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How to Calculate Your Ideal Weight

ideal weight

Researchers from the CDC say that today’s average American woman weighs 169 pounds, which is more than the average American man weighed in the early 1960s. The average weight of U.S. men over the age of 20 has increased to 196 pounds, according to data from 2011 to 2014. The average heights of both men and women have remained about the same – 5’3.5” and 5’9” respectively while weights have increased considerably.

Waist circumference is an indicator of health risk associated with excess fat around the waist. A waist circumference of 40 inches or more in men and 35 inches or more in women, is associated with health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

To calculate your ideal waist to height ratio take your height in inches and multiply by 0.42 to get your waist measurement. For example 5’4” = 64 inches x 0.42 = 26.88 inches.

Average height, weight, and waist circumference for U.S. adults aged 20 and over (Source: CDC)

Men:
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 196 lbs. (Ideal weight should be 150 lbs.)
Waist circumference: 40” (Ideal waist should be 29”)

Women:
Height: 5’4”
Weight: 169 lbs. (Ideal weight should be 110 lbs.)
Waist circumference: 38” (should be under 27”)

These figures show that the average American man is 46 lbs. overweight and the average American woman is 59 lbs. overweight.

Today, the average American woman is 5’4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs over 150 lbs, with a dress size of 14. Fifty years ago, the average woman was 5’3-5’4″ with a waist size of approximately 24-25″  and she weighed about 120 lbs and wore a size 6.

Ideal Weights:

Height Women Men
4′ 10″ 91 lbs. 95 lbs.
4′ 11″ 93 100
5’0″ 95 105
5’1″ 99 110
5’2″ 103 115
5’3″ 107 120
5’4″ 110 125
5’5″ 114 130
5’6″ 118 135
5’7″ 121 140
5’8″ 125 145
5’9″ 128 150
5’10” 132 155
5’11” 136 160
6’0″ 140 165
6′ 1″ 144 170
6′ 2″ 148 175
6′ 3″ 152 180
6′ 4″ 156 185

Calorie Needs

A 40 year old 5’4” female who is lightly active needs 1,587 calories per day to maintain an ideal weight of about 110 lbs.

A 40 year old 5’9” male who is lightly active needs 2,174 calories per day to maintain an ideal weight of about 150 lbs.

To calculate your exact needs go to: www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html.  It will ask you for your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.

Since one pound = 3,500 calories, you would need to cut 500 calories per day from your diet to lose one pound of fat per week.  It takes one hour of vigorous exercise to burn 500 calories, or 7 hours to burn 3,500 calories. Do both and you would lose two pounds per week.

A single muffin, breakfast pastry, or bagel with cream cheese, all contain 500 calories or more. Even some donuts can be 500 calories. It takes only 4 slices of bacon to hit 500 calories. A Starbuck’s Frappuccino can be 500 calories or more. An order of large fries is about 500 calories. Potato chips are very calorie dense — a 2.5 oz. bag contains 400 calories. One single slice of a large pizza can be 500 calories.

If you are overweight and cut back your calories to what it takes to maintain your ideal weight, eventually you will reach your goal.  The time it takes depends on how many pounds overweight you are.

The Calorie Density Scale from Jeff Novick, MS RD

The Calorie Density Scale shows that if you choose low calorie foods, you can eat a lot more food to keep you full and satisfied, instead of cutting your portions of high calorie foods and feeling deprived.

Foods Calories/pound
Vegetables 60-195
Fruits 140-420
Potatoes, Pasta, Rice, Corn, Cereals 320-630
Beans, Peas, Lentils (cooked) 310-780
Breads, Bagels, Muffins, Dried Fruit 920-1,360
Sugars, honey, and syrups 1,200-1,800
Dry Cereals, Chips, Crackers, Pretzels 1,480-1,760
Nuts and Seeds 2,400-3,200
Oils and Fats 4,000

What 100 calories of food looks like (choose wisely):

Fruits (all of these are allowed on the Malibu Diet)

52 grapes = 100 calories
25 strawberries = 100 calories
1¼ cups or about 130 blueberries = 100 calories
1 medium banana = 100 calories
1 medium apple = 100 calories
1 large orange = 100 calories
2 kiwifruit = 100 calories
2 medium peaches = 100 calories
¾ cup pineapple chunks = 100 calories
11 oz. of watermelon = 100 calories

Vegetables (all of these are allowed on the Malibu Diet)

25 baby carrots = 100 calories
12 stalks celery = 100 calories
3 cups of broccoli = less than 100 calories
4 bell peppers = 100 calories
1 16-oz package of Baby Spinach = 100 calories
18 oz. green beans = 100 calories
¾ cup corn kernels = 100 calories
33 grape tomatoes = 100 calories
3 medium cucumbers = 100 calories
4 oz. sweet potato = 100 calories
4 oz. baked potato (1 small) = 100 calories

Grains (all of these are allowed on the Malibu Diet)

1 slice of whole grain bread = 100 calories
1/4 cup whole grain pasta = 100 calories
½ cup brown rice = 100 calories
½ cup oatmeal = 100 calories

Fats

1 tbsp Peanut Butter = 100 calories (allowed)
1/3 avocado = 100 calories (allowed)
15 almonds = 100 calories (allowed)
1 tbsp Butter or Oil = 100-120 calories (not allowed)
3 tbsp of ice cream = 100 calories (not allowed)
1 slice cheese = 100 calories (not allowed)
2 slices bacon = 100 calories (not allowed)

Protein

5 oz. tofu = 100 calories (allowed)
1.5 oz steak = 100 calories (not allowed)

Article by Christine & Sonny Gray

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