Ideal Weight Calculator: How Much Should I Weigh for my Height? 32


How much should I weigh for my height? This is a popular question as body weight has enormous health implications. Below is an ideal weight calculator that can help answer this question. Simply enter your gender and height and press “Calculate”. After the ideal weight calculator is an explanation on how it works.

Please note that if you are particularly tall or short, then only the last result (BBMI) will be relevant for you. Other limitations for people of all heights include, no regard for ethnicity, age, nor fat-muscle ratio. Really, this ideal weight calculator is just for an approximation.

Please also note that this calculator is for adults. For children, see these growth charts.

Units: imperial metric
Gender: Male Female
Height:
BBMI Exponent:


 

 
The methods for the above results fall into three categories. These are described below.

Ideal Weight Calculator Formulas

Ideal body weight formulas have been developed for a variety of purposes. These range from determining drug dosages to insurance premiums to healthiness of one’s body weight. Below are some examples of formulas that have been developed over the years. Note how weight increases linearly with height. This is an incorrect assumption as people get wider as they get taller. The error will be small for near average height people, though significant for short and tall people.

G. J. Hamwi Formula (1964)
Men: Men: 48.0 kg + 2.7 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 45.5 kg + 2.2 kg per inch over 5 feet
B. J. Devine Formula (1974)
Men: 50.0 + 2.3 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 45.5 + 2.3 kg per inch over 5 feet
J. D. Robinson Formula (1983)
Men: 52 kg + 1.9 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 49 kg + 1.7 kg per inch over 5 feet
D. R. Miller Formula (1983)
Men: 56.2 kg + 1.41 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 53.1 kg + 1.36 kg per inch over 5 feet

Ideal Weight Calculator: How Much Should I Weigh for my Height?

Ideal Weight Calculator by Body Mass Index

Another common approach for calculating ideal body weight is to assume a mid-range BMI value and then calculate weight for a given height. A recent method by Lemmens does this with a BMI value of 22. The above calculator actually uses 21.7 as that is the actual midpoint. A problem with this approach is that it assumes the body scales with the square of height. While this is better than the linear assumption, it still underestimates the height-weight relationship. In actuality, the body scales somewhere between height squared and height cubed. Once again, the error introduced by this approximation is small for near average height people, but is significant for particularly short or tall people.

Underweight BMI (BBMI) <= 18.5
Normal weight BMI (BBMI) = 18.5–24.9
Overweight BMI (BBMI) = 25–29.9
Obesity BMI (BBMI) >= 30

Ideal Weight Calculator by Better Body Mass Index

The better body mass index (BBMI) assumes a default scaling power of 2.5, halfway between square and cube. Additionally, you can change the scaling power to see what your ideal body weight would be under the square or cubic assumptions.

How Much Should I Weigh for my Height?

As you can see, there are many conflicting approaches for determining ideal weight. So you might be wondering which one to go with. As a general suggestion, particularly tall and short people should prefer the BBMI. Otherwise, the Miller and Robinson formulas may be better given they account for gender while the BMI and BBMI do not.

A problem with all of these methods though is that they do not account for ethnicity, age, nor body composition (muscle fat ratio). This means that a muscular person might be incorrectly labeled as of unhealthy body weight. A better option for determining the healthiness of one’s body weight is to use a fat caliper or body composition analyzer.

References

National Institute of Health, Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk.
The origin of the “ideal” body weight equations
Determination of ideal body weight for drug dosage calculations
Estimating ideal body weight–a new formula


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32 thoughts on “Ideal Weight Calculator: How Much Should I Weigh for my Height?

  • Erica Wilder

    Me too but I knew that already but at 46 and having delivered 2 babies in my lifetime the skin doesn’t bounce back and gets lax even on areas that have little weight to drop such as calves. Plastic surgery skin tightening is expensive and who wants scars so I am debating staying a little plump yet healthy as it looks better vs aging me.

  • mark brandsma

    Fun tool. I get to pick my ideal weight 🙂 Thanks Sam. I love you fun and insightful posts about our tallness!

  • Christiana Hill

    While I LOVE the attempt to include us tall folks, I really don’t believe that true health can ever be measured by a tool. No offense to the institution who put this together, but it’s just too hard to put a number to health. According to this, I need to lose 22 pounds to be healthy…that weight for me is SO unhealthy. This picture of me is my ideal weight (which is 215 pounds by the way) and I think we need real conversation around what healthy looks like for tall women. Ladies & Gents, don’t let things like this discourage you, get you down, or feel bad about yourself! Your bodies are beautiful ❤️

  • Christiana Hill

    Just because I think this is hilarious, my husband (in the picture) needs to lose close to 40 pounds to be considered healthy…not possible!

    • Erica Wilder

      Looks to be perfect bodied per my standards. These charts are wacko encouraging anorexia/bulimia and self loathing.

    • Christiana Hill

      Thank you so much Erica! I know I speak for a lot of tall women specifically when I say that BMI measurements of all kinds have led to negative body image and self-loathing. The sad thing is that not many people understand the inaccuracy. Thank you for helping to spread a positive message!

  • Erica Wilder

    According to all caclulators I am statistically OBESE at 30 BMI. Yep!!! You be the judge but I will be damned to call myself that! Sitting so not looking tall…was trying to decide which Land’s End Tall Aerobics swimsuit color to pick. Pink won over blue;)

  • Erica Wilder

    167-188 is healthy range from all the calculators listed for my height of 6’2″ yet @ 235lbs plenty of guys still think I have desirable curves and wouldn’t have a clue I am considered medically obese. It would be fun to get a more accurate measure including muscle mass. I bike intervals level 10-18 at the gym and do 50 minute water aerobics classes not bad for an obese chick! Lol I never tell guys what I weigh as they have no idea what a 6’2″ female is supposed to be. Under 2bills finds me happiest yet hungriest while being @ gym 4-6x wk;) Trying to convince a fat cell that has expanded to enjoy returning to and staying flat without my becoming a vegan is madness!

  • Robert Krawitz

    I’m supposedly about 20 lb overweight at 6’4″, male (210-212 lb, vs. 189-190 with BBMI). That just isn’t realistic or, I think, desirable for me. I am at the gym 4-5 days/week. My normal workout is 60 minutes on the erg (aka Concept2 indoor rowing machine) at 220 watts (if I’m taking it easy) to 250-275 watts (if I’m cranking). If anybody here ergs, that’s 1:56-1:57 pace on an easy day and 1:48-1:52 when I’m going harder. That’s 90th percentile for my bracket (50-59 men’s heavyweight) on an easy day. Let’s just say I’m quite comfortable that I’m not overweight. At 190 lb there’s no way I’d have the energy reserves to do that. Much less during the spring and fall challenges, where the goal is simply to rack up meters for a month and I’m doing about 1/3 more.

    • Robert Krawitz

      (btw I read somewhere that the median build for top MHW rowers both on the water and on the erg is about 6’4″, 210 lb!)

    • Hilary Roskens Oberhelman

      Furthermore…muscle weighs more than fat. You could weigh less technically, but have less muscle mass.
      I don’t personally have a problem w the number on a scale…my focus with fitness is building muscle. I would hope that my number increases in the process of gaining a “tighter” body. ( if that makes sense).

  • Hilary Roskens Oberhelman

    I don’t even remember what my info shows up at…but my employer has us do the annual physical thing as part of our health insurance requirements. Fine.
    What is NOT fine is me getting taken into a separate room by a nurse to be counseled about my weight.
    I am 175 lbs, 6’2″…athletic. I wear prob a size 10 most of the time…I mean, this is fine as far as I’m concerned.
    I got counseled bc I’m obese.
    WHAT? I was pissed.
    The bmi scale is definitely not accurate for is tall folk!

    • Erica Wilder

      Your stats are when I thought I was perfect…still had great boobs, butt and curves. You are not overweight. Shame on that company and the nurse!

    • Hilary Roskens Oberhelman

      The other thing that really bothered me about it is the fact that this kind of behavior could have prompted me to begin an unhealthy lifestyle.
      I could have taken this criticism to heart and then end up with an eating disorder or something.
      I just think that overall health should be taken in to consideration! So frustrating.

  • Andrea Quinn

    Uuummm no if I weighed this I would be a size 4..I actually enjoy my curves..I am healthy and happy..if I lose a little woo hoo but I’m not out to be a walking skeleton

  • philsheo

    Like pretty much every BMI calculator, there is no consideration for those of athletic or muscular build. I assure you that many people of similar height that fall within the ideal weight have higher levels of body fat and lower levels of musculature than those of us who feel well outside of the upper limits.

    I know that these are not your constructs, so that is not a criticism of your site or calculators.