How to Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight

Have you wondered what a healthy weight is for your body? Reaching a healthy weight can help to reduce your risk of developing the many obesity-related diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. In this article I'm serving up a hearty calculation to help you determine your Ideal Body Weight (IBW).

Let me start by saying that for those of you who need to lose weight, I think it's important for you to focus less on the number on the scale and more on ways to eat healthier, cut extra calories out of your diet, and provide your body with what it needs to function properly, and the weight loss will occur naturally. However, if you have no idea what a healthy weight is for you and you would like to have a goal to shoot for, then here is a formula to help you figure it out:

IBW Equation:

For females: 100 lbs. + 5 lbs. for every inch over 60 in height
For males: 106 lbs. + 6 lbs. for every inch over 60 in height

I also usually allow a range of plus or minus 10% to compensate for different body types and builds. Keep in mind that this is a very rough estimate for ideal body weight. The number you get may seem unrealistic for you, and that's fine. You don't need to be enslaved to a number on the scale. If you need to lose a large amount of weight, then make it your first goal to lose just 10% of your current body weight because research has shown that just losing 10% can decrease your risk of obesity-related diseases. Once you lose 10%, then shoot for another 10% and so on until you reach a weight that is comfortable and healthy for you.

As you begin to work to reach a healthier weight, I recommend that you limit weigh-ins to once per week at most. Weighing yourself too often causes you to concentrate too much on the number on the scale and leads to discouragement if you don't lose as quickly as you would like. If you get discouraged easily by a slow, gradual loss, then you may want to spread out weigh-ins to once every two to three weeks. One week you might lose more than another, so if you limit weigh-ins then you'll have fewer opportunities for discouragement.

When you do weigh yourself, keep it consistent by weighing at the same time of day on the same scale with the same amount of clothes on (or no clothes at all). I suggest that you weigh in the morning, before your shower, and after you use the restroom (every little bit counts). More than the number on the scale, focus on the difference you feel in your clothes and, more importantly, the difference you feel both physically and mentally. As you start to reach a healthier weight, pay attention to little things, like how you don't get winded as easily when climbing the stairs, how your hips, knees, and ankles don't hurt as much as they used to, how your blood pressure and cholesterol have gone down, how much more energy you haveArticle Submission, and so on.

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April Adams

I am a Registered Dietitian and author with years of experience in weight loss counseling. If you would like more information about how to eat healthier and lose weight in the most practical, painless way possible, please visit my website. I have recently written a book entitled Back to Basics: A Practical Guide to Healthier Eating and Weight Loss th

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