Weight loss tips

Weight loss – How to calculate my ideal weight?

As a weight loss advisor in a fitness gym, it has been our policy that every new member will be assessed by me. Because of that, I have met a lot of people with different weight who have been struggling with weight loss for a long time. Some people are aware of their current weight status; some are in denial, while others just don’t care.

Many people have a different perception of what is the ideal weight. Some say it is a hundred pounds while others say it’s one hundred fifty. These numbers may be correct, but do you know that the ideal weight is determined together with the height?

During physical assessment of new members, one of the basic things I discuss with them is their Body Mass Index or BMI. Through BMI, I am able to determine if the client is underweight, normal, overweight, obese, or extremely obese. This way, together with their fitness instructor, we are able to formulate an effective weight management program specifically designed for that particular client.

Body Mass Index or BMI is a widely used tool by health professionals to categorize an individual to a certain weight group. This method is defined as the ratio of body weight and height. It is usually correlated with the percentage of fat deposits in the body, however people with increased muscle mass or those with larger body frame can also have an increased BMI.

There are three ways to measure a person’s BMI, the first equation is by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. This is the simplest and universally used formula:

BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters x Height in Meters ) )

Another way to get the person’s BMI is by dividing the person’s weight in pounds times 4.88 by the square of height in feet. The last option is by dividing the weight in pounds times 703 by the square of height in inches.

BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703

BMI = ( Weight in LB / ( Height in ft x Height in ft ) ) x 4.88

You may use any of the equations above, depending on which equation you are comfortable with. However, the first equation which is utilizing the SI unit of measure is highly recommended because it is what health professionals use.

After computing the BMI, the next step is to interpret the results. Look at your BMI and try to see where you BMI fit in to the following categories:

Category BMI Range
Severely Underweight less than 16.5
Underweight 16.5 to 18.4
Normal weight 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight 25 to 29.9
Obese Class I 30 to 34.9
Obese Class II 35 to 39.9
Obese Class III 40 above
  • People with a BMI between18.5 – 24.9 are considered to have an ‘ideal weight’.
  • And just little above that, i.e. BMI of 25 – 29.9, are categorized as Overweight.
  • In the 2007 survey of the US Department of Health and Human Services, It has been recorded that 63% of the total population of America are overweight.
  • People are facing weight issues in a different scale. However, the most alarming concern is the growing population of people who are overweight and obese. This problem has not only affected the adults but it has also affected the children as well.

For a healthy weight loss it is very important for everyone to know how to calculate the ideal body weight because it can give you an indication if you need to eat more, eat less, or just continue eating the same amount of food. By doing so, you will be saving yourself the trouble of seeking medical interventions to help you add or lose weight.

About the author

Hara Hagikalfa

Hara Hagikalfa completed her BSc(Hons) in Health and Exercise Science, Sports Science and Medicine. She is a certified Personal Trainer and Pilates instructor. You can learn more about Hara and connect with her on Facebook


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  • I have been eating a 1000-1200 calorie for 7 months and I have been working out consistently 4 times a week. I have only lost 40 pounds. I currently weigh 225 pounds and I am trying to get to 180 but I am getting frustrated with how slowly the weight is coming off. Is there something wrong with me? I don’t know how much more I can cut out of my diet without starving myself.

  • Hey Shauna, Congrats on your weight loss. slow weight loss is good you can keep it off for long. If you have not started with muscle training start it, muscles help to increase your metabolism.
    I went from 180 to 120 but it took almost 2 years for it.

  • I recently gave birth to healthy baby boy 4 weeks ago. More than half the weight I gained during pregnancy was lost in the first few days after birth, however, how do I get rid of those stubborn few pounds left? And is there anyway to help tighten the loose skin around my waist in the months to come?

  • Hello everyone. Congrats Shuana on your weight loss, well done. I know how hard it is to lose take off forty pounds. I’ve also lost over fifty pounds over the past few years. I’ve struggled my whole life with weight and know how painful it can be. This past year I put together a lifestyle design program for women and can send anyone interested the weight loss section. You may be eating a really low calorie diet that is putting your body into (hold on to the fat) mode. In addition, the exercise routine may need to be changed. A top trainer in my area recommends the 15 minute alternate intensity routine. So 5 minutes medium jog, 5 minutes fast run, 5 minutes medium jog add this to your daily routine. Breann, loose skin can be a bother. I have a lot of that after having my daughter. Unfortunately there may not be much you can do to completely eliminate this. However, running, elliptical machine and other CORE work outs can help tighen and tone this area of your body, it does make a big difference.

    Best of luck to you all.


  • Breann congratson your baby boy. You will start to lose those excess pounds, now you have a little one to take care he will keep you busy, after few months start your exercise. Now just eat healthy. To tighten you skin do core exercises apply coco butter it’s good for skin.

  • My problem is that I like all foods, and eat mostly healthy ones, i can eat everything and I do eat a little bit of everything, but Its like once I start eating, I cant stop, I want more and more until I get to the point where Im uncomfortably full. Im always hungry too. I dont get it. i eat healthy all day long, but am still hungry, and still gaining weight. Is there anything that can reduce my appetite?

  • Hi Laura, I too have/had the same problem. What I do is a take a colorful plate and fill it with veggies and litle of other things for which I crave move to a different place and eat them slowly, I really feel full and little lazy to go back and take another snacks. I hope this helps. (Never eat in the place where you cook 🙂

  • Hi there. I am 20 years old and I have had a struggle with my weight my entire life. I lost some weight last year when I was in college, but when I came home I gained it all back (plus a few extra pounds!!). I am now working a fill time job where I work 3 or more 12 1/2 hour shifts per week. I really really need help to get this weight off! PLEASE HELP ME!

  • Hi, i am 22 years old and i just had a baby girl a month ago! I was just wondering if anyone had tips for me on how to lose the little extra fat i have! Ive for the most part lost most of the weight after i gave birth, but im still alittle heavier than what i would like to be. Please helppp me 🙂

  • Hi, I am a 16 year old teenage girl! I’ve always had problem with my weight(even though everyone tells me I’m skinny..but i don’t feel skinny). I am 5″0 and weigh around 120-125 pounds. I am also chinese(don’t know if that makes a different), but I really want to loose until I’m around 100-110 pounds. I also work alot so I don’t already have time to go to the gym. Is there any type of clothing or anything I can do while I am working to help me loose weight?? I am considering to take diet pill(the same one the Kardasion’s took)….I just need to loose weight soon so please help! Thanks!

  • I’ve been trying to loose five pesky pounds for a while now but it doesn’t seem to be working. I cut out carbs and all white foods. I have been drinking lots of water a day and eating fruits, veggies and yogurt. Plus I am physically active every day whether it is Karate, Gymnastics, biking or walking/running. What am I doing wrong?

  • Hi Jasmine, The last five pounds is always tough. It’s that last stretch before success. I recommend first of all be sure you are getting enough lean protein, very important. For fruit, stick to berries or frozen berries and limit you intake, fruit is very healthy for you, but type and amount do matter.

    Also, don’t be too hard on yourself, you could be doing all the right things but these last 5 could take some time. Sounds like you are doing a great job at staying active and eating right.

    Some questions to ask yourself or try…

    Are you eating too little? Yes this is possible. If you are highly active and eating too little your body could be going through a stage of wanting to hold on to fat.

    Are you really overweight? Your body may be rejecting additional weight loss because it is at a healthy weight. This is not to say that you cannot lose the additional five, it just means your body isn’t going to give it away that easy. It may take a little longer and be a little harder then you expected. This is normal. 🙂

    Best wishes to everyone here, if you have any questions or want to discuss any of these topics further please feel free to e-mail me.

    I’ve lost over 50 pounds, kept it off for over 5 years, and am on a journey to lose even more.

    E-mail me anytime: mydivalifestyle at gmail.com