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How to Calculate A Healthy Body Weight
General Wellness

How to Calculate A Healthy Body Weight

By Your Health Staff
Posted: June 1, 2024

If you’ve ever wondered how much you’re actually “supposed” to weigh, you aren’t alone.

An ideal body weight can mean different things to different people—and because all bodies are different, there isn’t one magic formula that can perfectly pinpoint an individual’s ideal or “goal” weight. 

However, Healthier 901 has a few simple tools you can use from the comfort of your home to see how your weight compares to a healthy weight range. These tools can help you maintain a steady weight and keep those extra pounds at bay over time.

Using Body Mass Index (BMI) to Determine a Healthy Weight

The most common tool used to measure our weight is the body mass index, a.k.a. BMI

Calculating Your BMI

To determine your BMI, you only need to know your height (in feet and inches, e.g., 5’ 6”) and current weight. Once you have these numbers in hand, simply input them into this adult BMI calculator and voilà—you now know your BMI! (Important tip: when calculating for folks 19 years and younger, be sure to use this BMI calculator for kids and teens). 

So … now what?

Understanding Your BMI Results

Knowing your BMI means you can better understand where your weight currently falls compared to your ideal healthy weight range—which, in turn, can help you figure out the right next steps to improve your health and lower your risk of developing chronic diseases and certain cancers. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BMI weight categories break down like this:

  • BMI below 18.5 suggests underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 suggests a healthy weight range
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9 may indicate overweight
  • BMI of 30 or above may indicate obesity

    Although BMI does not factor in things like a person’s muscle mass, body composition, fat distribution and other measurements (e.g., waist-to-height ratio), it’s still a helpful screening tool to determine our potential health risks, especially those associated with chronic obesity.


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    Beyond BMI: Other Factors to Consider 

    “While the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ are often used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between these two classifications,” said Leslie Ely, registered dietitian at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “Put simply, ‘overweight’ means having more body weight than is considered within a healthy range for your height, while ‘obesity’ is a chronic health condition that reflects a more extreme degree of excess fat and weight. Being overweight can often lead to obesity in the long-term, putting individuals at an increased risk for weight-related health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.”

    If you do find that your weight falls in the obese or overweight range, take heart. Losing weight may seem like a daunting task, but—first and foremost—you don’t have to go it alone. Groups like the Healthier 901 community can offer you free tools, tips and support to tackle those extra pounds head-on. 

    Join the Healthier 901 Movement

    And guess what? Even a small weight loss can make a big difference in your overall health! Studies show that losing just 5% of our current body weight typically causes improvements to our blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, mobility and quality of life. 

    “It’s also important to remember that weight and body size alone do not paint a complete picture of our health,” said Ely. “Anyone with concerns or questions about their weight, body fat percentage or body composition should talk with a registered dietitian or their primary care provider to determine the right target weight and potential weight loss plan for their personal health, history and needs.”

    Healthier 901 is on a mission to help Mid-Southerners collectively lose a whopping one million pounds. So if you’ve got some pounds to shed, join the Healthier 901 movement today and take full advantage of free workouts on demand, discounted gym memberships, nutrition tracking tools, customized programs for better sleep and stress management and an entire community of folks committed to seeing you succeed and so much more.