I’ve heard people talk about the French Formula as a tool for determining goal weight. What is the French Formula?

There are many factors we consider when advising people about their goal weight. (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 right-sized body and are looking for numerical guidelines. Neither of these formulae should be considered hard and fast—they are just additional guidelines we often 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.