People come in all body shapes and sizes. Thankfully, that means there’s not one perfect height or one perfect weight. That being said, it is possible to predict what your height and weight should ideally be, based on several factors that are unique to you as an individual. But, remember, at the end of the day, it’s not the number on the scale that matters, but whether or not that number is considered a healthy number for you. Here’s how you can find that out.
Myths About Height and Weight
Before getting into the specifics of calculating ideal height and weight, it’s important to dispel certain myths. As with anything else related to body image, there are plenty of false facts floating around that can real hurt a person’s self-esteem.
Here are some of the most common myths about height and weight and the truth you should know:
- “I won’t get taller after puberty.”: People generally experience their biggest growth spurt during puberty, but some don’t reach their peak height until years later.
- “Genes are the only thing that affect height.”: When it comes to your height, genetics are the major determining factor, but environmental factors like nutrition and exercise can also contribute to how tall you are.
- “I stay the same height throughout the day.”: Interestingly enough, you may be slightly taller in the morning than you are in the evening. This is because your spinal discs compress throughout the day from gravity, and when you lay down to sleep at night, this compression is released.
- “The more weight I lose, the healthier I’ll be.”: While being overweight can have negative effects on your health, losing too much weight can leave your body with an insufficient number of calories, leading to a breakdown in muscles and tissues and possibly even organ failure.
- “If someone is obese, it’s all their fault.”: Willpower is certainly involved when it comes to shedding pounds, but some people have genetic conditions that actually make it much more difficult for them to lose weight.
As with anything health or medically related, it’s important to understand that every person is unique. If you’re concerned about your height or weight or your child’s height or weight, then it’s best to consult a doctor.
What Does it Mean to Be at Your “Ideal” Height?
You may be pleased to know that there isn’t really such a thing as an “ideal” height. A lot of it has to do with personal preference and body positivity. Some people may aim to be 6-ft. tall or more, while others prefer being petite. Chances are if you ask around, you’ll get a wide range of numbers for what someone thinks an ideal height is.
That being said, there is some degree of “normal” when it comes to predicting what your own height should be, and if it appears, for instance, that your child is not growing taller, it could be cause for concern.
Before you run to the doctor, though, remember that everyone grows at a different rate. In the meantime, it is possible to predict how tall your child might be at a certain age, or even how tall you’ll be if you’re under 18 right now. To do so, input the age, height, and gender into a height calculator to get a predicted adult height.
What Does it Mean to Be at Your “Ideal” Weight?
While ideal height is usually subjective, ideal weight is much more objective. Despite what you may see or hear in media, judging your ideal weight doesn’t have anything to do with how you look in a mirror or how well your clothes fit. Being at your ideal weight doesn’t mean being skinny or curvy, it means being at a weight that’s healthy for you.
So what’s considered healthy? That depends on your age, gender, height, and muscle-to-fat ratio, among other things. Most importantly, when you’re at a healthy weight, you’re at a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
What is Your BMI?
Since there are so many unique factors at play when it comes to determining a healthy weight, it can be difficult for one formula to account for everything. There are, however, a few handy tools out there to give you a general idea of your ideal weight, and this is when your height is really important.
Body mass index (BMI) is the most common scale used to generalize someone’s ideal weight, and it determines this by looking mainly at your height, first.
According to the National Institutes of Health, you are considered underweight if your BMI is less than 18.5, normal weight if your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, overweight if your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, and obese if your BMI is 30 or greater. To find your BMI, you can match your body weight to your height on a BMI table.
How to Calculate Your Ideal Weight
If you’d simply like to know the general weight you should be for your height and gender, you can use an ideal weight calculator. With GIGA Calculator’s tool, just put in your height in imperial or metric units and select your gender, and it will tell you two ideal weights based on two popular scientific formulas.
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that both of this tool is for general reference, since it does not account for other factors, such as waist-hip ratio and proportion of muscle mass. It’s a good idea to speak with a medical professional to help you more precisely calculate your ideal weight.
Tips for Maintaining Your Ideal Weight
Say you’ve achieved your ideal weight. Congratulations! Now how do you maintain it? Two of the best ways are to eat well and regularly exercise.
To eat well, incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. You can also swap sugary drinks and snacks for more nutritious choices like water, nuts, and berries.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it turns out that eating breakfast can actually help with weight control. So, instead of skipping this early morning meal as a way to lose weight, make sure to add a nutritious breakfast to your daily routine instead.
When it comes to exercise, try and be active for at least 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t mean you need to start spending a huge chunk of your time at the gym.
You can choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator, ride a bike to work or school instead of driving, or go for a walk during your lunch break rather than sitting at your desk. Fun hobbies you already love, such as dancing, also count as exercise!
It’s okay to experiment with diet and nutrition to see if it can help you get to that ideal weight. But, remember to consult a doctor or nutritionist before making any major lifestyle changes.
There isn’t a magical number out there for ideal height and weight, but there are tools available to help you understand what’s considered most healthy for you. What’s most important is to focus on your wellness and to feel confident in your body image.
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Time Out, CultureMap, Livability, and more.