How Much Should You Weigh?

There is no doubt that the simplest and most reliable way to find out whether or not you are overweight is to weigh yourself.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always as easy as it should be to decide from this just how much weight you need to lose. Many of the height/weight charts which are in existence are pretty useless. Some of them were devised many years ago when people were much skinnier (and less muscular) than they are today. As a result they seem to suggest that virtually everyone who isn’t skeletal needs to lose weight!

I also have grave misgivings about height/weight charts which require you to decide whether you are small, medium or large boned before you can use them. It’s nigh on impossible to decide this without first stripping off all your flesh but even if it was a practical question it is of relatively little significance because bones don’t usually weigh all that much and the difference between large and small bones is a fairly small one.

I have compiled special height/weight tables which enable you to compare your weight with the ideal weight for your height. I’ve given you an ideal weight band—you should try to make sure that your weight falls into this band.

Height/weight chart for women

Instructions

Weigh yourself with as few clothes as possible—and no shoes.

Measure your height in bare or stockinged feet.

You are overweight if your weight falls above your ideal weight band.

HEIGHT (FEET & INCHES) IDEAL WEIGHT BAND (STONES & POUNDS) 4.10 7.5—8. 4.11 7.7—8. 5.0 7.9—8. 5.1 7.11—8. 5.2 8.1—9. 5.3 8.4—9. 5.4 8.6—9. 5.5 8.10—9. 5.6 9.0—10. 5.7 9.3—10. 5.8 9.7—10. 5.9 9.10—10. 5.10 10.0—11. 5.11 10.3—11. 6.0 10.7—11. 6.1 10.9—11. 6.2 10.12—11. 6.3 11.2—12. 6.4 11.5—12. 6.5 11.8—12. 6.6 12.0—13.

Note

Ideal weights vary with age and various other factors. But if you weigh more than 14 pounds above the maximum in your Ideal Weight Band then your weight will almost certainly be having an adverse effect on your health.

Height/weight chart for men

Instructions

Weigh yourself with as few clothes as possible—and no shoes.

Measure your height in bare feet or socks.

You are overweight if your weight falls above your ideal weight band.

HEIGHT (FEET (INCHES) IDEAL WEIGHT BAND (STONES AND POUNDS) 5.0 8.5—9. 5.1 8.6—9. 5.2 8.7—9. 5.3 8.8—9. 5.4 8.11—9. 5.5 9.2—10. 5.6 9.6—10. 5.7 9.10—10. 5.8 10.0—11. 5.9 10.4—11. 5.10 10.8—11. 5.11 10.12—11. 6.0 11.2—12. 6.1 11.6—12. 6.2 11.10—12. 6.3 12.0—13. 6.4 12.4—13. 6.5 12.8—13. 6.6 13.0—14.

Note

Ideal weights vary with age and various other factors. But if you weigh more than 14 pounds above the maximum in your Ideal Weight Band then your weight will almost certainly be having an adverse effect on your health.

Try the pinch test

When doctors want to find out how much fat there is in someone’s body they sometimes use specially designed calipers to do the measuring.

You can use a simple version of this technique yourself! The big advantage of it is that it will enable you to find out which parts of your body contain most fat. (Though you probably already have a pretty good idea of the answer to this question).

Just pick up a lump of flesh between your thumb and forefinger and see how much space it takes up. If you try this test with the flesh on the back of your hand you will see that there isn’t much fat stored there. But if you try the same test around your waist you will find that it is a very different story. Fat deposits vary from site to site around your body.

When you use your thumb and forefinger for this test you are, of course, picking up two layers of skin and two layers of fat. (Since human skin is fairly thin you are effectively holding two thicknesses of body fat). So, in order to get an idea of the thickness of your body fat at that particular point on your body you have only to halve the distance between your thumb and your forefinger.

You can do this measuring yourself. Don’t squeeze until it hurts. Just make sure that you have a firm hold on the flesh you want to measure. Then, using a ruler, measure the distance between the skin of your thumb and the skin of your forefinger.

You can do this test all over your body.

If you want to do this test to get an idea of whether or not you are generally fat then the best place for the test is probably the triceps muscle at the back of your upper arm. You can also try measuring the amount of body fat at your waist, on the back of your legs, on your thighs, hips and buttocks.

If the thickness of your skin and under skin fat exceeds half an inch then there is probably too much fat there. Since the ‘pinch test’ measures a double thickness of skin and fat this means that anything more than one inch thick means that you have too much fat.

If you can pinch more than an inch then you need to diet!

Or try the mirror test

Take oflfall your clothes and stand naked in front of a full length mirror. You should be able to tell whether or not you are overweight—and where the excess weight is—simply by looking at your reflection!

Or try the tape measure test

Measure your chest with a tape measure.

Measure your waist with a tape measure.

If your waist measurement exceeds your chest measurement then you are almost certainly carrying far too much fat around your waist.

Or try the ruler test!

Take oflf all your clothes.

Lie flat on your back.

Rest one end of a twelve inch ruler on the bottom edge of your rib cage and the other end on the top end of your pelvis. If the ruler lies firmly on bone (with no flesh touching it in the middle) then you don’t have a fat tummy. If, however, the ruler bobs about (particularly if you breathe or laugh) then you probably need to lose weight—and your waist is probably one of the places where you have got most fit stored.

Or try the waist and hip test

Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

If you are a woman and the answer is 0.85 or more then you need to lose weight.

If you are a man and the answer is 1.00 or more then you need to lose weight.

Cellulite

There is no such thing as cellulite. It is simple a posh, pseudo-scientific word for fat If you have fatty thighs then the best way to deal with them is to put yourself on a good diet, eat less and take more exercise. Forget about special anti-cellulite remedies.

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