How much should I weigh?

Dr. Thomas J. Hill, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

You should weigh an amount equivalent to a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less. BMI is your weight (in Kg) divided by height (in meters squared). Normal weight is a BMI of 25 or less. 

If you are unfamiliar with your numbers, your doctor can provide them to you. If your numbers aren’t where they should be, ask your doctor how to get them there.

Factors such as age, height, sex and degree of musculature can all have an impact on what a comfortable, healthy weight for you should be. There is a formula called the Hamwi Formula that can estimate body weight. It is as follows:

  • Men: 106 lb + 6 lb for every inch over 60 in.
  • Women: 100 + 5 lb for every inch over 60 in

Add 10% if you have a large frame, subtract 10% if you have a small frame.

This can give a rough idea, but ultimately, you should maintain a weight that is comfortable and healthy. On average you should not fluctuate much above or below. Weighing yourself daily can help you maintain your weight. If you see a trend of the scale going up, take action to reduce calories or increase activity…or both.

Mrs. Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

There is no one-size-fits-all way to determine weight. The healthiest weight for anyone is based on a combination of variables such as, gender, age, bone density/structure, body build, muscle mass, generics, and personal preference. The rule of thumb for a healthy adults is:

Women is 100 pounds for the first 5 feet and 5 pounds for every additional inch, or minus 5 pounds for every inch under 5 feet.

Men is 106 pounds for the first 5 feet and 6 pounds every additional inch, or minus 6 pounds for every inch under 5 feet.

There is not exactly an ideal weight for everyone. Your specific healthy weight goal will depend on several variables such as height, gender, and body type or composition. When using a scale as indicator of health, there is ability to differentiate between lean body mass (muscle, bone, and organs) and fat. Many times people fixate on the number on the scale and forget that overall health is much more important. It is possible to be a “fat, skinny person.” This is not a technical term, but it represents someone who is not overweight but has a high body fat percentage. It is always important to take body fat storage into consideration when weighing yourself. For example, let’s say you are 5 feet tall, weigh 140 pounds, and have 10% body fat. This equates to 126 pounds of lean body mass and 12 pounds of fat. This represents a healthy, athletic male (or maybe a female who is barely containing enough essential fat). On the other hand, if you are 5 feet tall, weigh 140 pounds, and have 30% body fat, you are carrying only 98 pounds of lean body mass and 42 pounds of fat! This represents an obese male or a female who is on the borderline between overweight and obese classifications. Being obese not only feels uncomfortable, but it also increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Body mass index (BMI) is another measurement to consider when determining your ideal weight. To determine the BMI for an individual who is 5 feet tall and weighs 140 pounds, take the weight in pounds (140) and multiply by 703, then divide by this result by the height in inches squared (3600). This calculation comes out to approximately 27. A BMI of 27 is considered overweight and inidcates the person is at a moderate risk for obesity-related diseases. Much like just using a scale, BMI does not differentiate between lean body mass and fat mass.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.