What Is the Right Weight for My Body Type?

Karen Frazier
healthy weight

If you are wondering, what is the right weight for my body type, this article will help you to address this question so that you can develop strategies to maintain a healthy weight.

The Importance of Healthy Body Weight

Why is it important to determine the proper body weight? Maintaining a healthy weight can help protect you against a variety of illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Being at a healthy weight also allows you to perform on a daily basis at your peak capacity. Extra weight makes all kinds of activities more taxing on your body, which can drain you of energy.

Being underweight can have just as much of a deleterious effect on your health as being overweight. In bodies that are underweight, there is less protection for the organs, and bones may have less density. Energy levels might be low because there is not enough fuel to maintain good health.

Body Composition and Body Mass Index

Weight is more than just a factor of your size. When determining what is the right weight for my body type, you need to take into account a number of things including:

Body Composition

Your body is made up of two types of tissue: lean body mass (LBM) and body fat (BF). Your lean body mass is everything that is not fat, and includes your muscles, bones, organs, skin, blood and water.

Body fat is just that - the fat that is in your fat cells and lining your organs. When considering what is the right weight for my body type, body composition plays a huge role. Body composition is measured as a body fat percentage.

Healthy body composition for males is 15% to 18%, and for females it is 22% to 25% body fat. Body composition can be calculated in a number of ways with varying accuracy, including skin fold testing, hydrostatic weighing (essentially water displacement) and other methods.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Measuring body mass index is a method of calculating relative amounts of body fat based on your height and weight. It is calculated by dividing your weight (in pounds) by your height (in inches) in the following formula:

BMI=(Weight in pounds)/(Height in inches)

For a normal body type with moderate musculature, the BMI is a fairly reliable indicator or whether you are a healthy weight for your size; however, it loses reliability in cases of either extreme musculature or extremely light musculature.

To determine whether you are at a healthy BMI, you can use the calculator below or one of the many BMI charts available on the Internet.

What Is the Right Weight for My Body Type?

If you are of average musculature, and not extremely muscular or extremely lightly muscled, you can determine the right weight for your body type by using the aforementioned BMI chart, or by using a healthy body calculator. These types of tools are widely available and work well for those with an average body type. If, however, you are either heavily muscled or of extremely light musculature, you may find that you deviate from these standardized charts.

How do those who aren't "average" determine a healthy weight? By finding a tool that takes into your frame size and musculature.

Unfortunately, standard tools tend to favor those who meet the median. If you are on the far end of the spectrum - in either direction - it may be more difficult to find a tool that will help you to determine your healthy body weight. If you are in this situation and can't find a tool to make the determination on your own, consultation with a fitness or health care professional is recommended.

What to Do if You Are Over or Underweight

If, after calculating your ideal weight, you determine that you are either over or under by a significant percentage, then there are measures that you can take to establish a healthy weight. A combination of a balanced, calorie controlled diet based on the principles of good nutrition and a sound exercise program will soon have you on your way to good health.

Check with your health care provider and/or a fitness professional, who can help you set reasonable goals to obtain your ideal weight in a careful and controlled manner.

What Is the Right Weight for My Body Type?