Estimating Your Ideal Weight
This calculator can be used to estimate a range of ideal fitness weights based on gender, age, and height using a formula developed by the United States military. The calculator needs a total of three inputs, including:
- The user’s gender, which is limited to male and female
- The age of the user, which falls into four ranges (17-20, 21-27, 28-39, and 40+)
- The user’s height, measured in either inches or centimeters (cm)
The calculator then provides the user with two sets of outputs, including:
- The minimum recommended weight for an individual given their gender, age, and height stated in both pounds and kilograms
- The maximum recommended weight for an individual given their gender, age, and height stated in both pounds and kilograms
Note: The range of weights given is based on the United States military enlistment weight recommendations. This approach was chosen due to the superior results compared to the overly simplified approach used by other online ideal weight calculators.
What is Ideal Weight Anyway?
I really don’t think there is such a thing as an ideal weight based on just a few inputs. There are so many factors to consider that go well beyond gender, age, and height. We’ve all seen people that are “thin” but not in great physical condition. At one time, this was called “skinny fat.” We’ve also seen, or known, people that were thick with muscles. Sometimes referred to as an “athletic build.” No doubt that people come in all shapes and sizes, and that variety makes the world an interesting place in which to live.
In my quest to supplement our body fat and BMI calculator, I wanted to figure out if anyone had an online calculator for ideal weights. Unfortunately, what I found were calculators that asked for age but did not use that information to calculate the results. When I entered my information into that calculator it provided four different weights that ranged from 183 to 164 pounds. At the time of this writing, I weigh about 187 pounds and at around 180 pounds I start to get a six pack. If I were to get down to 164 pounds, I would be “shredded” which I don’t consider ideal or sustainable.
Therefore, I chose to model our calculator after the U.S. military enlistment weight recommendations. The military wants people that are in good physical condition, and I thought providing a range was far superior to providing a single “ideal weight.”
Interpreting the Results of Our Calculator
The results provided by our calculator are straightforward. We’re allowing for both US Customary as well as Metric system measurements. The minimum weight should be viewed as a “hard” minimum. Someone weighing less than the minimum might have limited physical endurance. At the other extreme someone that is above the maximum weight would also have trouble maintaining the level of physical activity required for the rigors of the military. Of course, athletes that train with weights might exceed the maximum threshold and be in superior physical condition. But athletes like this have better indicators of physical fitness than found on a bathroom scale. The critical point here is to understand how the standard is being used and evaluate what you think is an ideal weight given the range of weights presented using this calculation.