ideal body weight

Reaching your ideal body weight can be challenging, but knowing the range in which your weight should lie in is a good place to start when setting weight-loss goals. Ideal body weights are usually based on height, gender, and frame size.

However, keep in mind that very muscular athletes — like bodybuilders — may exceed ideal body weights and still be completely healthy.

It should be noted that these are only guidelines, and nothing to get obsessive over.

Guidelines for Women

Women should weigh 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height, plus 5 pounds for each inch over five feet of height, according to California State University. For example, a woman who is 5 feet tall should weigh 100 pounds, and a woman who is 5 feet 4 inches tall should weigh 120 pounds. However, large-framed women should add 10 percent to this amount, and women with small frames should subtract 10 percent, California State University notes.

Guidelines for Men

Men have similar body-weight guidelines as women. Men should weigh 106 pounds for the first 5 feet of height, and 6 pounds for each additional inch of height. For example, a man who is 5 feet 5 inches tall should weigh 136 pounds, and a 6-foot tall man should weigh 178 pounds — plus or minus 10 percent depending on frame size.

Determining Frame Size

Knowing your frame size helps determine your ideal body weight. To do so, measure the circumference around your wrist and know your height. MedlinePlus suggests that men taller than 5 feet 5 inches tall are small framed if their wrist circumferences are 5.5 to 6.5 inches, medium framed if wrist sizes are 6.5 to 7.5 inches, and large framed if their wrist circumferences are over 7.5 inches — while women with heights of 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall are small framed if wrist sizes are less than 6 inches, medium-framed if their wrist sizes are 6 to 6.25 inches, and large-framed if wrist circumferences are more than 6.25 inches.

Healthy Body Mass Indexes

Another way to determine if your weight is within a health range is to find out what your body mass index (BMI) is. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703, then divide by your height in inches — and divide by your height in inches once again. BMIs of 19 to 24 are considered normal, or healthy. Rush University Medical Center provides a body weight chart to help you determine if your weight, based on your height, is within a healthy range.

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What are your thoughts on calculating ideal body weight?

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