"How much I should weight?" In today's world, where everyone's dream is to get a perfect body, this is a common question.
If you are also keen to know the answer to this question, then let us tell you that there is no such perfect formula to find the ideal body weight. A number of factors play an important role in determining the healthy weight for every individual. Muscle-fat ratio, height, sex, body shape are some of them.
However, there are four ways to determine the ideal weight of an individual considering different factors.
Method 1: Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart
BMI chart is the most common and standardised method to determine the body weight of a person. In this method, a person's weight is calculated in relation to their height.
How to calculate your BMI:
BMI = Weight in kilograms/squares of your height in meters
You can also calculate your BMI here: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
The ideal BMI
BMI numbers range from low to high and fall into different categories. Once you have calculated your BMI, you can check here to know what does your numbers refer to:
19 to 24: normal
25 to 29: overweight
30 to 39: obese
40 or above: extreme (morbid) obesity
Problem with BMI
Though BMI is the most common method, but it does not take several factors into consideration. The BMI measurement does not calculate:
Waist or hip measurements
Distribution of fat in the body
Due to all these reasons, BMI is not considered an ideal way to determine body weight. Rather it is a very rough figure to estimate whether you are healthy or not.
Method 2: Waist-to-height ratio
Measuring the weigh- to-height ratio is another way to calculate the presence of excessive fat in the body. This method is very simple and you can do it on your own at home.
Measure both your height and your weight, if your waist is more than half of your weight then you are likely to suffer from obesity-related problems.
Like if you are 5 feet and 4 inches tall, your waist should measure below 32 inches.
As per a study published in Plos One in 2014, waist-to-height is a better indicator of obesity as compared to BMI.
Method 3: Body fat percentage
The real problem with weight gain is the deposition of unhealthy fat in the body. A normal human body has two types of fats: Essential and storage fat
Essential fat is referred to as the fat present under the skin, which is important for the survival of an individual. This type of fat is not as worrisome.
Storage fat: Storage fat refers to the fatty tissues present in the internal organs which can be a matter of concern.
As per the American Council of Exercise, for men, it is healthy to have 2 to 4 percent of their body composition as essential fat. For women, it should be around 10 to 13 percent.
However, the ideal amount of fat present in a human being depends on the individual's body type or activity level.
You can use a skinfold measurement tool to calculate your body fat at home. But for accuracy, you should visit a doctor. Doctors have more accurate methods to estimate body fat.
Method 4: Waist-to-hip ratio
This technique to measure the ideal weight of a person compares their waist size with that of their hips. As per various studies, body composition, weight and the portion where one stores fat can have a major impact on the health. Research indicates that the people who have more body fat around their waist are at a higher risk to develop cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Normally, a person's waist should have a smaller circumference than the hips.
How to calculate the waist-hip-ratio
To measure the waist-hip-ratio, measure the narrowest part of the waist, i.e. just above the belly button. Now measure the widest part of your hip. Divide the measurement of the waist with that of the hip.
Like if a person's waist is 28 inches and the hips are 36 inches, then it should be 28 by 36. The result will be 0.77. The result indicates that the person is very less prone to cardiovascular problems.
As per studies, this is what your waist-to-hip ratio indicates:
Below 0.9: The risk of cardiovascular health problems is low.
From 0.9 to 0.99: The risk is moderate.
At 1.0 or over: The risk is high.
Below 0.8: The risk is low.
From 0.8 to 0.89: The risk is moderate.
At 0.9 or above: The risk is high
All these four methods are widely used for assessing a healthy weight. But combining them would give an accurate picture. You will get a clear idea of whether you should consider taking action or not.
However, if you are concerned about your weight, speak to a doctor or nutritionist.