When people start working with me they often open with the question: “How much should I weigh?”. Some others come to me with a straight idea to loose 30kgs. Both cases normally followed by a long conversation. One: “ideal” body weight is often based on what we see promoted through media and social media. Two: bodyweight does not always related to how a person looks.
While bodyweight can be a great indicator on how your progress is going, it can also greatly depend on many things (read here). I have seen women training extremely hard in the gym months on end, sticking to their meal plan to the T, and a year apart, they look like a different person, super lean and shredded, while they weigh the same in kgs. Body composition is an important factor when we are talking about your “ideal weight”.
Here is where your goals come to play. If your aim is to gain lean muscle mass while lowering your bodyfat percentage, bodyweight becomes a much more irrelevant factor, as muscle tissue weights a lot more, than fat tissue. If you want to get rid of a greater amount of bodyfat, then yes, we can talk about ideal body weight as a guideline, and track your progress with getting on the scale on a daily or weekly basis. Still, you might say in the beginning that you want to be 60 kgs, but along the road, when you hit 67 for instance, you might feel very happy and comfortable how you look.
Ideal Body Weight (IBW) Calculators
There is no ideal bodyweight than can be applied to a certain group of women or men or age, or height. Yes, there are plenty of online calculators that can estimate your ideal body weight based on your age, height and gender, and this data can be used as a guideline, to have something to aim at, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. The formula of ideal body weight (IBW) was actually introduced to estimate dosages for medical use, not to determine how much should an individual weigh. IBW also does not consider a lot of important factors such as body fat percentage and the amount of muscle tissue, so it really only can be an estimation.
So how much should you weigh?
Visually, you can tell, when a person is overweight, but indeed everybody has and needs some body fat. It is absolutely crucial for the body’s optimal work (read more about fats here). When you love what you see in the mirror, when you feel good and you have enough energy and stamina, when your mood is stable and you also sleep well, that is when your body composition is probably right, not at a certain number!
So use IBW as a piece of data, as an indicator to work towards to. But never believe that if you are under or over that number, your body weight is not ideal. It is ideal, when YOU think and feel it’s ideal. Scale weight is just a number, so stop chasing it. Instead say: I want to love and feel good about myself. That is what I want to achieve.
Having an ideal physique and weight is important not only physically but also mentally. In addition to the obvious correlations between the right body composition and the optimal level of health, when someone, be it a woman or a man, loves themselves, their self-confidence automatically increases, their general mood improves, etc. and they will perform better in all areas of their lives. That’s why it’s important to be in good shape, not to be accepted by others. Do it for you.