Determining Your Desirable Body Weight

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8 Aug 2016 - General

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Watching weight is human nature. It is like a reflex to tip the scale once we see one. Frenetic reactions occur when we lose or gain weight but are we watching the right weight? Determining our desirable body weight (DBW) ideal. Here is how to determine the magic number.

First step: Know your body frame.

Body frame is categorized into three types: small, medium, and large frame. It is easy to know which frame you belong to.

1. Find the smallest part of your wrist. This becomes the measuring site. Wrap your thumb and middle finger over this site.

2. If your thumb overlaps with the middle finger, you belong in the small frame category. Asians usually belong in this group.

3. If your thumb touches with the middle finger but does not overlap, you belong in the medium frame division.

4. If your thumb does not touch the middle finger, you belong in the large frame group. Most Westerners belong in this group.

Second step: Know your height in centimeters

This can be done by converting height in feet (1 foot = 12 inches) to inches. For example, multiply  5 feet by 12 and add 9 inches if you stand five feet and nine inches tall. The answer is 69 inches. Now, convert inches to centimeters by multiplying height in inches by 2.54. 69 inches x 2.54 = 175.26 centimeters

Final step: Use the Tannhauser method.

Use the height in centimeters and deduct this number from a constant factor of 100. The difference between the two will now be in kilogram units and is called initial DBW for this article's purpose. From our previous example, 175.26cm - 100 = 75.26 kilograms. The inital DBW is 75.26 kilograms.

For the different types of body frame use the following computation.

Small frame: Multiply the initial DBW by 10%. Now, subtract the product from the initial DBW. The difference (rounded off to the nearest hundredth) becomes the desirable body weight. From previous example, inital DBW of 75.26 kilograms  x 10% = 7.526. 75.26 - 7.526 = 67.734 kilograms. The DBW is 68 kilograms.

Medium frame: For medium frame individuals, inital DBW is also the final DBW. There is no need to compute further.

Large frame: Again, multiply the initial DBW by 10%. Now, add the product from the initial DBW. The sum (rounded off to the nearest hundredth) becomes the desirable body weight. From previous example, inital DBW of 75.26 kilograms  x 10% = 7.526. 75.26 + 7.526 = 82.786 kilograms. The DBW is 83 kilograms.

Happy computing!

Mark Edmon Tan: I have to say the BMI cut offs for the Asia-Pacific scale is very harsh. I do fall in the normal body weight in that scale, despite my mixed race frame, but still harsh none the less. Ok so with the correction on DBW I am also within normal for a small frame, which apparently (though strangely) I have as I can overlap my thumb over my middle finger). I have to laugh though at the turn out in those...
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Mark Edmon Tan What a mixed in numbers! Hehe. Thanks for sharing this article sir. I'd be looking forward for the computation of our daily caloric intake. I am not that very watchful with my diet or have the desire to gain weight that much. All I can say is that I eat more than the usual than others do. Hehe I mean more cup of rice, carbs in a small frequent manner. But sometimes being a nurse, we couldn'...
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Lianne Marie Victoria Laruan You are lucky that you have the right to add 500 calories to your usual intake! As for your question, this was developed to consider the body frame of a person in determining if he/she is under/overweight. The body mass index's limitation is that it does not consider if a person is big-boned or not. I firmly believe that bone size should not be neglected as bones bear the weight of...
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Oohh, so many numbers haha! I kind of lost track too after subtracting a hundred, but I recovered and was able to compute my ideal weight. Well, not surprisingly, I am underweight, as with what the BMI says. I'm sorry but I think I'm one of those people who always eats extra rice but doesn't seemt to gain weight. I can very much relate to Priscilla Mae Gobuyan! (If you think we're lucky, well, do...
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Maria Cristina Inserto Jennifer Winter Priscilla Mae Gobuyan My apologies for failing to include one important information concerning DBW. DBW is not a fixed value for every individual. A person may go above or below the DBW as long as it is less th...
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Priscilla Mae Gobuyan Input > output. You have to make sure that your caloric input is greater than your expenditure. To gain one pound of weight per week, you must add roughly 500 more calories to your required daily caloric intake. To gain two pounds of weight per week, you must take in roughly 1000 additional calories with your required caloric intake. Gaining weight is a lot harder than most people think b...
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Jennifer Winter Great to hear that you are in your DBW. I prefer to use the Tannhauser method because it makes adjustment for an individual's body frame. Lucky for you that you do not have purely Asian frame as the WHO Asia-Pacific Scale (for individuals with smaller frame) cut-offs are lower than the conventional scale. Here are the following cut-offs for the Asia-Pacific scale: BMI < 18.5 is underweight;...
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Maria Cristina Inserto We all share the same sentiments. Math and science just do not mix. I have used the same method as yours by the way. Not buying a size higher than your usual size is a great motivation tool. It means that you do not concur with weight gain and will do what it takes to shed a few pounds. I have given this advice to patients too! It is a good practice to supplement mindful eating with physical...
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When I read the title the song Fuel by Metallica came to mind: "Give me fuel, Give me fire, Give me that which I desire!" So I did this test on myself and was very elated to find that I have a small frame. Then when I got to computing via the Tannhauser method I am not in my desired body weight :(. Well of course other factors like muscles bulk and bone size should be taken into consideration as well. I just loved BMI for letting me know I was the right weight haha. This is good altern...
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I got stressed just looking that the numbers! Haha. I hate Math. For me anyway, I've always bought the same size clothes and if the clothes get a little tight, then I panic. I don't ever buy a size higher because I want to stay on the same weight all the time. The same goes with weight loss, if the clothes are getting too loose, then I try to relax a bit. But mostly, I love to eat so I counter it with a lot of physical activity. I don't really eat healthy (but I am mindful) and I mak...
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