Determining Healthy Body Weight

  • nhnelson

    Posts: 113

    Feb 23, 2010 6:57 PM GMT
    Hey Dudes,

    Question: Does anyone know of a resource which can help someone determine a healthy body weight? I'd like to have attainable/realistic/healthy goals, but I feel like I need an idea of what kind of numbers I'd be looking at.

    Then again, maybe I should just see a nutritionist. I feel like there's probably a lot that goes into determining that number.

    I once read that one should eat as much as one would need to maintain one's goal body weight. I'm skeptical about that, thoughts?

    If it's of any concern to anyone who might answer my question, I'm 6'4", and a man, of course.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 23, 2010 8:23 PM GMT
    The chart below is for sedentary people.. Athletes, and especially weight lifters, will weigh considerably more.

    standard_weight_chart_for_men.jpg
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 23, 2010 11:12 PM GMT
    First off, you're in a fantastic position to get in the shape you want; the Stanford gym facilities are excellent.

    For a relatively simple option, try getting an estimate of your current % body fat. If you have access to either a doctor or a personal trainer with experience using calipers, that's the easiest at least somewhat reliable method. Electrical impedance devices, like many scales, are notoriously variable in their accuracy. If you don't have access to someone with calipers, you might try estimating body fat % from a tape measure, such as the instructions found here, here, or here.

    For health only, and no thoughts of vanity, you'd probably want to aim for something around 15% body fat. To find out what weight that is, you'll need to plug in some current numbers.

    Target weight would be [(100 - current body fat %) * current weight] / 85 ***

    HOWEVER, this would assume that your getting healthier would not involve gaining muscle. For most people, a substantial improvement in exercise habits will lead to significant muscle growth, and remember that muscle is roughly 4 times as dense as fat is. This is why it's not always advisable to pay too much attention to what the scale tells you -- you're better off noticing the changes in how clothing fits. Assuming that you store fat the way most men do -- on the stomach -- it's better for your pants to feel looser in the waist and tighter in the thighs, and for your shirts to be be looser at the bottom and tighter at the top than they are now. That's a safer way to track positive changes than a scale is.

    *** The algebra, for those who care:

    (Current body fat % * current weight) / 100 = current fat weight.
    [(100 - current body fat %) * current weight] / 100 = current lean weight.
    Ideal weight * 0.15 = ideal fat weight.
    current lean weight + ideal fat weight = ideal weight.
    Rearranging those last two equations, we get:
    current lean weight + (ideal weight * 0.15) = ideal weight
    ideal weight = (current lean weight) / 0.85
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2010 7:42 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidThe chart below is for sedentary people.. Athletes, and especially weight lifters, will weigh considerably more.

    standard_weight_chart_for_men.jpg


    If I weighed 175-197 I would be a skeleton.