What is a Healthy Weight?

0 Posted by - August 28, 2013 - PREVENTION


What is your ideal weight? Do you know what your perfect weight is when you fit into your favorite skinny jeans or hit a certain number on the scale? How do you know if you are underweight, healthy or overweight.

There are two ways physicians routinely calculate weight and monitor weight over time.   You can quickly and reliably calculate both of them from your own home and track your own weight.


Body Mass Index (BMI)

Health professionals calculate your body mass index or BMI to determine your total body fat based on our height and weight.  This is the first step to determining your ideal weight.  Why? Because studies have shown that using this formula based on a person’s height and weight you can predict the risk of adverse health outcomes.    Finding your ideal body weight and staying that weight actually leads to improved quality of life.  People at both ends of the spectrum, underweight or overweight, have an increased risk of health risks and death.


Calculate your BMI now …it’s simple.  And find which category you fall in below:


BMI=       Weight (lbs)  X 703  / Height (in)2


Underweight Below 18.5
Healthy 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight 25.0 to 29.9
Obese 30.0 and above

bmi chart


Calculating a BMI is a useful tool and the most common method health professionals utilize when they are classifying people into groups in studies, such as the statistic that 62% of all Americans are currently overweight or obese.  That data is based on BMI results.  However, BMI does have some limitations, particularly that it does not account for lean muscle.  Athletes, body builders or those with muscular builds may have a higher BMI than their true percentage of body fat.   The most importance use of both weight and BMI is to monitor your trend.   Calculate where you are today and either aim to stay there or find your goal weight and make a plan to get there!


Waist Circumference

A second measurement, something similar to what you may experience at a tailor’s when getting measured for a dress or suit can add valuable information to your current health status.  Using a tape measure wrapped around your waist, just above your hip bones, you can get a measure of your abdominal fat.

waistMeasure your waist while standing up with shoes off, across a bare midriff and as you breath out.


Waist Circumference
Women > 35 inches
Men >40 inches


Again, health professional have set cut-offs that correlate with increased risk of disease.   Excess abdominal fat or central obesity has a particularly high rate of increased risk of type II diabetes and heart disease.

A height, weight, BMI and waist circumference should be documented by a health professional to help you keep track of your current health and your goals.  These are simple measurements and calculations that you can also do at home to make sure you are keeping on pace!





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