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What should be My Ideal Weight?

ideal weight

In the world full of ideals, idealistic images are propagated in the society whether be it beauty, or body shape or even color. Many people tend to get confused over the ideal body weight. The question is about prioritization of health over the image, or the other way round.
The concept of a person’s body weight depends upon several factors like height, bone mass, diets followed and even the genetic composition. The factors that determine the ideal weight also depend upon social background and environment, for instance, the South African communities consider more weight to be better.

Ever Heard of BMI?

Most of us are aware of Body Mass Index (BMI). It is a mathematically calculated measure according to the weight and height of a person, i.e., body mass divided by the square of height.
BMI has been devised by a Belgian mathematician named Adolphe Quetelet. The use of it is easy and does not cost at all. The factor that makes it inaccurate is its exclusion of sex, age and even bone mass for the calculation.
The Person’s BMI is divided into ranges of being over weight, under weight and healthy. People who do not fall in the healthy range do not have the ideal weight. This table gives a detailed description of the BMI index.

bmi chart

But, BMI cannot be considered the best method to find out the ideal weight. Some other methods are also used preferably to calculate the ideal weight.

Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR)

The next method that one can use is the Waist-Hip ratio (WHR). It is determined as the ratio of the waist circumference to that of the hips. It can be easily attained with zero efforts. The benefit of using this technique is that it demarcates the WHR according to sex.

For Males

  • A figure less than 0.9 means healthy weight.
  • Readings of 0.9 to 0.99 mean moderate weight. It may cause health issues.

A figure of 1 or over indicates unhealthy fat accumulation. Greater risks of health problems and mainly cardiovascular diseases can be expected.

For Females

  • Less than 0.8 means healthy ideal weight
  • Figures from 0.8 to 0.89 indicate moderate weight. It may or may not result in health problems.
  • If you get 0.9 or over, it reveals unhealthy weight. You can encounter serious health risks or even heart problems.

Though WHR is a great method to find out your ideal weight, it lacks in incorporating the accumulated fat percentage and even bone mass.

Body Fat Percentage

In search of the ideal weight, one more method is seen as a satisfactory way of finding the goal – Body Fat Percentage. The fat weight in the body is divided by the total weight, and the outcome indicates the essential fat as well as storage fat.
Essential fat weight, as the name suggests, is the required amount of fat weight essentially for survival. No wonder, men (2% – 5% ) require lesser essential fat than women (10% – 13%).
Storage fat is the accumulated fat percentages and seen as ‘extra’ in the body. Some part of it is even necessary to protect the organs in the chest region.
Ideal total fat percentage (add both) for Men ranges between 14% – 17%, and for women 21%-25%. If your count is lesser than this range, you are certainly underweight. And men with a total fat percentage more than 30% and women with more than 36% are overweight or even obese.
Apart from these techniques, the ideal weight can be found with the following all-inclusive table. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmi_tbl.pdf
The constant requirement for achieving healthy lifestyle brings us to many techniques that can be used for getting the ideal weight. But the most important aspect is to attach ideal weight with health and not just outer image and beauty. Running behind getting zero figure may grant the ideal figure weight, but can ruin one’s health! So choose your ideals carefully!