How to calculate the ideal weight for height


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The ideal weight is the weight that a person should have for his height. It is important so as to avoid complications such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes or even malnutrition which result when the person is underweight. To calculate the ideal weight, the Body Mass Index (BMI) should be calculated, which takes into account age, weight and height.

It is important to note that BMI does not take into account the amount of fat, muscle or water that the person has. It is only a reference of weight for the person’s height. Therefore, if a person has a lot of muscle mass or has fluid retention, the ideal weight indicates that BMI may not be the most appropriate, and in these cases it is necessary to perform a nutritional assessment.

The ideal weight is an estimate of how much a person should weigh for their height. However there are other important factors that should be taken into consideration, such as fat, muscle and water, to determine what is in fact the ideal weight.

If there is any doubt regarding weight, the best method is to go to the nutritionist to make a complete nutritional assessment, because in this assessment it is possible that the antecedents can be taken into account and that the percentage of fat, muscles, physical activity, among others, will be taken into account.

However, if you want to calculate the optimal weight of a child or adolescent, use a child BMI calculator.

Weight table for children

The following table indicates the weight of up to 5 years of age, for girls:

AgeWeightAgeWeightAgeWeight
1 month3.2 – 4.8 kg6 months6.4 – 8.4 kg1 year and a half9 – 11.6 kg
2 months4.6 – 5.8 kg8 months7 – 9 kg2 years old10 – 13 kg
3 months5.2 – 6.6 kg9 months7.2 – 9.4 kg3 years old11 – 16 kg
4 months5,6 – 7,1 kg10 months7,4 – 9,6 kg4 years old14 – 18,6 kg
5 months6,1 – 7,8 kg11 months7,8 – 10,2 kg5 years old15,6 – 21,4 kg

The following indicates the weight table up to 5 years of age, for boys:

AgeWeightAgeWeightAgeWeight
1 month3.8 – 5 kg7 months7.4 – 9.2 kg1 year and a half9.8 – 12.2 kg
2 months4.8 – 6.4 kg8 months7.6 – 9.6 kg2 years old10.8 – 13.6 kg
3 months5.6 – 7.2 kg9 months8 – 10 kg3 years old12.8 – 16.2 kg
4 months6.2 – 7.8 kg10 months8.2 – 10.2 kg4 year old14.4 – 18.8 kg
5 months6.6 – 8.4 kg11 months8.4 – 10.6 kg5 years old16 – 21.2 kg
6 months7 – 8.8 kg1 year8.6 – 10.8 kg—–——

In the case of children, weight is a more sensitive measure of nutritional status than height, because it reflects recent nutritional intake. Hence the tables above indicate weight for age. The relationship between weight and height begins to be taken into account from 2 years of age.

How to get to the ideal weight

When the person is out of their ideal weight value, they should consult a nutritionist to start a diet tailored to their needs, to increase or decrease in weight. In addition, one should also consult a physical education teacher to start an appropriate exercise plan.

Achieving optimal weight depends on whether the person is above or below it, so:

1. If you are overweight

For those who are above the ideal weight and want to achieve it, it is important to increase the consumption of healthy foods, which are high in fiber and low in calories, such as eggplant, ginger, salmon and flaxseed. These foods help speed up metabolism and decrease anxiety by favoring weight loss.

To achieve the fastest goal it is recommended that exercise be performed to increase caloric expenditure and metabolism. The nutritionist may indicate some natural teas and supplements to favor weight loss and decrease anxiety, if necessary.

In the case of morbid obesity, the doctor may prescribe the use of some medications that help, as well as an adequate diet and physical activity, to reduce weight. Another option is bariatric surgery, which is recommended for obese people who have tried to lose weight through dieting, but who have not been able to.

In addition to the ideal weight, it is also important to know the result of the waist-hip ratio to assess the risk of having cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes and infarction. 

2. If you are underweight

If the BMI result is below the ideal weight, it is necessary to seek the guidance of a nutritionist so that a complete nutritional assessment is made and a nutritional plan adapted to the individual needs of the person.

In principle, weight gain should happen in a healthy way, favoring weight gain through muscle hypertrophy and not through fat accumulation in the body. Therefore, the consumption of foods such as pizzas, fried foods, hot dogs and hamburgers are not the best options for those who need to gain weight in a healthy way. This is because this type of fat can accumulate inside the arteries, hence increasing the risk of heart disease.

To increase muscle mass, it is important to eat protein-rich foods such as eggs, cheese, milk and dairy products, chicken or salmon, as well as eating every 3 hours to increase caloric intake.

In some cases, lack of appetite may be related to some physical or emotional illness and the doctor may perform medical examinations to identify what might be the cause of weight loss.


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