Although a person’s ideal weight has for decades been determined by his or her height, it turns out that there are a few other variables that are important to take into account. These variables may include the person’s age and gender as well as their muscle-fat ratio and bone density. If you don’t take these essential factors into account when calculating how much you should weigh, your calculations could be skewed.

Today there are two main schools of thought followed by the majority of human weight experts, and we will discuss both of them. Many insist that determining a simple algorithm known as the Body Mass Index is all that is needed to determine a person’s ideal weight. Others say that this calculation still does not effectively take into account other important factors such as a person’s waist-hip ratio and amount of muscle mass.

Two people may, for instance, be approximately the same height and weigh about the same, but one may be overweight and the other may just be muscle-bound. Muscle weighs more than fat, and this makes it difficult to determine a person’s ideal weight simply by calculating their Body Mass Index alone. Still, knowing your Body Mass Index in conjunction with a few other measurements can help you determine how much body fat you have, and this can give you a good idea of whether you should be gaining weight, losing weight, or simply maintaining your current weight.

**Body Mass Index**

Your Body Mass Index can be determined by dividing the weight of your body by the square of your height. To arrive at a general Body Mass Index figure, multiply your weight in pounds by the number 703. Divide the result of this calculation by the square of your height in inches. The square of your height can be found by multiplying by itself the number of inches you measure.

In simple terms, the algorithm for calculating your Body Mass Index looks like this: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703.

Perform this calculation using your exact measurements and you should get a number somewhere between about 15 and 40. Health authorities in the majority of countries around the world consider anyone with a Body Mass Index of below about 20 to be underweight. If your Body Mass Index is somewhere safely between 20 and 25, you most likely weigh the just right amount. A Body Mass Index of between 25 and 30 could indicate mild obesity, and a Body Mass Index of anywhere over 30 indicates obesity.

Although there are some differences in opinion between countries about these numbers, the above paragraph reflects the general worldwide consensus on the matter. Some countries consider a Body Mass Index of 18.5 instead of 20 to be underweight.

**The Problems with BMI**

Because the Body Mass Index algorithm is so general and simple, it has garnered many critics who point out the many variables that it does not take into account. A couch potato with a large belly and not much muscle may have a similar BMI to an Olympic medalist who is made out of almost pure muscle. A person affected by osteoporosis may have a very low BMI due to his or her low bone density, but this may be accompanied by a large waist and far more body fat than would normally be considered healthy.

Your Body Mass Index should only be used as a rough estimate of your ideal weight. In many specific cases, the Body Mass Index is a poor indicator of ideal weight and overall health.

**Waist-Hip Ratio**

Another simple and slightly more accurate way of determining your ideal body weight is to measure your waist-hip ratio. To perform this measurement, use measuring tape to determining the circumference of your waist at its narrowest point. This point is usually located inches above your navel. Next, measure the circumference of your hips at their widest point.

Once you have determined these two numbers, take the circumference of your waist and divide it by the circumference of your hips. You should get a number located somewhere between 0.5 and 2. If the number you come up with is below 0.9, your body weight probably falls into its ideal range, and you probably have a very low risk of heart complications. A number between .09 and 0.99 means that you are slightly overweight and you have a moderate risk of heart complications. If these measurements give you a number that is higher than 1, you are definitely out of your ideal body weight range, you have a high risk of heart problems, and you should probably see a health, weight, or nutrition expert immediately.

Although the waist-hip ratio still doesn’t measure your body’s total fat percentage, it is generally considered to be a highly accurate indicator of ideal body weight.

Although a person’s ideal weight has for decades been determined by his or her height, it turns out that there are a few other variables that are important to take into account. These variables may include the person’s age and gender as well as their muscle-fat ratio and bone density. If you don’t take these essential factors into account when calculating how much you should weigh, your calculations could be skewed.

Today there are two main schools of thought followed by the majority of human weight experts, and we will discuss both of them. Many insist that determining a simple algorithm known as the Body Mass Index is all that is needed to determine a person’s ideal weight. Others say that this calculation still does not effectively take into account other important factors such as a person’s waist-hip ratio and amount of muscle mass.

Two people may, for instance, be approximately the same height and weigh about the same, but one may be overweight and the other may just be muscle-bound. Muscle weighs more than fat, and this makes it difficult to determine a person’s ideal weight simply by calculating their Body Mass Index alone. Still, knowing your Body Mass Index in conjunction with a few other measurements can help you determine how much body fat you have, and this can give you a good idea of whether you should be gaining weight, losing weight, or simply maintaining your current weight.

**Body Mass Index**

Your Body Mass Index can be determined by dividing the weight of your body by the square of your height. To arrive at a general Body Mass Index figure, multiply your weight in pounds by the number 703. Divide the result of this calculation by the square of your height in inches. The square of your height can be found by multiplying by itself the number of inches you measure.

In simple terms, the algorithm for calculating your Body Mass Index looks like this: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703.

Perform this calculation using your exact measurements and you should get a number somewhere between about 15 and 40. Health authorities in the majority of countries around the world consider anyone with a Body Mass Index of below about 20 to be underweight. If your Body Mass Index is somewhere safely between 20 and 25, you most likely weigh the just right amount. A Body Mass Index of between 25 and 30 could indicate mild obesity, and a Body Mass Index of anywhere over 30 indicates obesity.

Although there are some differences in opinion between countries about these numbers, the above paragraph reflects the general worldwide consensus on the matter. Some countries consider a Body Mass Index of 18.5 instead of 20 to be underweight.

**The Problems with BMI**

Because the Body Mass Index algorithm is so general and simple, it has garnered many critics who point out the many variables that it does not take into account. A couch potato with a large belly and not much muscle may have a similar BMI to an Olympic medalist who is made out of almost pure muscle. A person affected by osteoporosis may have a very low BMI due to his or her low bone density, but this may be accompanied by a large waist and far more body fat than would normally be considered healthy.

Your Body Mass Index should only be used as a rough estimate of your ideal weight. In many specific cases, the Body Mass Index is a poor indicator of ideal weight and overall health.

**Waist-Hip Ratio**

Another simple and slightly more accurate way of determining your ideal body weight is to measure your waist-hip ratio. To perform this measurement, use measuring tape to determining the circumference of your waist at its narrowest point. This point is usually located inches above your navel. Next, measure the circumference of your hips at their widest point.

Once you have determined these two numbers, take the circumference of your waist and divide it by the circumference of your hips. You should get a number located somewhere between 0.5 and 2. If the number you come up with is below 0.9, your body weight probably falls into its ideal range, and you probably have a very low risk of heart complications. A number between .09 and 0.99 means that you are slightly overweight and you have a moderate risk of heart complications. If these measurements give you a number that is higher than 1, you are definitely out of your ideal body weight range, you have a high risk of heart problems, and you should probably see a health, weight, or nutrition expert immediately.

Although the waist-hip ratio still doesn’t measure your body’s total fat percentage, it is generally considered to be a highly accurate indicator of ideal body weight.