Weight Loss Basics: How Much Should I Weigh?

November 12, 2012

Weight Loss Basics: How Much Should I Weigh?

Before you can successfully land safely lose weight, you need to know just how much weight you should lose. In order to do that, you must first answer the question, “How much should I weigh?” Ideally, the question of how much should I weigh needs to be answered by your doctor. But there are ways to determine a good estimate without making an appointment with your doctor.

Factors to Consider

Your doctor will tell you your ideal body weight after taking in some factors such as your age, your gender and your height. Men normally weigh more than women because they possess more muscle mass and heavier bones. Children have a wide varying ideal body weight range because they still need to grow. Senior citizens often need a few extra pounds because the fat helps cushion their fragile bones.

If you do not know your height, get a flexible tape measure and a pencil. Stand straight against a wall. Feel for the wall directly behind the top of your head – not the top of your hair, but top of the scalp. Make a mark with a pencil on the wall. Step away from the wall and measure the distance between the floor and the pencil mark. You get a more accurate reading if you can get a friend to make the pencil mark.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Now, in order to answer the question, “How much should I weigh?” you need to determine your body mass index or BMI. This is a fancy way of saying weight to height ratio. You get that by dividing how much you weigh over how tall you are or

Weight / height = Your BMI.

Don’t mix imperial and metric measurements. If you measured yourself in meters, then use kilograms instead of pounds.

Your BMI is what you currently weigh, but does not answer the question of “what should I weigh?” You need to take your current BMI and compare it to a BMI chart, found in many weight loss books and online sites. BMI charts for men will be different than for women. The chart will let you know if you are too thin, too fat or just right. To answer your question, “what should I weigh”, you need to compare your BMI with your weight. If you are too fat, for example, alter the weight part of the BMI formula and keep doing the formula until the BMI reaches the magic number or allowable weight range.

Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR)

Perhaps you cannot find a BMI chart but can find a waist-hip ration (WHR) chart. You will need to figure your own WHR number before you can answer the question, “How much should I weigh?”

Get a tailor’s tape measure, which appears like a long ribbon with numbers on it rather than an inflexible straight-edged ruler. Measure your waist at its narrowest area. Keep your waist relaxed and don’t suck in your breath. Write this number down.

Now wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your hips. This may take several tries before you can get a measurement because it’s far easier for the tape measure to slip. Get a friend to help, if necessary. Write this number down and perform the formula:

Waist / hip = WHR

For an adult man, having a WHR of 1 or more means you need to lose weight. For a woman, that number is 0.89 or higher. Now take the formula and keep subtracting the weigh number down until the WHR becomes lower. This gives you a rough estimate of what your idea body weight should be.

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