If there is one thing that almost everybody is concerned about to one degree or another, it is their body image. For some people, it may stem from low self-esteem and for others, it may just be a matter of wanting to look their best. Regardless of why it is of concern to you, the desire to lose weight and have the ideal body weight for your size and makeup is very real for many of us. That is why many people wonder how to calculate their ideal body weight. The answer may be somewhat different than what you expect.
First of all, it may be necessary for you to put aside your perceptions of what the ideal body weight is for you (or for anyone else for that matter). The world we live in tends to put us into a single mold of the perfect body size, which is often flaunted in the media, on the big screen, in the magazines and even online. The problem is, what they consider to be the ideal body weight is really nowhere near what many of us would consider being ideal. Would we like to look that way? Perhaps, but is it the way we should look?
There are actually a number of different methods of calculating your ideal body weight and most of them will lead you to the same general conclusion. Each of them is designed to help you to compare yourself to yourself, rather than comparing yourself to others.
BMI – One of the top ways of calculating the ideal body weight is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Some people consider this to be the ultimate option for deciding what is truly ideal but others say that it is somewhat inaccurate. There are body mass calculators available online but it is really just a matter of measuring your height in relation to your weight. This will give you a single number, which is your BMI.
Any BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered to be ideal. As you can see, it leaves a fairly wide range as to what could be considered ideal. Under 18.5 is underweight and if you have a BMI between 25 and 30, you are overweight. Obesity begins when you have a BMI of 30.
WHR – Another option for determining your ideal body weight is the waist-hip ratio. Measure your waist of the smaller circumference and divide it by the hip’s circumference at the widest part. This gives you your WHR.
When men measure their WHR, they should have a measurement of under 0.9. Females should have a measurement of under 0.8. With those measurements, you are at a relatively low risk of having heart problems. The issue with this type of measuring system is that it doesn’t take into account your body fat percentage.
Body Fat Percentage – This is another way of deciding if you are at your ideal weight. The percentage of your body fat is the weight of fat in the body divided by the overall weight. If men have a body fat percentage of between 18-25%, they are in the acceptable range. Women can have a body fat percentage of 25-31% to be in the acceptable range.
The reason why body fat percentage may be considered is that it gives a true idea of fitness level and the amount of body fat you are carrying.
Waist to Height Ratio – This is a fairly easy measurement. In order to be at your healthiest, the circumference of your waist should be less than half of the measurement of your height. This measurement is said to work because it is a greater indicator of visceral fat, which may be unhealthy for your heart.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways to calculate your ideal weight. You might even be surprised to find that you fall into an acceptable category, even though you don’t fit into what the world tries to make seem normal. Using any of these types of measurements can give you a general idea of where you should be. At that point, you can then work to get where you want to be.