Is There Such a Thing as an Ideal Weight?by Cheryl Ann Borne Patient Advocate
How Much Should I Weigh?
How much you should weight is actually within a range of weight as long as your body fat is lean to moderate. How much you should weigh can be determined by your height and body frame size. The width of your wrist measured in inches is the standard used to determine frame size.
Determine Your Body Frame Size
1. Extend and spread apart the fingers of your dominant hand.
2. Place cloth tape measure around wrist at the point where there are two "knobs".
3. Measure ensuring that the tape goes across both "knobs".
Men: Height over 5' 5"
Small = wrist size 5.5" to 6.5"
Medium = wrist size 6.5" to 7.5"
Large = wrist size over 7.5"
Women: Height under 5'2"**
Small = wrist size less than 5.5"
Medium = wrist size 5.5" to 5.75"
Large = wrist size over 5.75"
Height 5'2" to 5' 5"
Small = wrist size less than 6"
Medium = wrist size 6" to 6.25"
Large = wrist size over 6.25"
Height over 5' 5"
Small = wrist size less than 6.25"
Medium = wrist size 6.25" to 6.5"
Large = wrist size over 6.5"
Here's a helpful tip: A rule of thumb to determine your frame size is to wrap your thumb and middle finger around your wrist on the opposite hand. If the thumb and finger overlap then you have a small frame. If they touch then you have a medium frame. If they do not touch then you have a large frame.
Calculate Your Ideal Weight
Now that you know your body frame size, you can use the following weight calculators to calculate your ideal weight range.
1. Traditional Ideal Body Weight Calculator
Knowing your frame size, you may now calculate your ideal weight range using this free body weight calculator. Based on my height of 5'7" here are the ideal ranges for me as a healthy female according to this body weight calculator:
Small frame: 126 - 130 pounds
Medium frame: 135 - 139 pounds
Large frame: 144 - 148 pounds
I have a large frame, so my ideal weight is between 144 and 148lbs per this body weight calculator.
2. Ideal Body Weight Calculator
You can check your ideal weight using the Ideal Body Weight Calculator on HealthCentral. Again, you will need to know your body frame size. This calculator also asks for your height and current weight.
Using HealthCentral's Ideal Body Weight Calculator, my ideal weight range is 158 - 174 lbs. This range is based on a formula that calculates what a healthy weight is for most people of my height of 67 inches and large frame size.
3. Full Body Analysis Calculator
This calculator combines the output from several individual calculators to give you a full body analysis. You will learn your BMI, waist to hip ratio, body frame size, ideal weight, body fat, metabolism, calories burned, target heart rate, and maximum heart rate. You will need a cloth tape measure so that you can accurately input your measurements.
My ideal weight range is 143-168 lbs. according to the Full Body Analysis Calculator. I learned a number of other interesting statistics about my metabolic and heart rates, as well as lean body mass and fat body mass. I also learned that my waist to hip ratio is 84%, meaning that I have an "apple" body shape, and this puts me at risk for heart disease and other related conditions.
These calculators are not for providing medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a medical professional. Before starting any diet to lose or add weight, be sure to consult your doctor to discuss what is the best weight for you.
Here are my ideal weight ranges based upon my height of 67 inches and large frames size using the three body weight calculators:
Traditional Body Weight Calculator: 144-148 lbs.
Ideal Body Weight Calculator: 158-173 lbs.
Full Body Analysis Calculator: 143-168 lbs.
While the three weight ranges vary widely, what is most telling to me is that while I am not obese I have a hip to waist ratio of 84% that is concerning. Women with waist-to-hip ratios of more than 80% are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution. My next step is to research ways to reduce belly fat and discuss them with my doctor during my annual physical exam.