Skinny BMI

What Weight Is Considered Skinny?

Many people wonder, “am I underweight?” What weight is considered skinny or clinically underweight?

What BMI (Body Mass Index) Is considered skinny?

Take a look at the BMI chart. The information is from two big health institutions—the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Are you skinny? Find your height and your weight. If you’re in the “green” box, you aren’t officially considered skinny and are “normal” weight. If you fall into the “yellow” box you are underweight and considered skinny.

BMI Guidelines from WHO, CDC and updated with an NIH study (using coloured dots)

Average Skinny Man Weight And Height

Let’s take the average male height at 5’8 or 176cm.

Clinically underweight or dangerously skinny for a man would be:

  • A BMI of 15, 16, 17, or 18
  • A weight of 100–120 pounds (46–55kg)

However, most people would consider a 5’8 man was still skinny at:

  • A BMI of 19 or 20
  • A weight of 120–140 pounds (54.4–63.5kg)

Average Skinny Girl Weight And Height

The average woman’s height is 5’4 or 163cm. Clinically underweight or dangerously skinny for the average woman:

  • A BMI of 15, 16, 17, 18
  • A weight under 100–110 pounds (50kg)

However, most people would consider a 5’4 woman was still skinny at:

  • A BMI of 19 or 20
  • A weight of 110–120 pounds (50kg–54.5kg)

What should my Bmi Be? (Body Mass Index info)

For Health, Aim To Be A Little Bit Heavier From Muscle

In 2010, a study from the National Institutes of Health found that people were still getting negative health effects from being underweight even in the 18 and 19 BMI “normal” bodyweight category.

That means, people were still getting negative side effects from being skinny, even if they had a “normal” BMI.

So if you’re trying to avoid the health effects of being underweight, you ought to aim for getting a BMI of at least 20, and probably aim to get closer to the middle, around 22-23 at least, from lean mass (not fat.)

Best BMI For Attraction

To be optimally attractive, the best BMI is 23-25 for men.

For women, it is a BMI of 19.

Body Mass Index Isn’t Perfect But It’s Decent

It’s good to remember that the BMI measurement isn’t perfect. It has problems with shorter and taller people. And it doesn’t distinguish between muscle and fat.

For example, an elite athlete might be considered “overweight” in terms of BMI just because they carry a lot of muscle.

They might otherwise have a perfect bill of health because they’re active, muscular, and put a high priority on health like eating well.

Someone who is skinny-fat might even be in the “normal” BMI category, despite having low levels of muscle and too much fat.

Why Am I So Skinny?

My personal opinion: it’s worth fixing a skinny body

If you are skinny, I’d highly recommend fixing it. This isn’t coming from a place of condemnation or judgement but rather encouragement.

I was dangerously skinny when I was 23 years old. I was 6.0 tall (183cm) at 130 pounds (59kg), making me clinically underweight, or dangerously skinny. Once I rapidly added over 30 pounds in one month in an experiment my roommate and I dubbed “Muscle May,” many of my health problems went away (alopecia, chronic tendonitis, feeling weak, etc.)

I gained 4.75 inches on my shoulders, too.

Transforming From Skinny To Fit

If you’re skinny, ideally, that extra weight wouldn’t come from more fat, but from more muscle. Muscle is incredibly healthy as it plays a central role in metabolism and prevents a number of common diseases. (2006 review)

Now, this may seem unbelievable at first, but skinny guys and gals can build muscle so fast, that it’s almost on a steroid-like level.

The reason why is because skinny people are far from their genetic potential in terms of muscle mass. Their body is practically begging to build muscle, and just need the right stimulus (resistance training), the right nutrition (such as lots of meat), and the right amount of quality sleep.

Weight gain programs for skinny people That I Recommend

Skinny Women Weight-Gain Transformations

If you’re a skinny woman who wants to improve their BMI through muscle, check out Bony to Bombshell (full disclosure, I co-founded it.)

Woman Gains 13 pounds

Skinny Man Muscle-Gain Transformations

If you’re a skinny man who wants to improve their BMI through muscle, check out Bony to Beastly (co-founded).

Bony to Beastly Transformation

Skinny-Fat Man Body Recomposition Transformations

If you find that every time you try and eat more to stop being skinny, that the weight piles on at the belly, then you’re at the right place.

I help skinny guys lose inches off the stubborn fat off their gut while adding muscle.

Skinny Fat Transformation

Best Skinny-Fat Transformation

If you’re either a skinny-fat guy who always seems to gain weight at the belly, check out the programs here on Outlive. They’re designed for skinny fat guys to build rapid amounts of muscle without getting fatter, and losing the gut.

Burn Stubborn Fat, Gain Muscle