Everybody is built differently. We all have different body types, different heights, and various factors that influence our body weight. How do we measure and calculate what our ‘ideal’ body weight should be if no two people are the same?
Your ‘Body Mass Index’ – or BMI – is a way of measuring what a healthy, ideal body weight would be for you. It takes into account your height and gives you a number representing whether or not you are at or near your ideal weight.
In this article, we’ll show you how to calculate your BMI, why this figure is important, and how you can influence it.
How to Calculate your BMI
The calculation for your Body Mass Index is quite simple. All you need beforehand is your height and weight. The formula you will be using is as follows:
BMI = [( lbs * 703) / inches2]
Using this formula will give you a figure that you can use to decide if you are a healthy weight. Should the number you calculate be over 25, you are considered overweight.
The healthy weight range is between 18.5 and 24.9 for most adults between the ages of 18 and 65.
For example, if someone aged 26 were 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighed 160 pounds, the calculation would be as follows.
160 lbs * 703 = 112,480
68 inches * 68 inches = 4,624
112,480 ÷ 4,624 = 24.32
With a BMI of 24.32, this person would be classified as having a healthy weight without considering other factors such as sex, diet, or body type. This is one major criticism of using your BMI to see your ideal weight, but it remains a good starting point.
Keep in mind that BMI is not entirely accurate all the time. There are cases where those who are shorter but very athletic and healthy may calculate to be overweight because of muscle weight.
On the flip side, some might appear healthy according to the BMI scale but may suffer from clinical problems because the scale does not take into account body type, muscle composition, and the amount of fat you have.
Analyzing your Body Weight
Calculating your Body Mass Index is only a starting point for determining your ideal body weight. To simply take this figure as is can give you false ideas for what a healthy weight would be for your body, and can lead to clinical complications later on in life if you choose to live by what the scale tells you.
It would be best to look at the various factors that can influence what the ‘ideal’ body weight could be for you. For instance, those of you who are athletic and eat healthily may achieve your ideal body weight, while the BMI scale says otherwise.
If you think you are a reasonably healthy person who is quite lean and exercises regularly, there are other ways to analyze your body weight to determine the ideal weight.
To get a clearer picture, look at your ‘Waist-to-Hip Ratio’ (WHR) and ‘Body Fat Percentage’ (BFP) in tandem with your Body Mass Index to determine what is healthy for you.
You might have a high Body Fat Percentage and be quite short, leading to a skewed result on the BMI scale, but now that you know your Body Fat Percentage, you can get a clearer picture and decide to eat more healthily or get in more exercise.
To get your WHR and BFP, do the following.
WHR = waist circumference / hip circumference
BFP = body fat / total weight
For your Waist-to-Hip ratio, you are aiming for 0.95 for men, and 0.8 for women, and for your Body Fat Percentage, aim for 18% to 25% for a man, and 25% to 31% for a female.
Why the Ideal Weight is Important
We all want to look good and healthy, but this is more important than that. Many different health risks come with being over and underweight, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
It is clinically proven that those who are not an ideal weight are more likely to suffer from medical complications in their lives, such as heart problems, thanks to their body weight being unhealthy.
You need to look after your body and keep it healthy so that you can live life to its fullest, without shaving off those last few precious years.
Remember that everybody is different, with different people having different body types, levels of fitness, diet, etc. When analyzing your body weight, look at the many factors that can influence your body weight, not just singular figures on their own.
Your health is essential, and to make crucial decisions on a whim when you aren’t adequately aware of the different factors can be seriously detrimental.
When analyzing what the ideal weight for you could be, take a look at your BMI, Waist-to-Hip Ratio, and your Body Fat Percentage, as well as any other factors in your life that could affect your health and body weight. You are aiming for the following figures.
BMI: 18.5 to 24.9
WHR: less than 0.95 for men, less than 0.8 for women
BFP: 18% to 25% for men, 25% to 31% for women