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Lose 20 pounds
A question about this goal: How do I find my "ideal" weight since the BMI range for "healthy" is so broad? Should I go by how I look, feel & also body fat %? May 14th, 2009 13:36

Answers:

stewarts is ok

how you look and how you feel

A combination of all of the above really.

BMI is a guide, nothing more. It has some very obvious problems (for example – someone broad framed such as myself will always be in the higher end of the ranges).

Really your goal shouldn’t be a number – it should be a level of fitness and health. Also – what is important to you?

Is it visual? then go for how you look.
Is it health? then go for how you feel.

Also – don’t just concentrate on the weight. Flexibility is a good one too – things like yoga don’t directly impact the numbers, but you’ll feel a LOT better, and be able to do a lot more.

Depends on your goal.

My goal is to be reasonably fit for what life throws at me with an emphasis on being able to win a fight or otherwise physically dominate attackers.

These are somewhat contradictory goals as body weight is very helpful in physically controlling another person, but can be an impediment to general “fitness” and mastery of your own body weight.

Don’t focus on weight to the exclusion of fitness. You’d be better off maintaining a reasonably unhealthy diet with vastly increased exercise than eating healthy and being sedentary all the time. Look at Michael Phelps, that kid was eating boxes of cookies all day long. During basic military training you eat unhealthy food (when you can anyway) but you’re burning massive amounts of calories which totally offsets it and you end up healthier in the long run.

For some reason I couldn’t figure out how to answer directly, so I have to tack on to this answer. It’s late, I’m tired.

Here’s my two cents: for me, body fat was the best indicator of overall fitness, but I wanted to be toned and muscular, not just “skinny.” I set a goal body fat and got a Tanita body fat scale that gives rough estimates of what your % body fat is and analyzes your physique. Since sometimes it’s hard for me to see myself the way I really am, it was helpful to just get cold, hard numbers, and put them on a chart.

I agree with Ateo that exercise is very important. However, I had a long plateau in my weight loss because 1) I was unwilling to change my eating habits and 2) I wasn’t working out at a high enough intensity to get the results I wanted. It was really difficult, but I learned to eat more healthily and the pounds eventually came off. Plus my athletic performance improved because I was giving my body what it needed: more nutritious food and less garbage. So, beware the idea that exercising gives you a license to eat whatever you want. For instance: one piece Godiva cheesecake at the Cheesecake factory? 1200 calories – nearly all your allotted calories for the day, with not a whole lot of nutrition. How long to work out to burn that off? Um, run 2 hours … walk four hours. It gets unreasonable pretty quickly.

Yes, so body fat is my favorite way to weigh. That and a tape measure. Good job on your progress so far!

stewarts is ok

how you look and how you feel

A combination of all of the above really.

BMI is a guide, nothing more. It has some very obvious problems (for example – someone broad framed such as myself will always be in the higher end of the ranges).

Really your goal shouldn’t be a number – it should be a level of fitness and health. Also – what is important to you?

Is it visual? then go for how you look.
Is it health? then go for how you feel.

Also – don’t just concentrate on the weight. Flexibility is a good one too – things like yoga don’t directly impact the numbers, but you’ll feel a LOT better, and be able to do a lot more.

Depends on your goal.

My goal is to be reasonably fit for what life throws at me with an emphasis on being able to win a fight or otherwise physically dominate attackers.

These are somewhat contradictory goals as body weight is very helpful in physically controlling another person, but can be an impediment to general “fitness” and mastery of your own body weight.

Don’t focus on weight to the exclusion of fitness. You’d be better off maintaining a reasonably unhealthy diet with vastly increased exercise than eating healthy and being sedentary all the time. Look at Michael Phelps, that kid was eating boxes of cookies all day long. During basic military training you eat unhealthy food (when you can anyway) but you’re burning massive amounts of calories which totally offsets it and you end up healthier in the long run.


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