Tag Archive for 'Body Mass Index'

What is my Optimal Body Weight


Question: I am 5’6″ and weigh 186 lbs. How much should I weigh?

Answer: Your optimal body weight or ideal weight depends to a large extent on your height and gender, but also on other factors such as your age, your frame and your muscular development. You do not provide enough information for us to calculate your ideal weight, but you can get an accurate assessment by using our free online ideal weight calculator. It takes into account many variables including your bone structure, which is something very few ideal weight calculators consider.

Your optimal body weight is that weight where you are at your healthiest, not necessarily where you are at your thinnest. It is extremely important to take your build and body type into account when you calculate your goal weight. None of us want to be overweight, but too thin can be as unattractive and being underweight also poses health risks to your body and mind. The free weight loss tools available at myOBW offers you an ideal weight calculator as well as BMI (Body Mass Index) and Waist to Hip Ratio calculators. Keep in mind that while these tools can provide you with some idea of how you compare to others; your best indicator is how you feel in your own skin.

What is my Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Question: What is my Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR) and what does it tell me about my body?

Answer: The latest research confirms that your Waist-to-Hip Ratio (also sometimes referred to as Hip-to-Waist Ratio or Hip-Waist-Ratio) provides a more accurate indication of obesity and the health risks associated with weight problems than your BMI (Body Mass Index), which has traditionally been used as the main indicator to tell you whether you need to lose weight or not. People are genetically programmed to store extra fat in different areas of the body. Some people carry more fat around the waist and upper body (apple body shape) while others tend to build up more fat around the hips (pear body shape). Apple shaped people are at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes than their pear shaped counterparts.

Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio is calculated by dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips. When you measure yourself, stand relaxed and do not suck in your stomach. Measure your waist around the narrowest part (normally just above the belly button) and your hips around the widest part. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement using a calculator. Use the Waist-to-Hip Ratio Chart provided below to see how close you are to the ideal and what your health risks are. You can also use the free online Waist-to-Hip Ratio calculator provided as part of the free weight loss tools offered at myOBW.

The Waist-to-Hip Ratio Chart is as follow:

Male Female Health Risk Based on WHR
Close to 0.9 Close to 0.7 Ideal – Very low Risk
0.95 or below 0.80 or below Low Risk
0.96 to 1.0 0.81 to 0.85 Moderate Risk
1.0+ 0.85+ High Risk

Scientific studies show that waist size alone can already be an indicator for increased risk of heart disease. A waist circumference measurement of over 35 inches (88.9 cm) for women or over 40 inches (101.6 cm) for men indicates increased health risks as result of body fat distribution.

What is my BMI or Body Mass Index

Question: What does BMI mean and where can I get mine calculated?

Answer: Your Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an index used by medical professionals to determine whether you are in shape or not. It really is a ratio calculated using your height and weight. While your BMI offers a good starting point to assess how close you are to your healthy weight, it must used with care. The main disadvantage of using the BMI to assess body shape or obesity is that it is not that precise. It does not take into account bone structure or your lean muscle mass versus fat ratio. To compensate for these factors, BMI numbers should be interpreted in ranges. For example: if you are athletically built or have a heavy bone structure, your BMI is likely to be on the higher side of the normal range when you are at your ideal body weight; while your small-framed friend should ideally be on the lower side of the normal range. Remember that your goal should be to be healthy, not just skinny.

Categories for BMI are as follow:

  • Below 18.5 Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9 Healthy
  • 25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
  • 30.0 – 39.9 Obese
  • Over 40 Morbidly Obese

Find out how close you are to the normal range by using this free BMI calculator. The same weight loss support website also offers you a free ideal weight calculator that takes into account your bone structure.

BMI should not be used to assess weight problems in children, as it is only applicable to adult bodies.