A guide to determining how much you should weigh

A guide to determining how much you should weigh

Before I lost 30 pounds over the past year, I used to say I would be perfect if I were six feet all. Being only 5’2", that should give you some idea that I was much too heavy for my height. However, it is not just height that determines how much you should weigh, but the size of your body frame. Over the last several years, the medical and dietetic professions have decided that using the Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best way to get a sensible idea as to how much you should weigh. So let us take a closer look at how this works.

Obesity is fast becoming a killer problem in America and the UK is not far behind. Being obese is defined as being 20% or more above a "desirable weight range." However, BMI is about excess body fat; which means that a person could be described as overweight, though with a toned, muscular body. Athletes, boxers, body builders and the like spring to mind here. They may register as above the normal weight range, without an ounce of fat to be seen!

Most of us, in reality, who are trying to determine how much we should weigh, are concerned with carrying too much surplus fat. For example, with a small frame and being female, I should weigh between 104-112 pounds. If I had a large frame, that would to up to 117-134 pounds, quite a difference. A man of 5’10" with a small frame should be within the range of 137-151 pounds, but if his frame is medium, 143-158 pounds is about right. Most doctors and health clinics can provide you with height/weight charts. But if you want to check it out right away, using the BMI calculations, I will explain it for you. You might have to read it a couple of times, I did, and you will need to use a calculator unless you are very mathematically adept (I am not). It will give you an excellent indication of how heavy or light you are, and how much, or not as the case may be, fat you need to lose.

The equation is: Weight in pounds X 700
Divided by Height, in inches, squared.

Hope you got that. What you do is, weigh yourself on an accurate scale and multiply the number of pounds you weigh by 700. Multiply your height in inches by that same figure, then take the weight number you noted, and divide it by those height calculations. The answer is your BMI, the normal range of weight that is right for your height. Here comes an example to illustrate.

Weight 140 pounds multiplied by 700 = 98,000
Height squared 62" x 62" = 3844

98,000 divided by 3844 gives a BMI of 25.49

Oh great, you cry, what does this mean? The BMI categories are as follows:

Underweight shows as under 19
Normal shows as 20 — 25
Overweight shows as 26 — 30
Obese shows as Over 30

In the example given to show you the calculation, that person is just over the normal weight range for a woman with a small frame. She is not quite overweight, but losing a few more pounds will bring her into the normal range. Incidentally, the figures are mine, that person is me, I am being totally honest for the sake of helping you to determine what you should weigh. I know that if I can just lose five to seven pounds, I may even be perfect. I am an optimist. I hope this has been helpful for you. But try not to stress about it, do remember those muscular athletes — there might be one inside you, just fighting to get out, once the BMI calculation has been mastered. Now where did I put my digital skipping rope?


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