Colin Devroe

What is a healthy weight for you?

24 August 2006

So, how much should you weigh? Obviously the numbers vary slightly depending on age and sex, but the following equation should help you to determine if you are within range of being considered medically healthy.

First, you must figure out what your BMI is. Your Body Mass Index can help you to determine whether a person has too high, or to low, of a height to weight ratio. Its rather simple math that allows you to determine if your weight fits with your height. This works for just about everyone, in every circumstance, age, and sex. As I said, the exact number for you might be a point or two above or below what this equation will give you - yet this should give you an estimate to aim for. A goal.

How do you determine your BMI? First, you must know your current height and weight. As an example, we'll do my latest weigh in numbers.

Height: 73 inches (or 6'1")

Weight: 192.2 pounds

First, we must multiply my weight in pounds by 705. So 192.2 X 705 = 135,501. Simple enough. Now, I need to take that number and divide it, twice, by my current height in inches. So 135,501 / 73 = 1,856.17808219178 (whoa!) and then again 1,856.17808219178 / 73 = 25.42709701633. Rounding that number off to the nearest tenth, will give me a BMI of 25.4.

So the equation is (WeightX705)/Height(/Height) = BMI.

Now we must figure out what a healthy BMI actually is. Is 25.4 good? bad? horrible? According to the Mayo Clinic here are the BMI ranges.

Healthy: 18.5 - 24.9

Overweight: 25 - 29.9

Obese: 30 or more

As you can see, I am still overweight, and I have to work a bit harder and diet a bit longer before I am in the healthy range. But how can you determine the correct weight based on this system? Pretty easily actually. All you'd need to do is keep bringing down your weight until your BMI is in the healthy range, and you will know what a healthy weight for you would be. Again, I'll use myself as the example.

At 6'1", if I wanted my BMI to be 24.9 (which is at the very upper edge of the healthy range), I'd need to be about 188 pounds or less. Remember 188 X 705 / 73 / 73 = 24.8 (healthy).

I hope this helps you to determine what your goals might be. Remember, if you are doing weight lifting, or any type of exercise that adds muscle weight - you are in a whole different class of people. I'm not talking about normal weight lifting either, I'm speaking of those of you that are trying to add 10, 15, or 20 pounds of muscle weight. Obviously, these numbers would not specifically apply to you as well. But again, all these numbers should do is give you an idea of what you should be aiming for.

Update with Chart - My friend and fellow dieter John has posted a chart to estimate your healthy weight. Thanks John.