We are all so concerned about losing weight that sometimes we lose track of the bigger picture: Our ideal body weight. Obviously, being overweight is far from ideal but being underweight is no good too. Both ends of the spectrum put us at risk for various health risks that need to be addressed by medical professionals. Thus, instead of putting so much premium on losing weight, the fitness community should strive to encourage everyone to calculate their ideal body weight.

There are actually so many ways of determining how much you should weigh. For this article, let's consider two of the more common ways of calculating your ideal weight.

1. Using your Body Mass Index (BMI)

To determine your BMI, take your height (in meters) and weight (in kilograms). Write them down. To get your BMI, divide your weight by the square of your height. Thus, if you were 1.8 meters tall and weighed 85 kilograms, you would determine your BMI this way:

weight (kg)/height (in meters) x height (in meters)= BMI

85 kgs/ 1.8 meters x 1.8 meters = 26.23

Once you already have your BMI calculated, look at the meanings of BMI figures. Without taking into consideration other factors like gender, the ideal body weight using BMI falls between 19- 25. The example above thus makes this individual slightly overweight. Steven B. Hall, MD, however, opines that when one uses the BMI, the ideal weight for men should be 20.7-26.4 while for women, it should fall between the range of 19.1-25.8.

Thus, in the example above, if the individual with the BMI of 26.23 was male, then he would fall within the ideal weight range but if she were female, then she would be considered a bit overweight.

2. Using the Hamwi Formula

The Hamwi Formula calculates the ideal body weight for both men and women, taking into account their frame size. The ideal body weight for a man who stands exactly 5 feet is 106 pounds if he is of medium frame. You add 6 pounds for every additional inch above 5 feet. For the woman, the ideal weight is 100 pounds if she stands exactly 5 feet tall and is of medium frame. You add 5 pounds for each inch over 5 feet. To determine whether you have a small, medium or large frame, follow the guidelines below:

* If you're a woman and your wrist circumference measures exactly 6 inches, you have a medium frame and there's no need to adjust whatever weight you calculated above. However, if your wrist is less than 6 inches, subtract 10 % from your ideal weight and if it's more than 6 inches, add 10%.

* If you're a man, follow the same procedure as above except this time, your wrist should measure 7 inches instead of 6 inches. If your wrist measures less than 7 inches, subtract 10% from your ideal weight because this means you have a small frame. If it's more than 7 inches, you have a large frame and should add 10%.