Weight: What Are the Magic Numbers?

Everyone’s bodies are built differently, so how can you determine if you are at a healthy weight? One way is to consider weight in relationship to your height to come up with your Body Mass Index (BMI).

BMI approximates an individual’s body fat percentage based on weight and height. Normal BMI usually ranges between 18 and 25. BMI between 25 to 30 is considered overweight and a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. BMI values greater than 30 place people at increased health risk.

It’s easy to calculate your BMI:

  1. Multiply your weight (in pounds) by 703.
  2. Multiply your height (in inches) by your height (in inches).
  3. Divide the answer in step 1 by the answer in step 2. This will give you the BMI.

You can also ask your doctor, advanced practitioner, nurse or dietitian for your BMI value.

Waist circumference can also be used to determine excess body fat and health risk. A measurement of 40 inches or greater in men and 35 inches or greater in women is of concern, as it predicts increased health risk.

To measure waist circumference:

  1. Place a measuring tape around the abdomen just above the top of the hip bone.
  2. Please note that before taking a reading, the tape should be snug and level (parallel to the floor).
  3. Take the measurement at the end of a normal breath.

If your BMI or waist circumference is increasing or at a concerning level based on the above ranges, it is important that you take steps immediately to manage your weight.

To combat undesired weight gain, be sure to weigh yourself often and routinely visit with a registered dietitian who can help give you strategies to control calories. This will ensure that you are getting the nutrition you need while achieving your weight loss goals or maintaining your desired body weight.