Thursday, May 1, 2014

Stab wounds, Gun shots & Ideal Body Weight

I'm in my ICU rotation!

For lack of a better scenario - it's like a soap opera everyday. Every day I'm on the edge of my seat routing for complete strangers - I'm either praying and hoping they go in peace without anymore pain and suffering - or that they pull through, get extubated, eat on their own, and get stronger. I'm grateful for the experience as a dietetic intern, and I am learning a great deal about the human body and how we respond to stress from fever, trauma, and chronic illness. We will leave it at that!

As runners, we subject ourselves to stress too.
It's an uphill battle!
We do this with intent to gain strength, aerobic capacity, and to build endurance. The body's response to all types of stress is amazing. We are unbelievable works of art and fine machines that teeter on a small and fragile fulcrum. The balance that projects optimal health is an obsession for me - and I want it for everyone, especially my family, my neighbors, my patients, and my clients.
But where do we start?
For me, it's clear:
It starts with input.
What you put in - is what you get out.
But how do we know how much to put in?
How about we start with ideal body weight?
When trying to calculate how many calories a person should consume, research shows a good place to start is ideal body weight (IBW). There's a simple formula for men and women to calculate IBW - it's called the Hamwi formula:
Males: 106 pounds + 6 pounds for every inch over 5 feet
Females: 100 pounds + 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet

So, if you're a six foot tall male, the Hamwi method would give you an IBW of 178 pounds:
106 = (6 X 12) = 178 pounds

If you're female and five feet five inches, the Hamwi method would give you an IBW of 125 pounds: 
100 +  (5 X 5) = 125 pounds

Many people think this is too low for their body type. If this is the case, and the person has a large frame, they can add 10% to their IBW. So for our six foot tall male, his IBW would be 195.8 pounds or rounded up --> 196 pounds:
178 + (178 X 10%) = 195.8 pounds

If our female who is five feet five inches has a large frame, we can recalculate her IBW and add 10%, which would come to 137.5 pounds or rounded up  --> 138 pounds:
125 + (25 X 10%) = 137.5 pounds

I've shared this calculation with a few people, and so far, I've never heard anyone say that their frame is small, but if that's the case 10% could be subtracted just the same.

So, do the Hamwi calculation, and tell me
Do you feel your calculated IBW is 
too low, too high, or just right?
Train Smart Today!

9 comments:

Michelle said...

I'm not sure what to make of this calculation - according to the formula my ideal is 115?!? That's insanely low I think - definitely below what I consider my ideal "racing" weight.

Teamarcia said...

I feel like mine is too low as well (110). Haven't been that light since I was an emaciated 16 year old.

ajh said...

It seems too low to me. I haven't weighed that in years. I would be happy with 10 pounds more.

Char said...

That formula is great - it says I'm right where I need to be. Some days I'm extra grateful to be tall.

MCM Mama said...

The only time I've weighed the IBW weight, I've had very little muscle and looked too skinny. I'm about 15 pounds over the recommendation and could stand to lose about 5 pounds...

Black Knight said...

Interesting post, thanks for sharing. The formula says 153 pounds and my weight is 143 (this is my normal weight since I began to run in 1985 and 153 was my normal weight before, when I was a rugby player: the formula is perfect).

Momshomerun said...

I'm not very good with numbers, and I'm ashamed to admit I couldn't get the right number.

Mari Milani said...

I like the formula but since I suffer from Chrones Disease I like to maintain 3-5 lbs more. I run and cross fit and feel I look healthy at 113 lbs.

Giorgio said...

Great post, Thanks for that! Unfortunately, at the moment I don't care about my Ideal body weight. My obsession is cholesterol level.

Have a nice week!