Your ideal weight depends on several factors, such as height, age, sex, and underlying health conditions, among others. Some tips may help you achieve your weight goals in a sustainable, safe, and healthy way.

It’s not uncommon to step on the scale and wonder whether you’re at a healthy weight.

Your body weight may affect your health in many ways. For example, having underweight or overweight may increase your risk of illness and decrease your mental health and overall quality of life.

However, it’s important to understand that your overall health cannot be measured by body weight alone.

Keep reading to learn more about what maintaining a healthy body weight means and tips for safe weight loss and weight gain.

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Weight fluctuates with body size, so there’s no “ideal” body weight for all people.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, several factors may influence your body weight. These may include:

Your waist circumference, body fat percentage, and body fat distribution may also help determine your healthiest weight range.

Body weight is just one piece of a large puzzle

Your best body weight range is one that promotes optimal physical and mental health. At a healthy body weight, you should feel strong, energized, and confident.

It’s important to remember that what you may think is a “perfect” or “goal” weight might not be realistic or healthy for your body type.

If you’re unsure what a healthy weight looks like for you, speak with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. They can give you a realistic weight range based on factors such as your age, height, body type, and health goals.

Remember, your body weight is just one health indicator. Some other health indicators also include:

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Body mass index (BMI) is the most common tool used to assess body weight. It uses your height and weight to give you a number value that is classified into the following categories:

BMI rangeClassification
less than 16.5severely underweight
18.5–24.9normal weight
30–34.9obese class I
35–39.9obese class II
40 or greaterobese class III

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that BMI numbers may help estimate whether you have high or low body fat. It may also help predict chronic disease and mortality risk related to both underweight and overweight status.

However, BMI numbers shouldn’t be the only diagnostic tool used to determine your health or body fat levels. BMI doesn’t account for many other factors that could influence your healthy body weight, such as:

  • sex
  • body frame
  • age
  • ethnicity
  • bone mass
  • muscle mass
  • fat mass
  • fat distribution

BMI should be combined with blood tests and measures of waist-to-hip ratio and body fat percentage to accurately assess your optimal body weight.

This is because a person with a high amount of muscle mass may be misclassified as overweight or obese despite having healthy body fat levels. Similarly, a person with a large amount of body fat around their waist may be at a high risk of chronic diseases but still be categorized as having a healthy BMI because of their total body weight and height.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Insitute (NHLBI) provides body weight amounts in pounds (lbs) related to height (inches) and BMI. To calculate your BMI you can use the NHLBI‘s calculator.

The following table may provide a clearer image of where your weight falls in the BMI classification. However, it’s important to note that the table doesn’t include BMI below 19, which may indicate underweight.

BMI range18.5–24.925–29.930–34.935–39.940 or greater
Height (inches)
5891–115 lbs119–138 lbs143–162 lbs167–186 lbs≥ 191 lbs
5994–119 lbs124–143 lbs148–168 lbs173–193 lbs≥ 198 lbs
6097–123 lbs128–148 lbs153–174 lbs179–199 lbs≥ 204 lbs
61100–127 lbs132–153 lbs158–180 lbs185–206 lbs≥ 211 lbs
62104–131 lbs136–158 lbs164–186 lbs191–213 lbs≥ 218 lbs
63107–135 lbs141–163 lbs169–191 lbs197–220 lbs≥ 225 lbs
64110–140 lbs145–169 lbs174–197 lbs204–227 lbs≥ 232 lbs
65114–144 lbs150–174 lbs180–204 lbs210–234 lbs≥ 240 lbs
66118–148 lbs155–179 lbs186–210 lbs216–241 lbs≥ 247 lbs
67121–153 lbs159–185 lbs191–217 lbs223–249 lbs≥ 255 lbs
68125–158 lbs164–190 lbs197–223 lbs230–256 lbs≥ 262 lbs
69128–162 lbs169–196 lbs203–230 lbs236–263 lbs≥ 270 lbs
70132–167 lbs174–202 lbs209–236 lbs243–271 lbs≥ 278 lbs
71136–172 lbs179–208 lbs215–243 lbs250–279 lbs≥ 286 lbs
72140–177 lbs184–213 lbs221–250 lbs258–287 lbs≥ 294 lbs
73144–182 lbs189–219 lbs227–257 lbs265–195 lbs≥ 302 lbs
74148–186 lbs194–225 lbs233–264 lbs272–303 lbs≥ 311 lbs
75152–192 lbs200–232 lbs240–272 lbs279–311 lbs≥ 319 lbs
76156–197 lbs205–238 lbs246–279 lbs287–320 lbs≥ 328 lbs

Here are some tips to help you reach your body weight goals in healthy, safe, and sustainable ways.

Tips for healthy weight loss

Weight loss is complicated. What’s best for you may not be best for someone else. That said, these tips can help most people safely lose weight:

If you don’t know where to start, speak with a registered dietitian. They can help you create a healthy, sustainable weight loss nutrition plan based on your needs. A certified personal trainer can help you reach your fitness goals.

Healthy ways to gain weight

Here are some healthy and safe methods to help you gain muscle mass and body weight.

Talk with a healthcare professional if you’re losing weight, can’t seem to gain weight, or struggling to maintain your body weight even when you’re eating adequate calories. They can help make sure your weight loss isn’t the result of an underlying medical condition.

Help with eating disorders

It’s important to note that tips on weight management may not be appropriate for people living with an eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.

If you have an eating disorder, it’s critical to get the right help from a healthcare team consisting of a specialist physician, therapist, and registered dietitian.

If you’re interested in getting help for your eating disorder, contact the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders helpline by calling 1 (888) 375-7767.

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What weight should I be for my age?

There is no “right” weight for your age because sizes among age groups vary drastically. Most assessments look at body weight using physical metrics like height, waist-to-hip ratio, and body fat percentage.

What is a good weight size?

The CDC notes that a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is a healthy body weight range. That said, it’s important to note that BMI doesn’t take into account many factors that may contribute to healthy body weight, such as muscle mass, age, ethnicity, and body composition, among others. If you’re unsure about your body weight size, speak with a healthcare professional. They can accurately assess your body weight using several diagnostic tests.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for disease prevention, quality of life, mental health, and more.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone has a different healthy body weight. This may depend on several factors, such as your height, sex, muscle mass, age, and ethnicity.

Whether you’d like to lose, gain, or maintain weight, it’s important to do so in a sustainable way that supports your overall health.

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