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How low should you go?

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How do you know when you have reached a reasonable weight for yourself?

I set a goal for myself to get down to 140 (from 155) but I have successfully gone down to 138 before (twice within the last 15 years, though I was not able to sustain that weight for long because my methods were not sustainable). It would be awesome to get to 135 but not sure I can do that, based on past experiences. Yet again, I've never embarked on a program like this before.

Anyways, I'm almost halfway to my goal and wondering what I do when I get there. Should I try for another five pounds? At what point do I say "hey, I'm good where I am, now it's time for maintenance eating"? Does it get harder to stick to goals the less you weigh? Is there a point where you feel too deprived to go on with a deficit?

Replies

  • KateK8LoseW8
    KateK8LoseW8 Posts: 824 Member
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    I have a fuzzy goal of being in the lower-middle of my healthy BMI range, but seeing as I'm weight training, we'll see if I'm satisfied at a higher weight. Just depends on how I look I guess.
  • toutmonpossible
    toutmonpossible Posts: 1,580 Member
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    It's a personal decision,although of course you want to be healthy. For me, any weight not lower than my lowest weight in college (88) would be fine. I don't really think I'll lose much more weight because I would have to be totally committed. I just hope to stay in the low 100s/high 90s.
  • ritchiedrama
    ritchiedrama Posts: 1,304 Member
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    "How do you know when you have reached a reasonable weight for yourself?"

    When you look in the mirror and are happy with what you see.

    "Does it get harder to stick to goals the less you weigh?"

    Depends. For me yes, I got down to around 9-10% bodyfat and cravings were amplified, not that I didn't allow myself foods, but I was aiming for 7% bodyfat and obviously it was harder to fit foods in. But it doesn't become "different" or "harder" in terms of losing the weight.

    "Is there a point where you feel too deprived to go on with a deficit?"

    ^ kinda what I said above.

    Hope this helps
  • mike_ny
    mike_ny Posts: 351 Member
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    Use body fat percentage as your goal. Weight and BMI are good measures for large groups or populations, but can be off by a few percent for individuals depending on your body composition.

    My BMI is currently 3 points higher than my body fat measured by an Aria scale, skin fold calipers, and just looking in the mirror. Muscle and lean mass are denser than fat and the same weight and height will have the same BMI regardless of whether your body fat is low or high. There was one point in my weight loss & bulking up that my body fat and BMI coincidentally were the same for a week or so, but in most cases it was always off by at least a percent over.

    And for the last couple weeks, my weight has edged up a couple pounds, but body fat has come down, so I weigh more because of lean mass and my BMI has consequently risen with that. Weight and BMI alone would imply that I'm reversing progress, but that clearly isn't the case.

    Does it get harder towards the end? I think that depends on the individual and where you started from and where you're trying to get to. Everyone is different. The real value of logging everything you eat and calories burned is being able to figure out what works best for you and what clearly doesn't and then adjusting your diet and workouts to get the best results.
  • Lyadeia
    Lyadeia Posts: 4,603 Member
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    I'm not happy with the way my body looks right now. Sure, I am in a healthy BMI, but my body fat percentage is 21 and my goal is around 16%. I don't care much about my scale weight, but I know that I will lose some when I am cutting fat. I would rather judge my success and determine goals based on how comfortable I am in my own skin and what my bf% is instead some arbitrary number on the scale.

    My guess is that I will weigh around 125 when I reach my goal which is 9 pounds away. If I lose less than that, I don't care. If I lose more than that, I don't care. I am eating around 1500 calories on rest days and up to 2000 calories on workout days while cutting, so I am certainly not malnourished. I just want to *look* differently than I do now.
  • SomewhatCool
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    Personally, I feel like the low end of most BMI ranges are kind of too low for my liking low. I'd say Middle-low for your BMI range.
  • TheVimFuego
    TheVimFuego Posts: 2,412 Member
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    I don't bother with the scales or BMI and judge by the fit of my work belt, if I'm comfortably on the last notch (the good end) everything is rosy. This means being honest with myself, obviously.

    Past that when the bits that shouldn't jiggle don't then I'm done, there must be a law of diminishing returns and I'm not chasing being super lean.

    My maintenance behaviour will look pretty much like the fat loss I reckon anyway, I enjoy a decent variety of food/drink and I've built my exercise into my day so no need to alter much.
  • MB_Positif
    MB_Positif Posts: 8,897 Member
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    Not really that worried about the numbers. I technically have five pounds until my goal, but my clothes fit and i think i look good so i have been eating at maintenance for a year.
  • walleymama
    walleymama Posts: 174 Member
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    It's not so much that I'm worried about the numbers. I'm just trying to figure out how to know when I hit a sustainable level of calories per day. I understand that, as I lose weight, my TDEE may decrease (all other things being equal) and so I may not be eating as much of a deficit as when I first started. So I expect that at some point I will hit equilibrium, where my daily caloric goals become my maintenance calories and I stop losing weight.

    At that point I have to decide whether to further decrease my daily caloric goals and try to lose more weight, or just stay where I'm at. I suppose whether I choose to decrease depends on how sustainable my current situation is. Sure, I could cut my calories back and try to lose even more weight, but will I be happy only being able to eat that much? Will that be sustainable over the long term? At one point are you working so hard to lose more than it fails to be sustainable? Is that too low a weight to aim for then?

    What confuses me more is that the fitter I am the more efficient my metabolism, which means the lower my BMR, which means the less calories I need to eat. So if I'm already hungry some days at 1500 calories, isn't becoming fit going to force me to eat even less? And won't that be harder to sustain? Will I have to increase my level of exercise just to be able to eat more? And if I do, won't I just be that much more hungry, despite being allowed to eat more?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to figure out what this is all going to look like as my weight drops closer to my goal.
  • HeinekenMan
    HeinekenMan Posts: 80 Member
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    It's a personal decision,although of course you want to be healthy. For me, any weight not lower than my lowest weight in college (88) would be fine. I don't really think I'll lose much more weight because I would have to be totally committed. I just hope to stay in the low 100s/high 90s.

    You weighed 88 pounds in college? My daughter is 7 years old, and she weighs 76 pounds. I'm assuming you're vertically-challenged!
  • ragingmrs
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    How do you know when you have reached a reasonable weight for yourself?
    <snip>

    Look at yourself in the mirror in your underclothes. Can you visibly see your ribs and hip bones or do you still have love handles? Each of our bodies are different. The BMi does not account for muscle or build. All you can do is make the judgement call. If you are unsure ask a friend.
  • SJVZEE
    SJVZEE Posts: 451 Member
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    I originally set my goal weight at 135lbs (from the 170s), but as I transitioned into maintenance and also changed the way I eat (from SAD to a whole foods, plant based diet), I've continued losing weight. Now I'm almost 14lbs below my goal weight and have a bmi of 19.6. Thing is I'm eating intuitively-eating when hungry, stopping when full and I'm never feeling deprived. I don't count calories at all now. Eating foods that are very dense nutritionally (fiber etc), but are naturally lower calories has been a brilliant way to lose weight, however I'm supposed to be in maintenance :tongue: Eventually I'll figure it out lol. For you-just listen to your body's cues and you'll find the right maintenance range for yourself!
  • toutmonpossible
    toutmonpossible Posts: 1,580 Member
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    It's a personal decision,although of course you want to be healthy. For me, any weight not lower than my lowest weight in college (88) would be fine. I don't really think I'll lose much more weight because I would have to be totally committed. I just hope to stay in the low 100s/high 90s.

    You weighed 88 pounds in college? My daughter is 7 years old, and she weighs 76 pounds. I'm assuming you're vertically-challenged!

    I'm 5' 2" and have a petite frame. I was 88 only because for two years I decided to see if I could go without sugar, meat, and high-fat foods. Sometimes I wish I had the discipline to do that again, but I like eating too much. I was small, but was not unhealthy. For most of older teen-aged years and the 20s I was in the low 90s. I didn't work out because I wasn't an athlete and recreational exercise for general health had not yet caught on.

    When I was a kid, a 12-minute program put out by the Canadian Air Force was popular. So was Jack LaLanne.