There are many reasons to want to be one’s ideal body weight. In addition to looking attractive, being at an ideal weight helps mitigate risk factors for heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, breathing problems, and psychological disorders such as depression. The following is provided to help you determine your ideal body weight.
The following measurements are needed for the various calculations in this article:
|Measure without shoes.|
|Measure without clothes.|
|Measure below the larynx with the tape sloping slightly downward to the front.|
|Men: measure horizontally, at the level of the navel.
Women: measure horizontally, at the level of minimal abdominal width.
|Measure horizontally at the level of the largest hip circumference.|
Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index (BMI) is perhaps the most popular one in the medical community at this time. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height as follows:
BMI = weight (kg)/height (m)2
BMI = (weight (pounds)/height (inches)2) x 703
|BMI Range||Your BMI||Weight Ranges Given Your Height|
|Healthy weight||18.5 - 24.9|
|Overweight||25.0 - 29.9|
|Obesity - Class I||30.0 - 34.9|
|Obesity - Class II||35.0 - 39.9|
|Obesity - Class III||> 40.0|
Another popular method of calculating ideal body weight is the Hamwi method developed by Dr. G. J. Hamwi. His method was first published by the American Diabetes Association in 1964. The formulas are:
For men: 106 lb for the first 5 ft; 6 lb for each inch over 5 ft
For women: 100 lb for the first 5 ft; 5 lb for each inch over 5 ft
The resulting number is the midpoint of a normal range. To get the endpoints, add and subtract 10%.
|Your ideal weight:|
Another measure of health is the Waist/Hip Ratio. Cardiac Risk has been correlated to where fat is stored in the body. A greater level of cardiac risk is associated with abdominal fat.
|Health Risk Based Solely on Waist/Hip Ratio||Male||Female||Your Waist/Hip Ratio|
|Low Risk||0.95 or less||0.80 or less|
|Moderate Risk||0.96 - 1.00||0.81 - 0.85|
|High Risk||more than 1.00||more than 0.85|
Another measure of abdominal fat is the Waist/Height Ratio.
|Health Risk Based Solely on Waist/Height Ratio||Your Waist/Height Ratio|
|Low Risk||less than 0.5|
|High Risk||0.5 or more|
Navy Method for Percent Body Fat
BMI and the Hamwi method are not always the best determinants of what ideal weight should be. Neither of them take into account the composition of the body. Athletic people in particular may weigh a lot because they have a lot of muscle, but BMI does not take this into account. The Navy recognized this problem. Hodgdon and Beckett at the Naval Health Research Center came up with a way to determine if someone whose BMI was 25 or over was actually overweight or if they were just muscular. This method uses metric measurements for height and selected circumferences to calculate an estimated percentage of body fat as follows:
The American Council on Exercise uses the following categories based on percentage of body fat:
|Women||Men||Your Percentage of Body Fat||Your Weight Ranges*|
|Essential fat||10 – 12%||2 – 4%|
|Athletes||14 – 20%||6 – 13%|
|Fitness||21 – 24%||14 – 17%|
|Acceptable||25 – 31%||18 – 25%|
|Obese||32% or more||26% or more|
|*Weight ranges assume that your lean body mass remains constant at all weights. This will likely not be the case. You will need to recalculate these ranges as your weight or measurements change.|
Roxann HigueraRoxann Higuera is a Certified Hypnotherapist. She is a graduate of Hypnosis Motivation Institute, America's first hypnotherapy training institution to become nationally accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, D.C. Among her credentials, she is a Master of Therapeutic Imagery and a Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and she has a Master's degree in Spiritual Psychology from University of Santa Monica. She is a member of the Hypnotherapists Union Local 472, the American Hypnosis Association, and the International Hypnosis Federation.
Website: Mind Horizon
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