Normal Weight in Men: Definition & Explanations

Normalgewicht bei Männern: Definition & Erklärungen

There was a time when an affluent belly was considered sexy, and men didn't have to worry about their physique very much. In the meantime, the ideal weight for men is becoming more and more important. The desire for a slim and well-defined body is no longer limited to women, but has also reached the supposedly stronger sex.

This is evidenced, for example, by the fact that the 19th-century Broca formula was corrected in the mid-20th century. Whereas the simple rule of thumb used to be considered ideal, body weight = height minus 100, now around ten percent has to be subtracted. More important, however, is the body mass index (BMI), which is also used by the World Health Organization (WHO). (1)

the essentials in brief

  • The normal weight indicates a range within which the weight is considered healthy. The body mass index (BMI) can be used to determine normal weight, for example.
  • Not only your size, gender and weight are taken into account, but also your age.
  • Instead of just looking at your BMI as a measure of a healthy weight (what weight at what height?), it's worth considering your waist size as well, using what's known as the BAI.

Glossary entry: The term men normal weight explained in detail

Normal weight is a concept whose existence is disputed both in science and in everyday practice. On the one hand, there is an abundance of statistics and guides that claim a certain weight as desirable. There is certainly a connection between certain cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

On the other hand, research has shown that even a deviation from normal weight (of whatever kind) need not be a cause for concern, but can be "perfectly normal". The background is that in addition to weight, values ​​such as muscle mass, body fat percentage and its distribution as well as waist circumference also play a role.

What is a normal weight in men?

Even as a man, looking in the mirror or using a scale is no longer enough to determine the normal weight. Although there is a green zone between a body mass index of 20-25 and 21-26, this is normal weight and not ideal weight for men. If you follow the common definition that the ideal weight is linked to the maximum life expectancy, then even a BMI of around 27 and therefore slightly overweight would have to be specified.

The BMI does not differentiate between metabolically active cell mass and fat mass. People who have a high muscle mass but a rather low or "normal" fat mass are classified as overweight according to the BMI.

The background is a large-scale study from Israel, which identified the longest-lived test subjects in precisely this weight range. But be careful: the body mass index does not say much about the body type, nor does the ideal weight for men. There is always the question of where the weight is and whether it is muscle mass or fat. (2)

How to calculate a normal weight in men?

Regardless of whether you want to lose weight, want to do something for your health or are in the process of building muscle - the Body Mass Index (BMI) is usually the first measurement that is calculated. Based on your BMI, you can then put together your next exercise and nutrition program. But what exactly is the BMI? And how is it calculated? We'll show you everything you need to know about your BMI.

The BMI is a measurement and reference value that allows you to assess your body weight. It is calculated from the ratio of body weight to body height. The evaluation distinguishes between the following categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight and severely overweight. (3)

The body mass index is based on a simple mathematical formula: it is calculated from the body weight in kilograms divided by the height in square meters:

BMI = weight (kg) / height (m)2

Example calculation:

A man is 1.85 meters tall and weighs 90 kilograms. His BMI is calculated as follows: 90 (kg) divided by 1.85 (m)2; it is 26.3.

The following table shows the ideal BMI depending on age for men:

Old underweight normal weight overweight
16 18 and under 19-24 29 and more
17 19 and under 20-25 30 and more
18 19 and under 20-25 30 and more
19-24 19 and under 20-25 30 and more
25-34 20 and less 21-26 31 and more
35-44 21 and under 22-27 32 and more
45-54 22 and under 23-28 33 and more
55-64 23 and under 24-29 34 and more
65-90 24 and under 25-30 35 and more

When do we speak of obesity in men?

One or two fat pads appear in men, especially as they get older. The washboard abs turns into a raccoon abs. This development usually takes place gradually and therefore usually goes unnoticed at first. A small belly gradually becomes overweight with all its negative health consequences.

Obesity increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure or arteriosclerosis.

Taste is a moot point - and so is what looks good. However, regardless of aesthetic considerations, obesity can reduce the quality of life of those affected and cause physical and psychological problems and illnesses. For example, being overweight and particularly obese (severely overweight) can lead to diseases such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.

The bones and joints are also exposed to increased stress and wear out more quickly. It is therefore important to avoid obesity in the early stages if possible - and to eat healthily and exercise sufficiently.(4)

We live in an affluent society and often eat more, fatter and sweeter than is good for us. An adult male who does not do strenuous physical work or does not exercise needs about 2,200 to 2,400 calories per day. How much energy your body actually needs depends not only on physical activity but also on how old you are and how your metabolism works. The body mass index (BMI) can be used to calculate whether you are normal or overweight.

overweight man laughing

Ultimately, the main cause of obesity is often the unfavorable combination of unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise. (Image source: Allgo/unsplash)

The BMI is the usual measure for weight assessment and can be determined as follows: you divide your body weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters) squared. For example, a man who weighs 85 kg and is 1.80 m tall has a BMI of 26.23 (85/1.80²) and would therefore be classified as slightly overweight.

Thus, men with a BMI of 18.5 to under 25 are considered normal weight. A BMI of 25 is considered overweight, a BMI of 30 is obese, and a BMI of 40 and over is severely overweight.

If you want to lose weight in the long term, it is important to monitor and review your eating habits. Keep a food journal, recording what you ate and drank throughout the day, what time of day you ate, and where you ate.

Citizens and Fries

Conscious eating and keeping a food diary can help with weight loss. (Image source: Robin Stickel / unsplash)

You should allow enough time for your meals so that you can better control what you eat, chew your food properly, and feel full. For example, if you have a food craving, don't despair - and don't give up right away. (5)

When do we speak of underweight in men?

Underweight is generally defined as having a BMI of less than 19. The risk of disease increases with underweight, especially in old age.

In addition to weight and height, the BMI calculator also takes age and gender into account when evaluating weight. This means that the question of when someone is considered underweight also depends on their age and gender. For older people and men, the underweight range does not start at 19, but slightly above. In women, on the other hand, the underweight range begins at a lower BMI than in men.

For men, a BMI between 19 and 25 is considered normal. As soon as the weight falls below these values, doctors speak of underweight. Scores below 17.5 are considered anorexic in both women and men. This means that the affected person has a weight that is typical for anorexia nervosa.

The body clearly signals that it is struggling with being too light: Muscles are broken down, you often feel stronger at first, but then weaker and more flabby as the disease progresses. Concentration decreases, many people react quickly with irritation, have a lower tolerance for frustration and are emotionally unstable. The skin is often dry and hair loss can even occur. You freeze more easily, heartbeat and digestion slow down, body temperature and blood pressure drop. Sleep disturbances can also occur.

Of course, if you are underweight, you do not necessarily need psychological support. The average recommended energy intake for therapy for underweight people is 2500-3000 kcal per day.

Is the BMI good for athletes and particularly tall people?

People who don't have an average body shape are likely to have problems with body mass index. For example, the formula will stop working if someone is unusually tall or short. Other people, on the other hand, have a particularly broad body. Even if they are slim, they weigh more than other people of their size. Accordingly, the BMI calculator also spits out a particularly high value.

man at the lake

With the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), the measurement of the abdominal circumference or the BMI, you can determine relatively easily whether you have a normal weight or are considered underweight or overweight. (Image source: Kal Visuals / unsplash)

The same happens with very athletic people, especially if they do strength training. Muscle weighs more than fat. This means that people who barely have an ounce of fat on their body can end up with a high body weight. Again, BMI implies that the person is overweight. However, unless you're a lifter, giant, or midget, you can use your BMI as a good guide to assessing your body weight.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of body weight. It is calculated as follows: weight in kilograms divided by height squared in meters (BMI = kg/m²). The BMI is a guideline. It applies to people over the age of 18.

What are the effects of age and gender on BMI?

For example, BMI is not applied to children and adolescents. Here it is more common to use age percentiles. These are based on data on the height and weight of other children between the ages of 0 and 18. Of course, when BMI is used as a measure of healthy development, the same values ​​are not used for children as for adults.

Normal weight values ​​are much lower and the range of harmless deviations is much smaller than in adults. Extensive tables showing which BMI means normal weight at which age are available from the World Health Organization (WHO), among others.

At the other end of the age scale, it is also advisable to use a table. Because at an older age, the BMI can be slightly higher without increasing the risk of disease or early death. It can also be useful to differentiate between males and females, since a male tends to have more muscle mass. Muscle is heavier and more positive than fat. Because of this, men are allowed to weigh slightly more than women without being considered overweight.


To find out if you have a normal weight, just looking at the scale is not enough. The number of kilos must be put in relation to other factors in order to really be able to make a statement about your own weight. Therefore, there are different methods to classify body weight. The most common is the Body Mass Index (BMI).

BMI is a relatively simple formula for determining weight class. It is now considered obsolete by many researchers, as BMI only takes into account mass and height, not body composition (muscle, fat, bone). For example, well-trained athletes, senior citizens and children are not taken into account because they have a lot of muscle mass. In addition, the BMI is not an absolutely correct indicator of the state of health of a human body.


  1. NHLBI. Obesity Education Initiative. The practical guide: Identification, evaluation and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. National Institutes of Health. 2000 (NIH Publication Number 00-4084)
  2. Emanuele Di Angelantonio et al.: Body-mass index and all-cause mortality: individual-participant-data meta-analysis of 239 prospective studies in four continents. In: The Lancet. Vol. 388, No. 10046, 20 August 2016, pp. 776–786
  3. T Pischon et al.: General and Abdominal Adiposity and Risk of Death in Europe. In: The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 359, No. 20, 2008, pp. 2105–2120
  4. Matthias Lenz, Tanja Richter, Ingrid Mühlhauser: Morbidity and mortality in overweight and obese adults. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. Vol. 106, No. 40, 2009, pp. 641–648
  5. Manolopoulos KN, Karpe F, Frayn KN Gluteofemoral body fat as a determinant of metabolic health. In: International Journal of Obesity. Vol. 34, No. 6, 2010, pp. 949–959
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