• Oh weight… it’s been on everybody’s New Year’s resolutions list. While often regarded as an aesthetic goal, it also has a notable impact on chances of developing various diseases. Women’s healthy weight, men’s healthy weight… just what is a healthy weight? Discover the tools that can help you measure it! 

    Health Has Many Sizes

    Keep in mind that many factors affect your weight! 

    No matter the numbers on your scale, an active and healthy lifestyle is always beneficial!

    The numbers representing your healthy weight vary depending on personal, cultural, and genetic factors. Therefore, weight cannot be considered alone as an indicator of one’s overall health. A woman’s ideal weight is not necessarily the same as another. The same goes for men. 

    The systems of weights and waist sizes classifications presented in this article are based on global values. They may underestimate or overestimate health risks among certain individuals. 

    Are You at Your Ideal Weight?

    Ever heard of the body mass index (BMI)? It’s a simple calculation that determines your weight according to your height. It’s the most studied and commonly used tool to evaluate health risks related to weight. However, just like any other tool, it has its limits. 

    For example, a young athletic man with bulging muscles could be considered as obese by the BMI. Indeed, a greater muscular mass means more weight, just like fat mass. But the BMI doesn’t differentiate between the two since it doesn’t take body composition into account. 

    In short, size is only one component of good health. Therefore, the BMI can’t be considered alone as an indicator of health problems. 

    How to measure your BMI

    Calculating your BMI is easy. Take your weight (in kilograms) and divide it by your squared height (in meters). 

    BMI = weight (kg) / (height (m))2

    GOOD TO KNOW: If you’re used to pounds, calculate your weight in kilograms by dividing it by 2.205!

    Here is a chart to determine your height in meters from feet and inches. 

    4 feet 11 inches1,49 m5 feet 9 inches1,75 m
    5 feet1,52 m5 feet 10 inches1,78 m
    5 feet 1 inch1,55 m5 feet 11 inches1,80 m
    5 feet 2 inches1,57 m6 feet 1,83 m
    5 feet 3 inches1,60 m6 feet 1 inch1,85 m
    5 feet 4 inches1,62 m6 feet 2 inches1,88 m
    5 feet 5 inches1,65 m6 feet 3 inches1,90 m
    5 feet 6 inches1,68 m6 feet 4 inches1,93 m
    5 feet 7 inches1,70 m6 feet 5 inches1,96 m
    5 feet 8 inches1,73 m6 feet 6 inches1,98 m

    What’s the ideal BMI?

    Whether you’re a man or a woman, if your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, congratulations, you have a healthy weight! Your risks of developing health problems are lower. 

    Otherwise, if you’re on the underweight or overweight sides, the health risks are higher. In fact, the more you diverge from this range, the more you put yourself at risk. Try to stay as close as possible!

    BMI category (kg/m2)ClassificationRisk of developing health problems
    ≥ 18,5 à
    Normal weightDecreased
    ≥ 25 à
    ≥ 30 à
    Class I obesity
    ≥ 35 à
    Class II obesityVery high
    ≥ 40
    Class III obesityExtremely high
    * For persons 65 years of age and older, the "normal" BMI range may extend from a value above 18.5 to a value in the "overweight" range.
    * This classification system should not be used for people under 18 years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

    GOOD TO KNOW: Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases are all influenced by excess weight.

    What is YOUR ideal weight?

    Finding your personal ideal weight is easy! You only have to change a few elements of the formula: you can replace the BMI by the 18.5 and 24.9 values. This way, you will find your range of ideal weight. 

    Ideal weight (kg) = BMI x (height (m))2

    Let’s take the example of a 45-year-old woman whose BMI is of 29 kg/m2 (excess weight). If she measures 1.60 m et weighs 75 kg, she will have to calculate her ideal weight with those two formulas: 

    Minimal ideal weight = 18,5 x (1,6 m)2

    Maximal ideal weight = 24,9 x (1,6 m)2

    She can therefore determine that her ideal weight ranges between 47.4 kg (104.5 lbs) and 63.7 kg (140.5 lbs). 

    Is Waist Size Important for A Healthy Weight?

    Take out your grandma’s sewing tape! Measuring your waist circumference is also interesting when estimating health risks. Indeed, the body part where you gain weight says a great deal!

    If you have an apple shaped body and accumulate fat around your stomach, you’re more likely to suffer from cardiac diseases, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. 

    Did you know that…

    A modest 5% reduction of your weight improves your general health? But don’t take off and try to lose weight in a week! A gradual reduction will be much more efficient in the long run.

    To avoid unhealthiness, aim for a waist size below 88 cm if you’re a woman, and below 102 cm if you’re a man. 

    The body mass index and waist size combination helps clarify that a woman with an ideal BMI but with a waist circumference superior to 88 cm has just as much health risks than an overweight woman with a waist size inferior to 88 cm. Determine does two factors and you will have a better idea of your health situation. 

    Waist circumference
    Normal weightOverweightClass I obesity
    Low riskIncreased riskHigh risk
    Low riskIncreased riskHigh risk
    ≥ 88 cm (women)
    Increased riskHigh riskVery high risk
    ≥ 102 cm (men)
    Increased riskHigh riskVery high risk

    I have health risks, what should I do?

    If you have excess weight or a bigger waist size, don’t panic! Simply consult a healthcare professional. A doctor or a nutritionist can analyze your situation and offer you guidance. 

    Most of all, don’t go starting a restrictive fast-weight-loss diet. These are rarely efficient on the long run and therefore not worthy of your time. Developing good eating habits and doing more physical activity are much better solutions. 

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