What Is My Ideal Weight?

Ideal Body weight would mean different things to different persons. For a young male it could mean packing on a few pounds of muscle mass. For a mature female it may mean losing unwanted fat. The one common element among dieters can be a need to have physical fitness. In case your target is to look for the perfect weight, there is good news: Your level of fitness is not ideal scored by sitting on the bathroom scale. The scale is usually as untrustworthy as the mirror when calculating overall fitness and targeting a perfect weight.

A young body-builder at 250 pounds likely has few shared health concerns with a middle aged man of the same height and weight. Yet both can classify as obese. We have to devise a diagnostic tool that utilizes all available information before we are able to accurately predict our ideal weight. The first step is to figure out how our current weight relates to our overall health. Are we too heavy or too thin? How do we decide?

Doesn’t the mirror let me know if I am overweight?
Many people use a mirror to decide whether weight loss or gain is needed. In case your body weight comes within acceptable parameters however, this is unhelpful. Morbid obesity and starvation are easy to spot, but those are extremes. In case you fall anywhere in between, there are far better techniques available to accurately assess your best weight.

Forget about height to weight tables
Those who use height/weight tables to determine their perfect weight are misled. In 1959, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Coverage Company, (The Met), published probably the most often referenced tables-widely employed by medical experts and public health advocates-which were actually based on subsequent death rates. These tables fall short when deducing an individual’s healthy weight because they exclude excess body fat percentage, age, and sex. These factors are essential to accurately figure out what one’s target weight should be. (The Met updated the tables in 1983, adding elbow breadth to the criterion. This addition did not enhance the prognosticative ability of the tables.)

Tables measuring height/weight ratios are too basic to be effective assessment tools. Your optimum weight depends on a number of contributing factors: body fat to muscle ratio, age, sex, body frame, waist circumference to height ratio, even your personal goals, can and should be considered.

What are some methods to determine ideal weight?
There are some ways to efficiently assess your ideal weight. One of the most frequently used are:

Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is an easy, yet imprecise yard stick. Although there are better strategies to determine ideal weight, BMI is one of the most common. Similar to The Met’s height/weight tables, BMI’s advantage rests on taking sex and age into account.

Waist size to Height Ratio
Measuring around the waist is familiar to us all. Less familiar, is a approach to gauge if one is overweight using height in relation to the abdominal obesity metric, (waist size). The result accurately assesses our weight, especially as it relates to cardiovascular risks. Evidence indicates waist to height ratio is more effective than BMI when gauging cardiovascular health problems, with respect to weight.

Body Fat Percentage
Perhaps the very best indicator of ideal weight is derived from body fat percentage. Medical imaging technologies used to assess fat percentage with pinpoint precision can be found, but just too expensive for many people. The average person must improvise.

Though difficult and expensive to determine with precision, body fat percentage could be estimated with reasonable accuracy at home. This involves a complex mathematical formula, but don’t be intimidated. Relevant data such as BMI, sex, and age, are plugged into an equation resulting in an acceptable approximation of body density, or body fat to muscle ratio. This equation may appear daunting in the beginning, yet due to the prohibitive nature of highly accurate tests it may be the best option. A formula to calculate body fat percentage is readily available online.

A highly accurate, but more affordable approach is available to measure body fat. Known as hydrostatic weighing, this procedure weighs a subject while submerged in water. The high degree of accuracy and relative ease of access make this test an appealing option.

Which method will best reveal my ideal weight? this procedure Use all three if possible. Body fat percentage, BMI, and waist/height measurements, interpreted together, will point to an ideal weight for your unique circumstances. While consulting with a knowledgeable professional may help you get a fix on your perfect weight, it is also possible for the do-it-your-selfer to arrive at sensible conclusions as well.

There isn’t any simple solution to effectively predict your ideal weight, however the methods outlined above can help determine a safe and realistic number. While strategies that provide poor as well as false data are popular, we rely on them at our peril. The mirror and the bathroom scale should be the last place you look to establish your ideal weight. Tools which utilize relevant information will help you arrive at a number that truly reflects your optimal weight; just remember that the bathroom mirror and scale are probably not those tools.