What is Your Ideal Body Weight?
Barbie has gotten a new, more-realistic-and-less-ideal version. And maybe it was about time. At bistroMD, we feel that adjustments to the “ideal” are definitely a good thing for re-defining what’s truly normal.
When it comes to determining your ideal body weight, it can sometimes seem less-than-achievable.
According to Gallup's annual Health and Healthcare Survey, given in 2012, our perceptions of our ideal body weight have gone awry, just like our waistlines.
The survey asked women what their ideal body weight would be, if they were to guess. Most women reported it would be about 140 pounds…11 pounds higher than what their ideal body weight would be in reality.
According to scientific formulas, the average woman’s ideal body weight is closer to 129 pounds.
If women didn’t guess well, it turns out the men were worse.
When the survey asked men what the thought their ideal body weight would be—they reported that an average sized male should weigh around 185 pounds. In reality, they were off the mark by 16 pounds. The average male’s ideal body weight is actually closer to 169 pounds.
This of course changes with the amount of lean muscle in both men and women.
Even though these numbers represent an average ideal body weight, based upon scientific formulas, it doesn’t mean that these numbers are a right fit for you. Here are some tips on how you can figure out your ideal body weight.
Finding What Fits
It’s really easy to calculate your ideal body weight. But first we have a few tips to keep your from feeling like your ideal body weight is unrealistic—just like Barbie’s body proportions.
First tip: Don’t aim for a specific number on the scale. Because of different body types and small, medium, and large frames, it’s not beneficial to aim for a specific number.
Second tip: If you are an athlete, though, these numbers don’t apply to you, simply because you carry more weight with extra lean muscle tissue. This is a good thing.
Third tip: If you are an avid exerciser, and one week you do not lose weight, fear not! You might just be adding on some lean muscle – which is going to get you much closer to your ideal body weight. Extra lean muscle tissue is an instant metabolic boost, and ramps your metabolism better than any stimulant can.
Some of the reasons why you need to reach your ideal body weight—or at least come close—include reducing your risk of developing all kinds of diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and hypertension.
When you are overweight and you lose just 9 pounds—you begin to decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
When you start losing belly fat—you start reducing your risk of ever having a stroke.
If you begin to exercise when you haven’t been—you automatically begin to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Use these Ideal Body Weight calculations and to view your personalized body weight instantly.
To give you a better idea of what you should be looking at, here are the ranges of ideal body weights based upon height for adults.
If you want to determine your ideal body weight on your own, here’s how to do it…
The first step is to see how many inches over five feet you are. If you are less than five feet tall, you will want to calculate how many inches under five feet you are.
Take this number and multiply by 5.
Once you get this number, add 105 to get your ideal body weight. For women less than 5 feet, subtract this from 105 to get your ideal weight.
Take 10% above that and 10% below this number to create your ideal weight range.
Example: (Height difference from 5 feet) x 5+105=ideal weight in pounds
If you are a 5’6” woman, your ideal weight would be 6”x5=30, and then +105=135 pounds.*
Since we are not all built the same, there is a range surrounding your ideal body weight, which is plus or minus 10%. So, the ideal weight for a woman who is 5’6” would be 135 pounds, but the ideal range for that woman would be 122-149 pounds.
The first step is to see how many inches over 5 feet you are. For men who are more than 5 feet tall, you will want to calculate the number of inches over 5 feet you are.
Take this number and multiply it by 6.
Then, add 106 to get your ideal body weight. For men less than 5 feet, subtract this from 106 to get your ideal weight.
Then take 10% above this number and 10% below this number to get your ideal weight range.
Example: If you are 6 foot tall man, your ideal body weight would be 12”x 6=72, and then +106=178 pounds, plus or minus 10%. So, the ideal body weight range would be 160-196.*
*Both of these calculations were based upon the Devine (1974) and Robinson (1983) formulas for calculating a healthy body weight.