How to Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight

If you ask a doctor what your ideal body weight is he/she will probably test your BMI (body mass index) because science tells medicine that having a BMI of 18.5 to 25 is going to make you an ideal bodyweight, not if you're a bodybuilder. BMI is inaccurate because it doesn't account for additional lean muscle.

BMI uses height and weight and calculates what is considered healthy. If you are under 18.5 then your BMI says you are under-weight and if it's over 30 you're obese. Your ideal bodyweight is relative to a variable of alternatives. The perfect ideal body weight calculator includes a more detailed analyses using a number of different criteria. Including age, weight and height is still not subjective enough because of different genetic bone thickness.

There are many ways to measure ideal bodyweight but science has broken it into an ideal body weight formula. It needs to be noted that there is still an ongoing debate about the ideal formula.

The problem is we need fat to survive, "Essential fat" means healthy fat that you can't live without. Although the controversy still continues on exactly what optimal bodyweight is, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a survey done in 2000 which concluded that low body-fat ranges described as "under-fat", implies "unhealthy".

The published paper concluded by saying men between 20-40 who had a body-fat of less than 8% were considered "under-fat", the "healthy" range is between 8% -19%. Women from same age group showed under 21% to be "under-fat" and anything between 21-33% to be considered "healthy".

The problem is that we cannot just use body-fat as a measure of health. We all know that just because our body-fat is below 8% doesn't mean we are not healthy. There are also many healthy overweight people that exercise or train regularly and are healthier than some people who don't exercise but are genetically leaner.

The most accurate ideal bodyweight is from a chart published by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). It starts with essential fat, then athletes, fitness, average and then obese readings. It still doesn't include bone density or body frame, but it tells a better story.

  Age                  Body-fat percentage
20 years            8.5%                17.7%
25 years           10.5%                18.4%
30 years           12.7%                19.3%
35 years           13.7%                21.5%
40 years           15.3%                22.2%
45 years           16.4%                22.9%
50 years           18.9%                25.2%
55 years           20.9%               26.3%
                   MEN                 WOMEN

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