What is the ideal weight?

When looking in the mirror, many people ask themselves: Am I too thin? Am I too fat? Or is everything in the green? So you're not alone with your weight doubts. Assessing yourself correctly is a small challenge. The ideal weight is a parameter that you can use to orient yourself. With it you know what is healthy for your body.

The ideal weight – appearances deceive

Even children and adolescents often have problems with distorted self-perception: According to a study by the University of Bielefeld, every second 15-year-old girl and every third 15-year-old boy1 considered themselves to be too fat, although she or he was not at all. But even adults often find it difficult to assess themselves realistically – especially men: In a survey conducted by Apotheken Umschau, one out of four men felt overweight, but in reality one out of every two was.2

Measuring the ideal weight – the fight against misjudgement

A look at the scale is often not enough. It needs a realistic valuation scale like the Body-Mass-Index (BMI). It sets the body weight in relation to the body height; the formula is body weight (in kg) : body height (in m)²:. The BMI values can be assigned to categories. These indicate whether a person is normal, overweight or underweight. With the BMI you get a rough, but completely sufficient classification into a weight class.
The ideal weight of woman and man

The ideal weight of a man is different from that of a woman. The reason: The genders differ strongly with regard to muscle mass and body fat distribution. The following table shows you the BMI ranges for women and men:

Weight classBMI FemaleBMI Male
Underweight< 19< 20
Normal weight19-2420-25
Overweight25-3026-30
Obesity31-4031-40
severe obesity> 40> 40
Good to know: The significance of the body mass index is restricted. Depending on your physical condition, the results are misleading. This is the case with bodybuilders, competitive athletes as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Especially in Heavy athletics other standards apply: Due to their muscle mass, these athletes are very heavy, the BMI values correspondingly high, but the athletes have no overweight at all. The former boxing world champion Vladimir Klitschko, for example, was like that. In his active time he was considered to be overweight according to the WHO classification, but he weighed so much because of his muscle mass. Also goalkeeper legend Oliver Kahn did not have an ideal weight. The recommended optimum weight is therefore by no means engraved in stone.

The ideal weight for children

The calculation of BMI is also tricky for children and adolescents. Since the muscle and fat content of girls and boys develops differently, the body mass index alone says nothing. It only becomes more meaningful when compared with gender-specific growth curves. Body mass index percentiles is what the expert calls these comparative values.

An example: For a 14-year-old, the BMI value is the 15th percentile. In other words: 15 percent of all 14-year-old girls in the reference group have a lower BMI, 85 percent a higher BMI. This means that the adolescents have a relatively low BMI compared to their peers.

These reference values serve as orientation:
  • BMI < 3rd percentile: strong underweight
  • BMI between 3rd and 10th percentile: underweight
  • BMI between 10. and 90. percentiles: normal weight
  • BMI > 90th percentile: overweight
  • BMI > 97th percentile: strong overweight
Underweight = eating disorder?

If your BMI is in the "underweight" range, this does not automatically mean that you suffer from anorexia. Organic causes can also be responsible. Maybe you metabolise food quickly. Just as well diabetes mellitus type 1 or a hypofunction of the thyroid gland can be the causes. As a precaution, ask a doctor how he evaluates your health.

It may even be due to your intestinal bacteria – more precisely: the number of bacteria of the strain Bacteroidetes in your intestinal flora. They are considered "slimming bacteria" and are a blessing for your fat burning. If there are many Bacteroidetes bacteria in your intestinal flora, it is very unlikely that your body will convert excess calories into body fat.

How's your intestinal flora? INTEST.pro from BIOMES gives you certainty. With this method, your intestinal flora is examined in detail and you find out, for example, how large the proportion of Bacteroidetes is in your intestine. As soon as the test result is available, you can view it in your personal online dashboard. In addition, you will receive a special recommendation.

The ideal weight of woman and man


The ideal weight of a man is different from that of a woman. The reason: The genders differ strongly with regard to muscle mass and body fat distribution. The following table shows you the BMI ranges for women and men:

Weight classBMI FemaleBMI Male
Underweight< 19< 20
Normal weight19-2420-25
Overweight25-3026-30
Obesity31-4031-40
severe obesity> 40> 40
Good to know: The significance of the body mass index is restricted. Depending on your physical condition, the results are misleading. This is the case with bodybuilders, competitive athletes as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Especially in Heavy athletics other standards apply: Due to their muscle mass, these athletes are very heavy, the BMI values correspondingly high, but the athletes have no overweight at all. The former boxing world champion Vladimir Klitschko, for example, was like that. In his active time he was considered to be overweight according to the WHO classification, but he weighed so much because of his muscle mass. Also goalkeeper legend Oliver Kahn did not have an ideal weight. The recommended optimum weight is therefore by no means engraved in stone.

The ideal weight for children


The calculation of BMI is also tricky for children and adolescents. Since the muscle and fat content of girls and boys develops differently, the body mass index alone says nothing. It only becomes more meaningful when compared with gender-specific growth curves. Body mass index percentiles is what the expert calls these comparative values.

An example: For a 14-year-old, the BMI value is the 15th percentile. In other words: 15 percent of all 14-year-old girls in the reference group have a lower BMI, 85 percent a higher BMI. This means that the adolescents have a relatively low BMI compared to their peers.

These reference values serve as orientation:
  • BMI < 3rd percentile: strong underweight
  • BMI between 3rd and 10th percentile: underweight
  • BMI between 10. and 90. percentiles: normal weight
  • BMI > 90th percentile: overweight
  • BMI > 97th percentile: strong overweight

Underweight = eating disorder?


If your BMI is in the "underweight" range, this does not automatically mean that you suffer from anorexia. Organic causes can also be responsible. Maybe you metabolise food quickly. Just as well diabetes mellitus type 1 or a hypofunction of the thyroid gland can be the causes. As a precaution, ask a doctor how he evaluates your health.

It may even be due to your intestinal bacteria – more precisely: the number of bacteria of the strain Bacteroidetes in your intestinal flora. They are considered "slimming bacteria" and are a blessing for your fat burning. If there are many Bacteroidetes bacteria in your intestinal flora, it is very unlikely that your body will convert excess calories into body fat.

How's your intestinal flora? INTEST.pro from BIOMES gives you certainty. With this method, your intestinal flora is examined in detail and you find out, for example, how large the proportion of Bacteroidetes is in your intestine. As soon as the test result is available, you can view it in your personal online dashboard. In addition, you will receive a special recommendation.

When the scale swings

Last week, you were two kilos lighter? No need to worry: weight fluctuations of one or two kilograms are completely normal. This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your diet and a mistaken ideal weight. Such minor weight fluctuations can also be caused by water retention, hormonal changes, a well-filled intestine or a full bladder.

1. http://ekvv.uni-bielefeld.de/blog/uniaktuell/entry/deutsche_jugendliche_finden_sich_zu


2. Repräsentative Umfrage des Gesundheitsportals www.apotheken-umschau.de, durchgeführt von der GfK Marktforschung Nürnberg bei 2.031 Personen ab 14 Jahren