The above chart sourced from the weight control information network indicates what healthy weight for women is, and what is not.
While there may be personal variations based on a person’s build or muscle tone, and some other measurements of body fat such as skin-fold caliper, underwater weighing and bioelectrical impedance can also be used to asses healthy weight, this is seen as being generally accurate for indicating healthy weight, overweight or obesity.
Healthy weight for women is important to maintain not just to look good but also to feel good and to lower risk of several life threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, joint pain, sleeping troubles, etc.
Gauging a woman’s ideal weight
This takes into account several factors – the height and BMI of a woman are vital indicators. The taller the woman, the more the weight she will carry obviously.
However healthy weight for women also has one more element that is important to consider and that is a woman’s age – when women are over the age of 40, several metabolic and hormonal changes start to occur, which is why what is considered ‘normal weight’ for a younger woman may be different than what is considered ‘normal’ for a woman over 40 years of age.
A woman’s body frame is another indicator for whether or not she is at her ideal body weight. Whether she has a small frame, medium frame or large frame determines healthy weight for women. A simple test is generally used to determine what sort of frame a woman has – encircle the bony part of your wrist with the fingers of your other hand.
If the fingers overlap, you have a small frame, if the fingers touch you are said to have a medium frame and if the fingers do not touch, then you have a large frame.
Though not hard and fast this can be a useful thumb rule to use – a wrist measurement of less than 6 inches indicates a small frame, between 6 and 6.25 indicates medium frame, and over 6.25 indicates a large frame.
Another way to measure whether a woman is small, large or medium framed, is to measure the elbow. This involves holing one arm out and bent at the elbow at 90 degrees to the body, with the forearm parallel to the body. You then use your other hand to measure the distance between the two prominent bones that jut out at the elbow – the distance between these can indicate what kind of frame a woman has.
The other important element that decides healthy weight for women is the muscle tone or the proportion of body fat and muscle.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so for a very muscular woman, who has highly a toned body; an athlete for instance, normal body weight can be different than other women. This can be a complicated thing to measure and ideally a doctor or some gyms may be able to perform this test for you.