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How much should you weigh?

Before Calorie Restriction - Stomach protruding beyond rib cage
before Calorie Restriction

The normal weight of a person corresponds to a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. This means that a person who measures 5 feet 8 inches in height (173 cm) should weigh between 122 and 163 pounds (55.3 to 73.9 kg). BMI does not take the distribution of the weight into consideration. The famous body builder Ronnie Coleman, Mr. Olympia, has a BMI of over 40, but most of his weight is in his chest, arms, and leg muscles. His body weight distribution is very different from someone who carries much of the weight around the waist.

The Body Mass Index, by itself, is not enough to determine if you should lose weight. There are several other objective criteria such as the percent of body fat, the Waist-to-Height ratio, and the protrusion of the abdomen beyond the rib cage which taken together can be used to determine if you need to lose weight.

Use this diet calculator to calculate your BMI, percent body fat, and waist-to-height ratio:
Diet Calculator Diet Calculator

Percentage of Body Fat:
A percentage of body fat above 17% for a man, or 24% for a woman, indicates that you have extra fat.

Waist-to-Height Ratio:
The Waist-to-Height ratio compares the size of your abdomen relative to your height. If the ratio exceeds 0.5, your stomach is too big.

Stomach Size Relative to Chest:
As a final check, take off your clothes and look at your profile in the mirror. Your abdomen should not protrude beyond your rib cage. Women should compare their stomach with the base of the breasts.

You should lose some weight if a combination of two or more of these objective measures (BMI, Percent Body Fat, Waist-to-Height ratio, and abdomen protrusion beyond the rib cage) indicate that you have too much fat.
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