Wondering what your ideal body weight (IBW) is? Use this digital calculator to compute it with ease. Countless formulas exist to make this calculation but there is still uncertainty about their accuracy. Nevertheless, you can use your recommended ideal body weight to help you better manage your health and wellness.
How to Use the Calculator
To use the calculator above to compute your IBW and healthy weight range:
- Select between US customary and metric units of measure.
- Indicate your gender: male or female.
- Enter your height in the corresponding boxes. Use feet and inches for the U. S. system or meters and centimeters for the metric system accordingly.
- Click "Calculate."
The calculator will display your ideal body weight based on the Miller formula, as well as the healthy weight range based on World Health Organization guidelines. Click the "Clear Results" button to perform another calculation.
Factors to Consider
Calculating ideal body weight (IBW) is an attempt to define the best weight a person should be for his or her height. In addition to height, gender and age, several other important factors go into what constitutes an ideal body weight for an individual. Some of these include:
- Lean muscle mass to body fat ratio
- Fat composition and distribution
- Waist circumference (a measure of belly fat)
- Ratio of waist to hip measurements (a measure of fat distribution)
- Size and mass of the skeletal frame (largely determined by genetics)
Trying to fit all the factors into a convenient formula would be too complicated. Instead, most IBW formulas only consider the effect of the following on IBW:
- Height: The taller you are, the more weight you can carry. Height is a reflection of genetics, which also defines body frame, body mass, and muscle and fat distribution.
- Gender: Body composition differs between a woman and a man because of estrogen and testosterone-induced differences in the amount and distribution of muscle and fat. A man has more muscle than a woman and muscle weighs more than fat.
Although age is an important factor, because metabolism changes with age, none of the popular ideal body weight formulas include age.
Determining Ideal Body Weight
To construct the ideal body weight calculator, the calculator widget uses two popular methods:
- The 1983 Miller formula factors for height and gender. The formulas for men and women age 18 and over are as follows:
Men: 56.2 kg + 1.41 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 53.1 kg + 1.36 kg per inch over 5 feet
- The World Health Organization (WHO) offers a recommended range for a healthy body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9 for both adult men and women age 18 and over. BMI, an indirect measure of fatness, does not take gender into account, only height and weight.
Used together, the Miller formula and the WHO's healthy BMI reference range calculate your recommended ideal body weight, as well as your IBW range.
Limitations to Keep in Mind
None of the IBW formulas can give a perfect, ideal body weight answer, given the complexities of the human body, genetics and individual variations in body composition. Instead, the calculation gives you a guide to manage your weight and how you want your body to look.
Make a Simple Calculation
The calculator simplifies the task of trying to figure out your ideal body weight and range. Although the answer is not perfect, the information gives you a frame of reference when you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight range.