How To Calculate Healthy Weight & BMI

Track your weight

Working Out A Healthy Weight

One of the main ways in which people monitor their overall health is via their weight. Of course, weight control is an aesthetic consideration for many people too. Yet it’s weight’s impact on our health that is a key consideration for a lot of us. This is why so many people are so interested in what a healthy weight range looks like for them.

A healthy weight is one that has a minimal risk of illnesses and health problems that have been linked to excess weight.1 How do we know what a healthy weight is for us, though? And how do we work it out?

Let’s find out.

Weighing scales with blue tape measure on top

What is a healthy weight in kg?

What is a healthy weight…? Well, it depends on the person. The healthy weight range for an individual will vary and be influenced by their age, sex, genetics, body type, past medical history, general lifestyle choices, access to nutritious food, and other factors.2

Whether you use kilograms (kg), pounds or stones, it’s important to bear in mind that any target weight you work out should only really be used for guidance. They’re not to be considered as a set standard for either physical beauty or health. The numbers on the charts are estimations, so they might not take things like muscle mass or health issues into account that have an impact on weight.3

So what is healthy body weight? It’s one which you can carry that won’t have a detrimental impact on you or your well-being.

How much weight should I be according to my height?

Determining a healthy weight by height is a very common approach. It’s a basic metric that gives an allowance for how much you can weigh based on how tall or short you are. The basic idea is that taller people should generally weigh a little more.

In fact, using height as the primary indicator of what you ‘should’ weigh is the basis for a popular measure for determining obesity…

BMI healthy weight calculator

Adult men and women can use the body mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. It is calculated by dividing the square of a person’s height in metres or feet by their weight in kilos or pounds.4

BMI is generally considered a useful medical screening tool in general weight tracking and identifying potential red flags, but it cannot determine body fat percentage or health. You can check your BMI using our own BMI calculator.4

Criticism of the BMI system

For a variety of reasons, the typical BMI chart has limits. It’s crucial to avoid placing undue attention on your BMI as a result.

The BMI does not distinguish between muscle and fat mass. As a result, a person might have a low fat mass and a high BMI by being muscular and vice versa.5

Despite the fact that women generally have more body fat than men, the BMI chart is the same for both genders.5 The BMI chart also hasn’t been updated to account for the rising average adult height over time, which is another slight issue with it.5

Because of its limitations, BMI is not suggested as a tool for athletes, bodybuilders, toddlers, teens, pregnant women, anyone over the age of 65 or anybody with muscular atrophy.5

Other weight metrics

BMI may be the most popular way to work out if you’re overweight or not. There are, however, other ways to determine it based on values from your body and a little maths.

So if you want to know the answer to the question ‘What is a healthy weight for me?’, you can try one of these instead:

Body fat percentage

To calculate body fat percentage, you’ll need a person’s overall weight and height. Sex and age also need to be taken into account. It can be a little complicated, so you may want to use an online tool to help you.

For women aged 20 to 39, 21% to 32% of body fat is generally recommended. Men of that age are advised to aim for between 8% to 19%. For women aged 40 to 59, between 23% to 33% is suggested as healthy, while men should generally come in at between 11% to 21%. Women over 60 are advised that 24% to 35% body fat is healthy, with men looking at between 13% and 24%.8

Waist-to-height ratio

Another indicator that may be more accurate than BMI in predicting the risk of heart disease, diabetes and total mortality is the waist-to-height ratio.7 For this ratio, you should divide your waist size by your height to determine it. You’re aiming for a result of 0.5 or less.9

Waist-to-hip ratio

The ‘WHR’ of a person compares their waist and hip sizes. To determine it, you need to measure your waist at its narrowest point, often just above the belly button. The breadth of the hip at its broadest point can then be divided by this measurement. Men should aim for a score of 0.90 or less, women 0.85 or less.10

What is a healthy weight loss per week?

Whether you use BMI or another metric to chart weight loss, you shouldn’t aim to lose weight too quickly. A healthy weight loss per week is key.

It’s a good idea to set a long-term weight loss goal of around one to two pounds (or up to one kilogram) a week, every week.11 Typically, you need to burn 500 – 1,000 more calories per day than you take in through a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise in order to lose one to two pounds a week.11 Please note that when setting weight-loss goals, you may want to consult a healthcare professional for their advice, especially if you have a health condition.

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