One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to our bodies, especially when trying to figure out how much you should weigh.

Numbers on a scale aren’t always a great way of gauging overall health, and can even be problematic. But if you like to track your weight as a means of following a healthy lifestyle, there are ways to determine the weight range that’s best for Y-O-U.

So how much should I weigh?

It depends! Many factors come into play that determine your ideal healthy weight, including:

  • height
  • sex
  • age
  • muscle-fat ratio
  • frame size
  • body fat distribution (aka body shape)
Was this helpful?

Let’s weigh in on all the methods that take these factors into consideration so you can determine a healthy weight unique to your body.

how much should i weighShare on Pinterest
Rostislav_Sedlacek/Getty Images

Get your calculator out! Here are a handful of ways to determine if your weight falls in the “healthy” zone, and how some methods fall short.

Body mass index (BMI)

A popular way to calculate your weight, BMI takes into account your weight in relation to your height. The formula includes:

According to the National Institute of Health, the BMI categories include:

  • underweight = under 18.5
  • normal weight = 18.5–24.9
  • overweight = 25–29.9
  • obesity = over 30

The accuracy with BMI isn’t the best since it doesn’t take in consideration frame size and muscle composition. For example, celebs like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel are likely to have higher BMI’s but aren’t considered overweight.

The following chart shows weight ranges compared to height according to NIH:

NormalOverweightObesitySevere obesity
4 10″
91–115 lbs.119–38 lbs.143–186 lbs.191–258 lbs.
4 11″
94–119 lbs.124–43 lbs.148–193 lbs.198–267 lbs.
97–123 lbs.128–148 lbs.153–199 lbs.204–76 lbs.
5 1″
100–127 lbs.132–153 lbs.158–206 lbs.211–285 lbs.
5 2″
104–131 lbs.136–158 lbs.164–213 lbs.218–95 lbs.
5 3″
107–135 lbs.141–163 lbs.169–20 lbs.225–304 lbs.
5 4″
110–140 lbs.145–169 lbs.174–227 lbs.232–14 lbs.
5 5″
114–144 lbs.150–174 lbs.180–234 lbs.240–324 lbs.
5 6″
118–148 lbs.155–179 lbs.186–241 lbs.247–334 lbs.
5 7″
121–153 lbs.159–185 lbs.191–249 lbs.255–344 lbs.
5 8″
125–158 lbs.164–190 lbs.197–256 lbs.262–354 lbs.
5 9″
128–162 lbs.169–196 lbs.203–263 lbs.270–365 lbs.
5 10″
132–167 lbs.174–202 lbs.209–271 lbs.278–376 lbs.
5 11″
136–172 lbs.179–208 lbs.215–279 lbs.286–386 lbs.
140–177 lbs.184–213 lbs.221–287 lbs.294–397 lbs.
6 1″
144–182 lbs.189–219 lbs.227–295 lbs.302–408 lbs.
6 2″
148–186 lbs.194–225 lbs.233–303 lbs.311–20 lbs.
6 3″
152–192 lbs.200–232 lbs.240–311 lbs.319–431 lbs.
6′ 4″
156–197 lbs.205–238 lbs.246–320 lbs.328–443 lbs.

Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)

Take your waist circumference and divide it by your hip circumference to get your WHR. The result lets you know how much fat is stored in your lower body, such as your waist, hips, and bum.

You can calculate this at home with a tape measure, but that also reduces accuracy since it’s not always simple to measure yourself. When measuring your waist, you want to breathe normally and measure the area slightly above your belly button. Your hip measurement should be the largest part of your hips/butt.

Different health organizations link the following WHRs to health risks:

Health riskWHR (women)WHR (men)
threshold for abdominal obesity0.80 cm0.95 cm
substantially increased risk of metabolic complications≥0.85 cm≥0.90 cm

Along with measuring being inaccurate, this method can be skewed for people with muscular hips and shorter folks under 5 feet tall.

Waist-to-height ratio (WtHR)

This method is similar to WHR, but instead of your hips, you’re measuring your height. To calculate your WtHR, take your waist measurement in inches and divide by your height in inches (you can also do this in centimeters).

To fall in the healthy range, your WtHR should be about 0.5, meaning your waist measurement would equal less than half of your height.

According to a 2014 study, some researchers believe WtHR can better predict cardiovascular disease risk than BMI or WHR.

One downfall is that WtHR still doesn’t take hip size into consideration.

Body fat percentage

When you divide the weight of a person’s fat by their total weight, you get their body fat percentage. Fat tends to have a negative reputation, but it’s crucial for survival since it protects our organs and is used for energy.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) lists the following ranges:

Activity levelMale body typeFemale body type
fit nonathletes14–17%21–24%

Unfortunately, calculating this isn’t simple to do at home unless you’ve been trained to use skin calipers (a special tool to take skinfold measurements).

Seeing a health professional will provide more accurate results (usually within 3.5 percent, according to ACE) and they will take multiple measurements usually on the thigh, abdomen, upper arm, or chest (for men).

There are also various special equipment and techniques to calculate body fat percentage, but they may wind up costing you an arm and a leg.

On the flip side, body fat percentage may outweigh BMI when it comes to receiving accurate info about your weight. A 2012 study states that body fat percentage has a better ability to pinpoint healthy individuals who have a BMI that may be considered “overweight” or “obese” since it differentiates between lean mass and fat mass.

The taller you are, the more you’ll weigh since you have more square footage. Being “big boned” is also a real thing.

Frame size can vary for both men and women, and it’s calculated based on wrist circumference in relation to height. When looking at a weight chart based on your height, you’ll likely lean toward the end of the range if you have a large frame.

As we age, our body changes. Once we’ve left our 20s and arrived to our 30s, body fat can go up steadily (especially around our midsection) and muscle tissue decreases. Muscle mass also goes down as you age.

Men and women differ even more. Genetically, men have higher levels of the hormone testosterone, which provides more muscle mass and less fat mass. They also carry their weight differently than women.

Premenopausal women store fat in their lower body whereas postmenopausal women and men tend to be more apple-shaped (basically carrying excess weight around the belly).

So the different frame sizes, hormones, and (usually) height makes it necessary to differentiate between the sexes when it comes to weight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides this growth chart that recommends weight based on age for male children and adolescents:

Age (years)Lower percentile weight (lbs)“Average” percentile weight (lbs)Upper percentile weight (lbs)
2–323–27 or less24–3432–7 lbs or higher
3–427–30 or less28–3937–42 or higher
4–530–34 or less31–4542–49 or higher
5–634–37 or less35–5049–56 or higher
6–737–41 or less39–5756–63 or higher
7–837–45 or less43–6363–72 or higher
8–945–50 or less47– 7172–81 or higher
9–1050–55 or less52–8081–92 or higher
10–1155–61 or less58–9192–105 or higher
11–1261–67 or less64–103105–119 or higher
12–1367–75 or less71–116119–133 or higher
13–1475–85 or less80–129133–147 or higher
14–1585–95 or less90–141147–160 or higher
15–1695–104 or less100–152160–171 or higher
16–17 104–112 or less110–160171–181 or higher
17–18112–117 or less117–166181–187 or higher
18–19 117–121 or less123–171187–192 or higher
19–20121–122 or less126–174192–195 or higher

And the CDC also has a growth chart that outlines weight based on age for female children and adolescents:

Age (years)Lower percentile weight (lbs)“Average” percentile weight (lbs)Upper percentile weight (lbs)
2–322–26 or less23–3331–36 or higher
3–426–29 or less27–4236–45 or higher
4–529–32 or less30–4945–52 or higher
5–632–36 or less34–5645–60 or higher
6–736–40 or less38–6460–69 or higher
7–840–44 or less42–7369–80 or higher
8–944–49 or less47–8480–92 or higher
9–1049–55 or less52–9692–106 or higher
10–1155–61 or less58–110106–121 or higher
11–1261–69 or less65–123121–136 or higher
12–1369–76 or less73–135136–149 or higher
13–1476–83 or less81–144149–159 or higher
14–1583–90 or less88–151159–167 or higher
15–1690–94 or less94–155167–172 or higher
16–1794–98 or less99–158172–175 or higher
17–1898–100 or less102–160175–178 or higher
18–19100–101 or less104–163178–80 or higher
19–20101–102 or less105–166180–182 or higher

Healthy lifestyles don’t come from a pill or restrictive diet. They also don’t come from constantly weighing yourself.

Long-term, sustainable habits are the way to go to ensure you’re maintaining a healthy weight. And it’s also worth noting that everyone’s weight fluctuates to some extent.

Key tips to keep things healthy include:

  • Eat lots of whole foods: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store to find foods that are chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Move your body: According to the CDC, the exercise sweet spot is 150 minutes each week. Divvy that up by doing both muscle-strengthening activities and aerobic activity (good ‘ol cardio and weights). You can also go on walks, do yoga, or dance it out. Just get physical!
  • Surround yourself with support: Family, friends, or health professionals can help support you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Finding out how much you weigh can be an easy way gauge your health. But, the scale isn’t for everyone and it’s def not the only way to track your overall health. If you’re not into tracking numbers on a scale, ditch it.

If you do want to track your weight, there are various methods to determine if you fall into a “healthy range” based on your sex and height. And, it’s important to find a weight tracking method that considers factors that make you, you!

But keep in mind, many methods of figuring out a “healthy” weight aren’t 100 percent accurate either.