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You know that you want to lose weight. But how do you pick a goal weight that’s right for you? Do you find a celebrity, or even a friend, whose body you like and try to reach the same weight as him? Do you aim for a previous weight of your own, like what you weighed when you wore that junior prom dress 25 years ago?
Unfortunately, neither of these are good ways to set a weight loss goal. Finding your best weight isn't as simple as plugging your height, age, and gender into a formula and getting a number spit back at you. Your body is unique to you, and so is your ideal weight. Because it involves factors that are both objective (like your health risks) and subjective (like your personal satisfaction with your appearance), your ideal body weight is much more than a number on the scale: it’s more like a state of being.
You’re at your ideal body weight when:
Your weight isn’t causing (or putting you at risk for) any health problems
Your weight doesn't limit you from living the life you want
You can accept your body as it is, without feeling uncomfortably self-conscious
You can enjoy being in your own skin, without worrying too much about how you compare to others (or cultural ideals)
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at several of the methods experts use to determine when your weight puts you at risk of having health problems, and how you can use those methods to set a realistic goal weight for yourself.
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant.
See all of Dean's articles.
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