Determining Your Ideal Weight

Setting a long-term goal weight is an important part of a weight loss plan. It can help you stay focused, push through challenges and celebrate success. But choosing your goal weight at random can be dangerous if the number isn’t a healthy one for you. Your age, gender, height, and body makeup should all factor into your ideal weight. And using a mix of tools can give you a better look at your health.

Here are a few tools that you can use to help assess your current weight and determine a healthy goal.

Body Mass Index
The number of pounds you weigh doesn’t mean much unless you have something to compare it to. Body Mass Index, or BMI, compares your weight to your height to determine if your weight is within a healthy range. If you are muscular, pregnant or elderly, BMI may not be an accurate tool. But, for most people, it can provide a quick weight assessment and an idea of what a healthy weight range for your height would be.

Use your weight and height to see where you land on this BMI chart.

Waist/Hip Measurement Ratio
Carrying too much fat around your waist increases your risk for obesity-related conditions because it puts pressure on internal organs, such as your heart, and causes them to work harder. Use your waist and hip measurements to determine if your measurements fall within the healthy range using this Determining Your Ideal Weight Worksheet.

Body Fat Percentage
When most people say that they want to lose weight, they really mean that they want less fat on their bodies. Understanding your body fat percentage is a good way to see how much of your body is made of fat compared to how much fat your body really needs. Our bodies do need fat to regulate body temperature, cushion and insulate organs and tissues, and serve as the body’s primary way to store energy. But, if your body fat percentage is too high, you increase your risk for medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Is your body fat percentage within the healthy range? Use the information on this Determining Your Ideal Weight Worksheet to find out.

Assessing your current weight is the first step in understanding your body. Use these tools above as a conversation starter with your doctor to discuss a goal weight that’s best for you.