After five days writing, I returned to Cutting Fitness. I didn’t have to, but I came because you missed me. I missed me too.
I received this email from a fan:
Zahra, I’m closing in on my goal weight and I don’t know what to do! Right now I’m 125.64lbs and should reach 125.633lbs tomorrow morning. My friends and family think I’ve lost enough, but I know I can lose more because I’m still skinny-slim-fat.
Anyway, I’d like to know how you chose your goal weight. I was thinking maybe 110.0lbs, but I’ve seen others my height who are 105lbs.
By the way, I love your blog! I subscribed to the email list, subscribed to your RSS, LIKE you on Facebook, and FOLLOW you on Twitter.
I know what you’re thinking. No, I didn’t write that.
Froda, darling, I get this question all the time. In fact, I struggled over it myself.
My original goal was 140lbs (I started at 200lbs). Around 155lbs I knew I wasn’t anywhere near done. The goal dropped to 135lbs – which is the healthy range on the BMI because I’m very tall (5 ft 2.5. Yes, the half is important or I wouldn’t have included it!). Now I’m 125lbs and still not done. Hopefully 110lbs is the one. Oh well. I’ll just keep going until I disappear…*sob sob*
Do NOT use these methods/tools to choose your goal weight:
- Body fat
- Measuring tape
- The mirror
- Calorie intake to maintain
- WORST OF ALL: How you feel about your appearance
Use the following four methods/tools instead:
1. The Scale
Despite what people claim, the scale IS an accurate way to track weight loss. As long as it heads in the right direction you’re getting closer to your goal. With regards to the scale, ‘weight’ = fat, muscle, bones, organs, boobs, etc. This means you could lose muscle, which lowers your metabolism, when you actually wanted to lose fat. Also, the scale may not change even though you’re getting slimmer. Last of all, the scale fluctuates daily for various reasons, for example, eat very salty food today and gain 5lbs of ‘water weight’ by tomorrow.
Ignore those so-called ‘problems’. It’s fun when you lose muscle because you’ll have to work REALLY hard to regain it. You want more fun? Watch the scale stay the same even though you count every calorie, sweat like a dog/pig in the gym, and drink gallons of water. It feels great when you’re NOT being rewarded for your hard work. Daily fluctuations feel pretty good too. Seeing the scale go up and down everyday for no reason is confusing, but who wants a boring life?
Use the following guideline to choose the right goal weight:
110lbs or less = Put down the carrot. Eat the burger.
110-130lbs = ZOMG I’m so jealous!
130lbs+ = You’re fat. Confirm by taking this quiz.
This might seem a bit strict, but look on fitness forums and you’ll see that everyone wants to be 120lbs! Get as close to 120 as possible and maintain the weight forever.
2. Other People
By ‘other people’ I mean other people.
Loved Ones: family, friends, lover(s), neighbours, and co-workers. If you know someone who lost weight recently then find out how much they weigh. Get to the same weight. They don’t have to be the same height, body fat, age, blah, blah, blah as you, for example, a skinny housewife should aim to weigh the same as an obese bodybuilder. Their differences don’t matter unless you’re sexist.
Celebrities: If Beyonce weighs 20lbs then you should too. If Brad Pitt maintains 300lbs then you should too. If Zahra goes vegan then you should think about it. Can you really live without chicken? As I said, just think about it. Always remember not to personalise your goals. Focus on your favourite stars and their fitness regimens. Yes, they probably have personal chefs, personal trainers, nannies, plastic surgery, and are paid to starve on stupid diets for publicity, but you can still copy them if you stop making excuses!
3. Your Past
What did you weigh 30yrs ago? Good. Return to that weight. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t maintain there, and ended up regaining every lb and then some. I don’t care if your life has changed since then (marriage, kids, thyroid issues, a new job, a pet cat, etc). Excuses won’t be tolerated on this fantastic blog! If you weighed 70lbs when you were 8 then there’s no reason you can’t do it aged 55. Turn back the clock!
4. The BMI
The BMI has a range of goal weights for every height, for example, the BMI says I should weigh between 104-136lbs. This is a BIG range, which doesn’t seem very helpful. However, it IS very helpful. All I had to do was reach my range and then wander around until I found the right number. Simple, right? I’m still looking, but I’ll get there one day. It’s only 30lbs difference. Nothing major…
There you have it! Stick with those four methods to determine your goal weight. I know people talk about goal ranges, but DO NOT have one!!1!!1!!! It’s much easier to maintain one weight e.g. 120.0003lbs than it is to stay in a range e.g. 120-130lbs. Trust me, I’m a doctor.