BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

What is Your Ideal Weight?

What is Your Ideal Weight?

Ask 100 different people how they determine their ideal weight and you are bound to get 100 different answers. Some people determine what they weighed at the end of high school or on the day they got married as their ideal, but as you age, your ideal changes and so should your standards for diet success.

Did you know that if you lose just ten percent of your total body weight on any given diet, you stand to benefit in a whole host of different ways. You can significantly reduce your chances of heart disease; lower your blood pressure and even your cholesterol levels. Since dieting is so closely tied to realistic expectations, it may be time for you to adjust what your dieting goals are once and for all.

Getting To Know Your Internal Weight Clock

Did you know that your body has an internal weight clock that it uses to help stabilize weight loss and weight gain? Your body works with a kind of internal equation that allows small amounts of weight loss and weight gain, but it is extremely difficult to get more than ten to twenty percent heavier or lighter than you are normally. This is a bit of leftover survival programming to help prevent massive weight loss in times of famine. The problem that many of us have is the fact that it is a bit easier to set your internal range higher than it is lower. This is also why so many dieters “plateau” when they diet.

Resetting your Internal Weight Clock

Most of us know how to lose weight, but how long do we have to keep it off for so our body recalibrates and sets new standards for our weight clock? According to recent research, the magic number appears to be about six months. If you can keep a 10 percent weight loss (or higher) off for six months or more, your body will have a much easier time staying at that weight over the long term. During that time, hormones rage inside the body, fighting against the weight loss in a battle for what they perceive as self preservation. This is why dramatic weight loss is so difficult. In fact, experts agree that the best way to lose massive amounts of weight is to lose about 10 percent at a time, and then maintain that weight for six months before you attempt to lose more.

So What is My Ideal Weight?

To find what your ideal weight “should” be at, don’t use artificial benchmarks like a wedding day or a graduation to declare that this is the line you need to get under. Simply look at how much you have weighed during certain parts of your life and find a weight that was easy for you to stay at. This is likely more your “ideal” weight than anything else. The worst thing you can do is to keep an old pair of pants from your thinnest days and proclaim that this is the size you should be and all other dietary efforts are a failure unless you reach this one size. Your mission may very well be impossible.

A good guide you can use is to eat approximately ten calories for every pound you weigh and then mix in regular exercise. Make sure you are getting your calories from the right sources and not from junk. From here, you can begin to work towards losing 10 percent of your total body weight over a period of time and then work to maintain that weight before you try to lose additional pounds.

Final Weight Loss Suggestions

Make meal time an event. Sit down with the proper dishware and don’t eat on the run if at all possible, and most importantly of all, don’t skip meals. Skipping meals forms unhealthy patterns that make it extremely difficult for you to succeed in your future weight loss endeavors.

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