Q:

How do I know what my "ideal weight" is? Am I simply trying to lose vanity pounds?

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A:

Answers (22)

EXPERT
Jacqueline Aizen (Registered Dietician) answered
To calculate your ideal body weight there is a formula used by medical professionals for medication dosage,which can give you an approximate idea of how much you should weigh for your height. 
Males: IBW = 50 kg + 2.3 kg for each inch over 5 feet. (+/- 10%)
Females: IBW = 45.5 kg + 2.3 kg for each inch over 5 feet. (+/- 10%)

Keep in mind though that if you engage in weight bearing activities and increase in muscle mass, the scale will increase. Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less space. So, try not to get too caught up in the "ideal" weight but focus on staying healthy by consuming a diet of whole foods, being active, and managing stress.
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khorn21 commented
A pound is a pound no matter how you look at it. So how can a pound of fat weigh more then a pound of muscle?
lleew commented
I think I calculated this wrong. Could you please give an example?
juanita commented
I think is is a little silly as i am 5'5 and 50kg and I am happy with my body (would like to be a little bit more fit but that keeps me at the same weight because of the muscle gain and fat loss), yet it wants me at 57 which would probably not look that great on me as well as i cant get above 52. I think this is a little silly to be honest.
ldkjf commented
khorn21 it's not that a lb of muscle or fat weighs more than the other a lb of muscle takes of significantly less space than a lb of fat, muscle is denser
Anonymous commented
Yes. So if the scale were to stay in one place but your dress size drops you are actually burn fat and building muscle. It's a reminder that the number on the scale is not the only thing to consider.
EXPERT
Dina Garcia, RD, LDN (Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist) answered
Keep in mind that ideal body weight and BMI calculations are built for the masses and aren't appropriate for every individual.  Your body shape, & muscle mass play a big factor.  The goal is to be healthy... right?  Studies show that when you compare people of the same height and weight that the person who is physically active has better health outcomes than the one that is more sedentary despite the same BMI.  Another thing to consider is your specific genes.  At one point I was a few pounds over weight per my ideal body weight (but I looked fine b/c I exercised a lot), however I ended up w/ pre-diabetes and later insulin dependent gestational diabetes.  I lost weight before the pregnancy but still ended up on insulin.  Then after the pregnancy the endocrinologist told me to lose 5 more pounds (even though I was at my ideal weight) and to stay thin for the rest of my life.  When I gain weight it all goes between my shoulders and belly, thus my predisposition for blood sugar issues.  Other's genetics and body types may afford them a lot more pounds than my body can tolerate and because of their shape they look and feel better than I would at that same weight... Not sure if that makes sense.  Point being, every one is different and you have to look at the whole self... not a one size fits all calculation. 
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EXPERT
Dina Garcia, RD, LDN (Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist) answered
Keep in mind that ideal body weight and BMI calculations are built for the masses and aren't appropriate for every individual.  Your body shape, & muscle mass play a big factor.  The goal is to be healthy... right?  Studies show that when you compare people of the same height and weight that the person who is physically active has better health outcomes than the one that is more sedentary despite the same BMI.  Another thing to consider is your specific genes.  At one point I was a few pounds over weight per my ideal body weight (but I looked fine b/c I exercised a lot), however I ended up w/ pre-diabetes and later insulin dependent gestational diabetes.  I lost weight before the pregnancy but still ended up on insulin.  Then after the pregnancy the endocrinologist told me to lose 5 more pounds (even though I was at my ideal weight) and to stay thin for the rest of my life.  When I gain weight it all goes between my shoulders and belly, thus my predisposition for blood sugar issues.  Other's genetics and body types may afford them a lot more pounds than my body can tolerate and because of their shape they look and feel better than I would at that same weight... Not sure if that makes sense.  Point being, every one is different and you have to look at the whole self... not a one size fits all calculation. 
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EXPERT
Dina Garcia, RD, LDN (Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist) answered
Keep in mind that ideal body weight and BMI calculations are built for the masses and aren't appropriate for every individual.  Your body shape, & muscle mass play a big factor.  The goal is to be healthy... right?  Studies show that when you compare people of the same height and weight that the person who is physically active has better health outcomes than the one that is more sedentary despite the same BMI.  Another thing to consider is your specific genes.  At one point I was a few pounds over weight per my ideal body weight (but I looked fine b/c I exercised a lot), however I ended up w/ pre-diabetes and later insulin dependent gestational diabetes.  I lost weight before the pregnancy but still ended up on insulin.  Then after the pregnancy the endocrinologist told me to lose 5 more pounds (even though I was at my ideal weight) and to stay thin for the rest of my life.  When I gain weight it all goes between my shoulders and belly, thus my predisposition for blood sugar issues.  Other's genetics and body types may afford them a lot more pounds than my body can tolerate and because of their shape they look and feel better than I would at that same weight... Not sure if that makes sense.  Point being, every one is different and you have to look at the whole self... not a one size fits all calculation. 
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EXPERT
Dina Garcia, RD, LDN (Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist) answered
sorry for all those posts... The ChixRx page froze and then spit out a million of the same responses and I can't delete them... technology!
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EXPERT
Dina Garcia, RD, LDN (Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist) answered
Keep in mind that ideal body weight and BMI calculations are built for the masses and aren't appropriate for every individual.  Your body shape, & muscle mass play a big factor.  The goal is to be healthy... right?  Studies show that when you compare people of the same height and weight that the person who is physically active has better health outcomes than the one that is more sedentary despite the same BMI.  Another thing to consider is your specific genes.  At one point I was a few pounds over weight per my ideal body weight (but I looked fine b/c I exercised a lot), however I ended up w/ pre-diabetes and later insulin dependent gestational diabetes.  I lost weight before the pregnancy but still ended up on insulin.  Then after the pregnancy the endocrinologist told me to lose 5 more pounds (even though I was at my ideal weight) and to stay thin for the rest of my life.  When I gain weight it all goes between my shoulders and belly, thus my predisposition for blood sugar issues.  Other's genetics and body types may afford them a lot more pounds than my body can tolerate and because of their shape they look and feel better than I would at that same weight... Not sure if that makes sense.  Point being, every one is different and you have to look at the whole self... not a one size fits all calculation. 
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Meghan answered
I've been told the same formula that Jacqueline gives above. Just to translate the same formula into pounds (from kg), for women, ideal body weight = 100.3 lbs + 5.1 lbs for each inch over 5 feet (+/- 10%)
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Flhtcu90 commented
I I look painfully thin at this weight. Even +10%. +20% is about right.
lizfacchini answered
Too bad they don't take age into consideration. I think an older/elderly woman would look sickly if she was 105 pds and about 5 Ft. tall. It just as a woman over 50 it just doesn't make sense to be the same weight as a teenager of the same height. Pretty disheartening and unrealistic.
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Anonymous commented
That's probably why they add the +/- 10% range. An older woman at 5 ft tall, rather than about 105 pounds, might be more like 116 lbs.
brookiemal commented
I am 5'...i was always 105lb.. now at 72 I stay 120...not fat but I hate the weighr
Katrina P. answered
This doesn't make any sense.. if this is correct my ideal body weight is 136.1 lbs. Thats way too skinny for me. I'd look sick. 
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Anonymous commented
This is meant to be a rough estimate, just as BMI ranges are rough estimates. And this is what's commonly used. There's a 10 pound range above and below the weight that calculates. So maybe for you, your "ideal weight" would be between 136-146 lbs. Again, just a rough estimate.
Anonymous commented
Correction to my comment above: there's a +/- 10% (not 10 pound) range above and below the number you calculate. So you could be 136 lbs + maybe 10% which = 150 lbs approx
emilka answered

 Makes Sense to me am 5'6 and when my weight was at 130 I felt the best, healthy size 5-7 . Thank you for
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Evansmg answered
I just don't it accurately takes into account the different body builds people have. I'm 5' and have a very board frame (wide shoulders/wide hips) I eat right n exercise but have never come close to weighing 100lbs!! I've always weighed around 125-130lbs. Even in high school! 
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missiz commented
I totally agree, this is how i am as well. Always have had broad shoulders and a solid butt and legs. I eat healthy and exercise daily and ive never been lower than 50kg (and this was when i had anorexia)
Anonymous answered
There is an app for that :)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ketelet-ideal-body-weight/id648379305?mt=8
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rvargas answered
Muscle does not weigh more than fat.  5 lbs is 5 lbs.  5 lbs of muscle is the same weight as 5 lbs of feathers, 5 lbs of rocks etc.  5 lbs  of muscle  is more dense and takes up less space than 5 lbs of fat but it's still 5 lbs.
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Anonymous commented
Fat takes up less space than fat meaning you could look smaller but not weigh much less if you are building muscle. 5lbs of fat looks a lot different than 5lbs of muscle.
Flhtcu90 answered
Ya I agree it seems unrealistic. I'm 5' 3" and I haven't weighed 115 since middle school. I look healthy at around 140-150. Anything under 135 makes me look to thin and my natural weight has never fallen there unless I'm incredibly sick and don't eat for a week.
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Louffisher commented
I recently lost 30 lbs Due to an illness. At 5"3" and 125 lbs I looked like I did when I was 25 and 90 lbs - very gaunt and I had no energy. I've since put almost 10 lbs back on and feel and look healthy. And I have been working our for 4 years now. Age 27 is a whole lot different than 60.
ziiggy1024 answered
I know a lot of these posts are bit old, but even for my age at 58, 130-140 is much more appropriate for me, my height is 5' 1/2", as long as I'm healthy and happy is what matters.
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Anonymous answered
What if u are not even 5 feet tall?
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staub17 answered
That's crazy ...I'm 5'3 and I haven't weighed 115 since high school when I was a size 2. I have double dds and wide hips always been that way. I'm a size six right now and 138 lbs I would look sick at that weight. I'm a grown woman I'm not supposed to look 15
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MJKSMom3 answered
Dispite all the negitive comments, I am 5' 3 3/4" according to the calculations  5.1 lbs X 3.75 (my inches above 5') + 100.3 lbs = 119.4 lbs...then add another 10% to that = 131.3 lbs...honestly I feel very happy and healthy at 131 lbs! As of the past year and half I haven't been exercising and have gained weight...I now weigh 144 and am very uncomfortable and fat at this weight!! Obviously everyone is different and this was meant for an aprox guide...and not one size fits all...but for me it is dead on! Thanks for the info!
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Tt24 answered
Here's what you should do. Get naked in front of a mirror. If you like what you see, there you go. If not, do something about it. I'm a medical assistant. 
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Sal answered
Mainly young women can suffer from a misperception of their own body. Even though they are much too thin, they perceive themselves as “too fat” and unattractive. The body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing the body’s weight (in kilograms, Kg) with the square of the body’s height (in meters). The BMI for a person of normal weight is 20-25. In contrast to people with anorexia, people with only bulimia (see the article on bulimia) have a BMI value over 17.5.
Read more about this possible condition under:
http://sagliklokman.com/en/anorexia/disease
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Sal answered
Mainly young women can suffer from a misperception of their own body. Even though they are much too thin, they perceive themselves as “too fat” and unattractive. The body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing the body’s weight (in kilograms, Kg) with the square of the body’s height (in meters). The BMI for a person of normal weight is 20-25. In contrast to people with anorexia, people with only bulimia (see the article on bulimia) have a BMI value over 17.5.
Read more about this possible condition under:
http://sagliklokman.com/en/anorexia/disease
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