I’ve heard people talk about the French Formula and the Fuhrman Formula as two ways for determining goal weight. What are these formulas?

There are many factors we consider when advising people about their goal weight or “Bright Bodies.” (See this FAQ in which we describe these factors.)

We also refer to a couple of computational tools that some people find helpful, especially if they’ve never been in a Bright Body and are looking for numerical guidelines. Neither of these formulae should be considered hard and fast—they are just additional guidelines we sometimes use.

French Formula

BLE’s version of the French formula has its roots in the Broca formula, which was developed in 1871 by Pierre Paul Broca (a French Army Doctor) to help establish ideal body weight.

Female:
For every 5′ = 100 lbs.
For every additional inch = +5 lbs.

Male:
For every 5′ = 106 lbs.
For every additional inch = +6 lbs.

Fuhrman Formula

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. The below formula for calculating ideal weight is based on his guidelines. As you can see, it results in a much lower number than the French Formula (and many people already consider the French Formula to be “light”), so it may be best suited to people who have a smaller frame.

Female:
For every 5′ = 95 lbs.
For every additional inch = +4 lbs.

Male:
For every 5′ = 100 lbs.
For each additional inch = +5 lbs.