Ideal Body Weight Formula

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Maria Lorenz
Join me on my "I Fit and Healthy" journey! Maria is an Upstate New Yorker interested in all things healthy-living related! She started the "I Fit and Healthy" Blog to document life and her pursuit of healthy living. By day she work in digital media and advertising. By night she’s a first-rate wife and mom of two crazy little girls! She is self-proclaimed addicted to her iPhone/iPad and always on the hunt for the latest health tools and fitness gadgets.

I’m a 19 year old girl with a very small body frame. I have a 5.5″ wrist if that helps you understand. I’m about 5’4″ tall and I weigh 155 lbs. I’d really like to get down to my “ideal body weight” but all of the “calculators” that exist on the web give varied results. I’m very serious about becoming healthy, I already eat very healthy as it is (I do not go out to eat, I avoid a lot of processed foods, etc).

So my questions are…

What should my ideal body weight approximately be?

How can I reach this?

Approximately how long will, should it take me to reach this goal?

If you need more information to answer my questions more accurately, please e-mail me. Thank you so much! Harley. [via Ask Questions]

Trying to find an ideal body weight formula is not an easy task. There are many reasons for this; the main problem has to do with the fact that all ideal body formulas have inherent limitations. In my opinion, the ideal body weight formula simply does not exist. So, if an ideal body weight formula does not exist, how do you know if you need to lose weight, gain weight, or stay at your present weight?

Use a standard Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to calculate your BMI. Your BMI is 26.6, which puts you in an overweight range. According to a BMI calculator, your BMI should be in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. If you lose 10 pounds, your BMI will be 24.9, right on the edge of what is considered “normal” weight for your height and weight.

Now that we have your results, an obvious question is: Should you lose 10 pounds? Well, remember what I said earlier? There is no such thing as an ideal body weight formula. But your BMI is not in the normal range. What should you do? I think you already know the answer to this question. I mean, I do not wonder whether or not I need to lose weight. I know I do not need to lose weight, because I feel healthy and fit. I am physically active, I eat healthy. Do you feel the same way? If you do not, take action.

My point is that ultimately, you are the only person who can come up with an ideal body weight formula – that is, a body weight that you are comfortable with, the one that makes you feel healthy – is an ideal body weight for you. The BMI is just a suggestion – it is a ballpark estimate of what is considered healthy by the medical community.

If you choose to lose 10 pounds or so, how long should it take you to lose 10 pounds? Just like with trying to figure out your ideal weight, it is hard to say how long it will take you to lose weight. People lose weight at various rates. Some are able to lose weight quicker than others. That said, it is important to have reasonable expectations. To make a long story short, assuming you eat healthy and exercise regularly, it is reasonable to expect that you can lose 2 pounds a week. Hence, you can probably lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks.

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