How Much Should I Weigh you ask? Find out and then check out the rest of the What Matters for Healthy Weight Loss Series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKz_8kGu-thXa5Ml2Pozkq1JtGqb4ufoC
As a Registered Dietitian, there are two questions that I always get asked. "What should I eat" or "How much should I weigh?" Today I'll be answering how much you should weigh and the rest of my videos will discuss the more complicated issue of what you should eat. I made this the first video in my What Matters for Healthy Weight Loss Series because I thought you should know how much you should weigh before you try to lose weight. I want to give people a target weight range to shoot for, so that I don't have a bunch of people that are already at a healthy weight trying to lose weight in an unhealthy way. I know our culture's version of beauty is sickly skinny and air brushed to some twisted version of ideal. I beg you to put your health first.
Before I get into anything else, I want to say that if you are overweight, you don't have to get into the ideal body weight range to make a difference in your health. For heavier people, losing just 10% of your body weight can make a huge difference in your health. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good -- Just because it may not be realistic for you to reach and ideal weight, you can still do a lot for your health.
So lets get to answering how much you should weigh. Several factors play into how much you should weigh like your age, gender, height, muscle mass, frame size, and current weight. Height in Meters^2
4. Muscle Mass
5. Frame Size
6. Current Weight
The most popular indicator for showing what a healthy weight is Body Mass Index or BMI. BMI is a ratio of your height to weight using the following equation.
BMI = Weight in Kilograms
(Height in meters)^2
BMI equals weight in kilograms over height in meters squared. Here is a BMI chart so that you can check your BMI.
For adults a healthy BMI is considered from 18.5 to 25. Under 18.5 is considered underweight, 25-29.9 is overweight, and 30 is considered obese. A lot of people complain that BMI isn't accurate because we know someone that clearly isn't unhealthy and overweight but is classified as overweight by BMI. And they are right, BMI isn't perfect because it doesn't account for age, gender, muscle mass, and frame size. It only uses height and weight so it shouldn't be used for the individual, for you -- however, when looking at large groups of people and collecting thousand of BMIs, it is a good indicator of body fat.
So I just said that BMI isn't good for the individual, so how do you know what a healthy weight is for you? The best way to determine a healthy weight for you is to calculate your ideal body weight.
The equation for ideal body weight takes weight, height, gender, and frame size into account so it's much better than BMI. First I want you to get an idea of your frame size. Wrap your thumb and middle finger around the top part of your wrist, just above the bump. If you can't get your fingers around your wrist all the way, you have a large frame size. If you can barely touch your thumb and finger, you have a medium frame size. If your fingers overlap, then you have a small frame size. Now that you know your frame size, calculate your ideal body weight with the following equation:
Women: 100 lbs + (5 lbs x height in inches over 5 feet tall) +- 10%
Men: 106 + (6 lbs x height in inches over 5 feet tall) +- 10%
So for example, a 5'5' woman has an ideal body weight of 125 lbs plus or minus 10 percent, which comes out to a weight of 112-138 lbs. If this woman has a small frame size, a healthy weight might be closer to the lower range of that weight range. A larger frame would be at the high end of the weight range. A medium frame size closer to the middle. Also, if this woman was muscular, like an athlete, she would be healthy on the higher end of this weight range or even slightly above this weight range because the extra weight is muscle. A woman over the age of 65, especially over the age of 75, would be healthier at the high end of this weight range because older people have less muscle mass and if they carry a little extra weight, then it's actually healthier because it protects them from losing as much muscle mass as they age. Try not to get attached to one specific number. A healthy weight is always a range. I hope this has given you a little more insight into what a healthy weight is for you!
I would like to say that body fat percentage and amount of muscle mass are also very useful because it is possible for you to be at a healthy weight and still have too much body fat, but they are hard to determine because more of the easy tests like the scales that tell you your bodyfat percentage aren't very accurate. If you do have access to accurate body fat testing, here is a reference table for body fat percentages: