I think there are a lot of us interested in figuring out what our goal weight should be, either for muscle building or an ideal weight for maximum health benefits.
I don't really know how to do this myself so I'm taking Nir's advice from another thread.
Nir wrote: Find out your body composition. For example Lyle McDonald recommends switching to muscle building when your body fat drops down to 10-12%, sticking with fat loss until you reach that point.
When weight gain occurs it'll probably be 1:1 i.e. for every pound of muscle you'll gain you'll also gain a pound of fat.
Some people want to get it over with quickly so they over-eat to the point of gaining one pound per week (hoping that half of it is muscle).
The alternative advice, which I am currently gravitating towards is to have an idea of what your maintenance calories are and increase that by about 10%
Nir wrote: Sassykat, first of all the 10-12% is for a male, for a female add 5% so you're switching to mass-gain mode at around 15-17%. I'll take on the challenge of an easy way of predicting what weight you'll be for a goal body fat percentage - see below:
1) Weight yourself - let's say your are W pounds
2) measure your body fat (calipers, body fat scales, handheld device, whatever) let's say your are F percent body fat.
3) plug in the values into this formula:
Your weight at 17% body fat = W x (100-F) / 83
( note: for another percentage X other than 17, replace the 83 with 100-X, for example for 22% use 78 etc. )
Note this is a rather optimistic formula that works out the highest possible weight you can lose to, to get to 17% as it assumes that will lose virtually no muscle weight (and for this to be true your deficit needs to be moderate and you need to strength train regularly = at least twice per week). If you lose muscle mass than you'll get to the target weight predicted by this formula and discover you're still at a higher percentage and need to lose more fat to get to your goal percentage.
I am also interested if anyone has a chart of body fat and body water recommendations. I am trying to learn what it all means in regards to being healthy.
Last edited on 18 January 2009 09:33 pm by Sassykat
I would like to encourage everyone to join this discussion whether they have information and suggestions to share or if they just want to learn how to figure their goal weight on their own.
So far, I know I've been vaguely aiming for a weight that I remembered feeling good at back when I was in high school and I think a lot of us are not quite sure what weight would be a good goal to aim for to achieve the best health. That's the purpose of this discussion.
Hey Sassy, that really is a good topic. For me I didn't really start with a goal weight in mind, there were a lot of intersecting goals. First it was getting my BMI out of the "obese" category - not really for health I admit but more because it bothered me that I was considered "obese" by some medical definition. Then it was to get my belly measurement down - and that was purely for health because I was concerned about everything I'd read showing strong correlations with certain diseases and waist circumference. Then it was fitting into certain clothing sizes, like I wanted to fit into a pair of size 8 jeans, then a pair of size five jeans. Then it was getting down to certain body part measurements, I had goals for thighs, butt, waist, shoulders, etc., and then I had a goal to get to a certain body fat% that was the last big goal and I figured that whatever scale weight I hit when I reached my ideal bodyfat% would be the weight I needed to be. I mostly had the attitude that the scale would do what it would do - and I admit I was super thrilled on the weeks when I could post a scale loss - but mostly the goal was always an ever moving target of other stuff - I don't remember if I ever thought "oh, when I get to xyz pounds I'll be at my goal".
And, just thinking about it, I've seen a lot of women who do reach a specific goal weight and still end up very, very dissatisfied with their bodies....I think that might the result of too much focus on that single number without realizing bodyfat% (and fat distribution) plays a greater role in how you look than scale weight. So I think it's great that you brought the topic up.
I've been wondering about that myself. How much importance is that number on the scale in pounds? And how important or even accuarate is the number for body fat? I know there are different methods of figuring body fat and I assume some are more accurate than others.
I know my weight fluctuates a great deal. On Dec 31, 2008 I weighed 131.6 and yesterday I weighed 133.0 I got some very tight stretch jeans for Christmas that were pretty tight and uncomfortable that I wore on Dec 31 with my weight being 131.6 and yesterday at weight 133. they were loser and fit much more comfortably.
And I got this new scale that measures body fat and body water. One day it reads that my body fat is 28 % and the next day it reads 24% So which one do I go by? And how is it that it is coming up with two totally different readings? Apparently I was more well hydrated at the 24% reading. That might of had something to do with it.
I just thought it could be motivating. I myself am no longer satisfied with a vague goal. I want something specific to aim for. I do realize, most people are probably not of the same mindset. It's enough of a struggle just trying to figure out what it takes to lose some weight.
I guess I'm at the point where I truly want to be as healthy as I can be. I don't know what the healthiest body fat calculation is for a women or the healthiest weight for a women who is 5'5" and mostly sedentary, but I do desire to become more active. And I don't want to go overboard also and become anorexic.
Looking good would be nice, but I want to be healthy, or at least strive for it within my power.
I actually started out with a very specific goal and have seriously backed off it. For me you cannot predict a weight at all and the weight I will end up at for most people would be way to high. But I've lost so much, put my body through so much, that if i lose very much more weight I will be very unhappy because all that trauma will become very noticable.
So I still have certain numbers I want to get to (100 lbs lost for example.) But other than that I no longer have an end goal that is a number. It is about how I feel, what I look like both in and out of clothes, etc...
Lord, if I actually got the middle of the range recommended for my height (which would be about 138 or so) I would look TERRIBLE. At least based on what I look like 50 lbs heavier then that.