Have you ever wondered any of these questions:
How Much Weight Can I Lose?
How Much Weight Should I Lose?
How Much Weight Do I Need to Lose?
To answer these questions you need to ask yourself a few things:
Q1: What are my motivations for losing weight?
Is it to…
- Look Good,
- Feel Good and Improve Energy, or
- Manage my symptoms and lifestyle medical condition(s) like diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure etc.
It can be all of them, but first you need to know the bigger purpose.
If you are looking for simply #1, to look good, then your intentions may be to get to your goal weight using short-cuts. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a QUICK and FAST weight loss, then losing too much weight too fast is the sure-fire recipe for disaster, because the faster you lose it the faster you will gain it all back, and with interest!
THE FASTER YOU LOSE WEIGHT, THE FASTER YOU WILL GAIN IT ALL BACK!
If you also answered #2 or #3, then we can get somewhere. Feeling good (beyond the physical appearance) and improving energy is a natural consequence of weight loss. A steady weight loss will help you feel energized, but not if you will gain it all back soon after it. If your intentions are to lose weight for long term health and prevent weight gain and other diseases that come with the weight, then continue reading for the 4 different methods you can use to calculate your GOAL weight.
Q2: Have I given myself a reasonable amount of time?
Regardless of how much weight you intend to lose, or how much you should be aiming to lose, if your goal time-frame is too short (less than 6 months) you might be inviting some unnecessary heart break. If your goal is too far away (more than a year and half) then you may not be able to stay motivated to get there. It’s better to focus on a smaller and quicker goal first, then moving on to the bigger numbers. Get Your Ideal Weight & Time Calculator
Q3: When do I want to lose this weight by?
It’s always good when you have a target or a deadline of when you want to lose that weight by. Pick an event on your calendar, which is within 4 – 6 months into the future, that you can keep as a target. Example: a friend’s wedding, Christmas holidays or spring break. Make it an event that is meaningful to you. Something you desire and are looking forward to. Feel and think about “how it will feel like” and what you will do at that event when you have reached your goal weight.
WAIT… before you start day dreaming, there is one more thing you need to ask yourself…
Q4: How much Weight should I Aim for…in the long-term, and the short-term?
There are 4 methods, that I have found best, to determine your best weight, or ideal weight. Everyone is different so choose the strategy that feels best to you, I recommend the 4th one:
Method 1: Weight for Healthy BMI?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height, and applies to most adult men and women aged 20 and over. The formal classifications for BMI are:
Obesity grade 1: 30-34.9
Obesity grade 2: 35-39.9
Obesity grade 3: ≥40
How to measure BMI:
For weight in Kilograms:
BMI = Your Current Weight in kg x [(Height in meters) x (Height in meters)]
For weight in Pounds:
BMI = Your Current Weight in lb x [(Height in inches) x (Height in inches)] x 703
How to determine your goal weight from your BMI
If you are 5’4″ (64 inches) and your current weight is 265 pounds (lb).
This makes your BMI 45.5, classified as obesity grade 3.
Your short-term goal will be first to get to a BMI of 39.9 to move down to obesity grade 2. For that you will need to weigh 230 lb to have a BMI of 39.5.
Eventually, you will want to move to a body weight within normal range. So to have a BMI of 24.9, your eventual goal weight will be about 145 pounds in the long-term. Calculate the Time it will Take to Reach that.
Method 2: Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight by Your Height
There is a simple calculation that you can do to know how much you need to weigh if you are a certain height. I DO NOT endorse this method, because then this means that there is no roam for uniqueness. Everybody has genes that predetermine your weight, body size, body composition and height, so conforming to these numbers is not ideal. It’s always better to have a range of weight to aim for, instead of a specific number to be like everyone else. Because You are not everyone else, you are UNIQUE.
I have this here for you because you may be the type of person who likes to have exact numbers (just be aware, it’s just a reference point not the end-all-be-all).
To calculate this, you will need to know your height in Feet and Inches
Ideal Body Weight for Women
If you are over 5 feet:
Your Ideal Weight = 100 (for 5 feet) + 5 x (the number of inches above 5)
For example: if you are 5′ 6″, then multiply 6 inches by 5, then add 100 to it.
- Your # of inches above 5 ft = 6 inches
- Multiply by 5 = 5 x 6 = 30
- Add to hundred = 100 + 30 = 130
- So your ideal weight is 130 pounds
If you are under 5 feet:
You will first need to calculate the number of inches you are below 5, multiply that by 2, then add 100 to it.
Your Ideal Weight = 100 (for 5 feet) – 2 x (the number of inches below 5)
For example: if you are 4′ 8″, then
- Your # of inches = 4 feet x 12 inches/feet + 8 inches = 48 + 8 = 56 inches
- # of inches below 5 ft = 60 inches (in 5 feet) – 56 inches (your inches) = 4 inches
- Two pounds per inch below 5ft = 2 x 4 = 8
- Subtract from 100 = 100 – 8 = 92
- So your ideal weight is 92 pounds
Ideal Body Weight for Men
Your Ideal Weight = 106 (for 5 feet) + 6 x (the number of inches above 5)
For example: if you are 6′ 1″, then
- Your # of inches above 5 ft = 13 inches
- Multiply by 6 = 6 x 13 = 78
- Add to 106 = 106 + 78 = 184
- So your ideal weight is 184 pounds
Method 3: Your Best Weight
Do you already have an idea of how much weight you want to lose? I am sure you do, we all do!
Is it the weight you were at your wedding day?
Or the weight before your first pregnancy?
Think about the time in your life, when you were the most happy with your weight or at least think of a number you consider your ideal weight. I know, you are probably here because you want me to tell you what weight you should be at, but to be honest, you know your body and how it behaves, and your situation better than anyone else.
Some people lose weight super fast, some people lose weight after months of strenuous exercise, and some lose weight with only little dieting. Most of adult’s bodies are resistant to change, and our body keeps going back to the weight it is most comfortable with. So the numbers I have above may not be realistic for you. And they shouldn’t be. The best weight for you to aim for, is the weight you consider ideal for you, or your lowest weight you every reached by using natural & simple methods.
So think about what feels ideal for you. Now that you have thought about it, let’s figure out how long is a realistic time for you to attain this.
TRY THIS OUT
- Divide a paper up into 4 parts.
- On the upper right – write the phrase “MY BEST WEIGHT” and put the number you are thinking of under it.
- On the upper left – write down your current weight. If you don’t know your weight, then go and measure yourself NOW real quickly. Write this down on the upper left quadrant, and label it “TODAY”.
- Subtract your best weight from your current weight.
- Divide it by 4 (if it’s in pounds, or if it’s in KG divide it by 2). Write down that number in the lower right Quadrant of your paper
- Now divide that number further by 2. And write that number down in the lower left Quadrant.
- This is the time range, in months, that you can expect to take you to lose those pounds to reach your “ideal body weight.”
See video for example:
Does that look too long to you?
Realistic Time Frame Expectations
I get it. the time range may not be exactly what you were hoping for.
But If your number is between 4 and 6 months, give yourself a pat in the back, because your goal weight is much more realistic and achievable. If your goal time frame is more than 6 months, I would ask you to reconsider your goal weight. Make it something which is more achievable in the next few months. Get Your Ideal Weight & Time Calculator
We humans tend to lose motivation really fast, no matter how determined we are, so if your goal is too far off into the future then it will be hard for you to keep going and keep your motivation high.
Now I am not saying that you cannot accomplish your goal weight sooner than the time-frame we calculated. Once in a while miracles DO happen and people can accomplish this if they are extremely determined and work really hard on it. But even still it might not happen. For majority of us, it’s not practical to expect ourselves to lose too much weight too fast especially if it took us several years to gain it in the first place. Also, if you have already tried to lose weight before, you know that the faster you lose the weight, the faster you might gain it all back, and sometimes you gain even more than you had before. Because it is usually done in an unhealthy way.
Sadly, people who go on YO-YO diet’s are considered a lot more unhealthy (and prone to disease risks a lot more, even if you aren’t too heavy) than people who have constantly been the same weight and do not go on YO-YO diets. A report on CNN shared that “yo-yo dieting in normal-weight women was associated with a 66% increased risk of coronary heart disease deaths”. They also have increased risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, diabetes, depression, heart disease, and cancer (1).
A 2001 study from the University of Pennsylvania (2) found that average overweight people set a goal of losing 32% of their body weight. But that’s not even half of the number that you need to help you with your above motivations for weight loss – which were looking and feeling good, improve your energy, and manage your symptoms and lifestyle medical condition(s) like diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure etc.
Method 4: Weight Goals by Percentage to Reach Clinical Outcomes
If you have chronic medical conditions, or health concerns like high blood sugars, A1C, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood lipids. Or if you are at risk for developing (or have) diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension or other metabolic conditions. Then you need to be more strategic about setting your weight goals.
Studies show that even as low as 3 to 5% weight loss will result in clinically meaningful reductions in your triglycerides, blood glucose, average HbG A1C and risk of Type 2 Diabetes. And a greater weight loss of 10 to 15% of your current weight, can improve your LDL, HDL, blood glucose and blood lipid profiles. And can also reduce your blood pressure, enough that it can reduce your need for medications to control blood pressure!
Therefore, I suggest that you keep a short-term goals of 5% reduction of your current weight. And when you achieve that, get your blood work done and then aim for the long-term goal of 15%.
To help you calculate this and give you a time-frame range, I have developed a spreadsheet just for you. All you will need to do is enter your current weight, and the spreadsheet will calculate for you the minimum and maximum weight you should aim for, with the goal time-frame to achieve this in!
- Refer to Previous blog or video on my recommended tools to track weight loss
- Refer to Previous blog or video on 11 Must Have Tools for Weight Loss Success
- Tools: Weight Scale that measures body fat and muscle composition
- Apps & Tools: Hand-Held Body Fat Monitor
What Method Do Your Prefer to Decide Your Ideal Weight?