How Much Weight Should I Lose?
The article concerns the question – How Much Weight Should I Lose? Many of us want to lose weight, but there is a question to be answered first. ‘How much weight should I lose?’ It will, of course, depend on why you want to lose it. If you are obese it is for your health and you should try to lose a lot. If you have put on a few pounds over a holiday you may just want to get back to the weight you were before, but was that really the best weight for you?
The most popular way of assessing healthy weight is by checking your Body Mass Index (BMI). To find BMI just search online for ‘BMI Calculator’ and you will find many sites. Most have a box into which you type your height and weight and it will give you your BMI number. From this you can see where you are on a simple scale:
Underweight is less than 18.5
Normal weight is 18.5 to 24.9
Obesity is 30 and above.
This is for adults. Children have different charts where age is taken into consideration. BMI is a good guide and is good enough for most people, but there are problems with it. BMI can give inaccurate results when it compares people with high muscle mass with people with high fat levels and can indicate that the athlete is less fit than the couch potato.
There is another method, the Waist-hip ratio (WHR) which some people prefer. This takes into consideration the differences between men and women and calculates their risks of cardiovascular problems. You measure the smallest circumference of your waist and divide this by the circumference of your hips at their widest. The figure you get is your WHR.
Risk of cardiovascular problems. Men:
Less than 0.9 low risk.
0.9 to 0.99 moderate risk.
1 and above high risk.
Risk of cardiovascular problems. Women:
Less than 0.8 low risk.
0.8 to 0.89 moderate risk.
0.9 and above high risk.
You will find that as your waist measurement reduces your WHR improves.
After checking BMI, WHR or both you will have an idea of your target weight. Even if you are within the BMI normal range try to avoid the upper or lower levels and keep somewhere around the middle. So having found where you should be you may want to diet to achieve it. A good long term diet that drops your weight not more than 2 pounds a week is the way to go.
If you have only a few pounds to lose, or would like to start with a quick result, a fast weight loss diet lasting two or three weeks is unlikely to do you harm. Never yo-yo diet with a series of fast weight loss diets, or keep using one for a long period. That is a health risk and is unlikely to achieve the permanent results you want. Just check your BMI or WHR, find out how much weight you should lose, exercise and eat healthy food and you will achieve your goal.