Calculating Ideal Weight

Diet and Weight Loss Tutorial

In the past, life insurance tables used average weights to determine the appropriate weight for your height. But as the population grew heavier, those weights were no longer healthy. Today a healthy weight can be estimated using a number of different formulas.

It is important to understand that no formula can predict ideal body weight accurately. There are simply too many differences in body types (including bone structure or frame size) and body composition (percentage of muscle vs. fat). That said, we will estimate a healthy weight for your height using three different formulas to emphasize the point that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

After scrolling through the results, be sure to read What Really Matters. Now enter your parameters for all three formulas here then click on the Calculate button:

Reversing the BMI Formula

Calculating BMI, as described in the previous topic, has become the most popular method of categorizing your weight, from Underweight to Morbidly Obese. To calculate a healthy weight, we simply reverse the process. Instead of using your height and weight to calculate your BMI weight category, we use your height alone to estimate a weight range for the Normal Weight BMI category.

The Hamwi Formulas

Dr. GJ Hamwi's formulas have become very popular. They first appeared in a publication of 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

A Healthier Formula

Healthier, leaner versions of the Hamwi formulas can be found in the book Eat To Live:  The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Dr. Joel Fuhrman:

  • For men:  105 lb for the first 5 ft; 5 lb for each inch over 5 ft

  • For women:  95 lb for the first 5 ft; 4 lb for each inch over 5 ft

What Really Matters

As stated in the earlier topic, What It Takes to Lose It All, the goal of your diet and weight loss plan should not be to lose weight, but to lose body fat. Unless you are standing on a scale, no one will know how much you weigh. But they will see your body fat and muscle.

In the next topic you will learn how to measure your body fat and muscle mass so that you can track the factors of your appearance and health that really matter.



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