging. Athletes may actually appear to have too much body fat according to some height/weight charts, because their muscularly dense bodies weigh more than a non-athlete of the same size and height. It’s important to understand that having a high BMI according to any chart may not necessarily reflect your level of fitness or health, they are merely overarching indicators.

How Much Should I Weigh, According to My Height?

Adults aged 20 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, should have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. Your BMI can be calculated by using an online too such as this one:

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_BMI/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html

Using a height/weight chart can also help you determine roughly if you are overweight or your weight is too high for someone of your height. For women, the base weight is 115 pounds, which corresponds with a base height of 4’10″. For men, the base weight is 134 pounds at a base height of 5’1″. For each additional inch of height, both men and women should add approximately 3 pounds of weight. This means that a woman who is 5’2″ tall should ideally weigh approximately 125 pounds and a man of the same height should weigh 137 pounds. This can provide you with a rough estimate of what you should weigh but keep in mind that individuals who have more muscle mass may weight far more than this and still have a significantly low percentage of body fat.

But, like we mentioned before, BMI is not the only ascertaining factor when it comes to measuring your ideal weight in accordance with your height.

What is the problem with measuring just BMI?

BMI is a simple calculation, which doesn’t take in to account many other calculations. These can be hip, chest, waist measurements and also your bone structure and bone weight. For example, an athlete of the same height will have a higher BMI as compared to a doctor of the same height, who doesn’t have the same fitness levels. Muscle weight also plays an important role in overall weight, and those who are more muscular will often weight more than those who seem to be thin but otherwise not so physically active. What plays a role here is not just muscle mass but also body fat percentage.

Secondly, BMI also doesn’t take in to account bone density. A person who has weaker bones, and is more prone to osteoporosis, will have a lower BMI than someone of the same height but with stronger bones. Many experts feel the need to tell people that BMI is not the only way to evaluate your ideal weight. You must take in to consideration other factors – like your activity levels, your hip to waist ratio and also body fat percentage. It has been noticed that people with a more delicate bone structure having a large paunch also manage to have a lower BMI as compared to someone else who is otherwise healthy and active and has stronger bones. Simply explained, experts believe that using just BMI can underestimate more important factors like body fat percentage, which is what puts people at risk of heart diseases and diabetes in the first place.

The waist to hip ratio method:

Another common way to decide your ideal weight is using the hip to waist ratio. Simply measure the circumference of your waist and hip using a measuring tape. To determine the ratio, divide the measurement of your waist with the measurement of your hip.

Research has proved that those who have more weight around their waist as opposed to hips increase their chances of health risks, as opposed to those who have more weight around the hips. A simple chart can help you know if you are packing too much weight, and are more prone to diseases.

Waist-Hip Ratio  Chart
Male Female Health Risk Based Solely on WHR
0.95 or below 0.80 or below Low
0.96 to 1.0 0.81 to 0.85 Moderate
1.0+ 0.85+ High

*Chart Source: National Institutes of Health

The body fat percentage calculator:

Ideally, to know if you have a healthy weight in relation to your height, calculating your body fat percentage is the ideal method. Not only will it tell you if your body is packing too much fat, it will also help you decide on the best diets and exercise routines to lose that weight from fat.

To calculate this, divide total fat percentage by the total body weight. Keep in mind that women need more fat in their body as compared to men. Ideally, the percentage should be between 3% and 5% for men and between 8% and 12% for women.

To calculate your body fat percentage, you can use callipers yourself or go to a health centre where they will measure your body fat percentage using more precise machines and techniques.

Finally, in conclusion we’d like to add that each person has a different body type. And none of these methods use all considerations. While some calculation methods don’t take in to consideration your activity levels, which can result in more muscles and hence more weight; others don’t consider your age and your bone density. To have a clearer picture of what should your ideal weight be in relation to your height, it is best to try all these methods and get safe results in all. Also, sometimes you will be absolutely healthy with adequate fitness levels and muscle mass along with bone density, yet weight more than your skinny friend who is of the same height and doesn’t exercise much. Just keep in mind that your ideal weight is exclusive to you, keeping in mind your body structure and lifestyle choices. And as long as you have a healthy weight that doesn’t increase your risk to diseases like strokes, high blood pressure and diabetes, you should be satisfied with the way you look.

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One Response

  1. hi i would like to know what my ideal weight should be if i am 21 years of age my weight is 74 and my height is 1.6 and my BMI is 29.3

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