Do you believe that your body has an 'ideal' weight?

Francl27
Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
I've been overweight pretty much my whole life, minus maybe a year if I add up all the months together when I was at a reasonable weight... My lowest weight was 57 kg when I was 21, after a pretty extreme diet, but that didn't last long and I gained back 13 kilos in no time, and before that I was around 63 kg for a year or so at the end of high school. Now I've been at 60.5-61 kg for a couple months, and it seems the closer I get to 60, the hungrier I get, and I can't seem to be able to get lower.

I have an identical twin sister who hasn't been overweight since high school and she pretty much can't go lower than 62 kg (she doesn't count calories or anything though). We're 5'5" and we have a medium-large frame. I'm more toned than she is (I'm 22-23% body fat I think), but I have some loose skin, no idea how much that weighs though.

Could it just be that our body is the most comfortable at that weight, and that's why it's harder to go under? I'm not going to lie, I see some women my size trying to get down to 56 kg or lower and I can't even imagine getting that low (and I would probably look really skinny).
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Replies

  • GauchoMark
    GauchoMark Posts: 1,804 Member
    nope.

    I think maybe mentally you are comfortable with certain habits/actions that result in a perceived "ideal weight", but I don't think that physiologically your body can just decide to be a certain weight and "try" to maintain that weight.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    nope.

    I think maybe mentally you are comfortable with certain habits/actions that result in a perceived "ideal weight", but I don't think that physiologically your body can just decide to be a certain weight and "try" to maintain that weight.

    Even when it's a perfectly healthy weight?
  • IGbnat24
    IGbnat24 Posts: 520 Member
    It's very easy for me to stay within a few lbs of 130. It takes a heck of a lot of effort to get to, and stay at, 125 but, at the same time, I can be very lax with my nutrition and exercise and stay below 133.
  • Tanie98
    Tanie98 Posts: 675 Member
    yes I think so too.I am 5`3 and i when i was younger, my body would loose weight after i get around to 125 and it was harder to get lower than that.There was time when i weighed 115 but i coudnt keep it up for long and i went back to 125 -130.I think my body is happy around 130 lbs.My goal is it get down to 120 though so i know that would take allot of work to stay there.
  • rileyleigh
    rileyleigh Posts: 106 Member
    I don't think it is so much your body that is trying to maintain its weight. I would think that you have just been keeping the same health habits for a while, eating approximately the same amount of food, exercising about the same amount, and your body has settled in to its natural weight for your currently eating/exercise habits. If nothing major changes, you will likely remain the same weight, with no gains, and no losses, for quite a long time.

    That being said, i do think there is an "ideal" weight for your body. For instance, i really want to get down to 175 pounds (lost 13, 20 more to go), but even though that is what i want to be, i'm not completely sure about whether or not my body will actually let me get that low. I mean sure, i could do it in an unhealthy way, but thats not what i'm aiming for. If i get to the point where i am simply not losing anymore for a long time, and I am still doing everything right, i will accept that as my body's "ideal" weight for that point in my life.
  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,356 Member
    nope.

    I think maybe mentally you are comfortable with certain habits/actions that result in a perceived "ideal weight", but I don't think that physiologically your body can just decide to be a certain weight and "try" to maintain that weight.

    This mirrors my thoughts. Well said.
  • Siannah
    Siannah Posts: 456 Member
    I'm the exact same height and weight as your sister. I've been at 60kgs (which is still my ideal weight because I like round numbers) and I've even been slightly below that, but ultimately I always seem to go back to the 62kgs.

    I know if I really 100% stick to MFP I will get down to the 60 again, I'm trying, I really am, but I keep falling off that bloody wagon every now and then and my hard work is undone again.
    So I suppose I just settle for the 62kg. But whenever I go over that number, I declare war to the calories.
  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,658 Member
    That being said, i do think there is an "ideal" weight for your body. For instance, i really want to get down to 175 pounds (lost 13, 20 more to go), but even though that is what i want to be, i'm not completely sure about whether or not my body will actually let me get that low. I mean sure, i could do it in an unhealthy way, but thats not what i'm aiming for. If i get to the point where i am simply not losing anymore for a long time, and I am still doing everything right, i will accept that as my body's "ideal" weight for that point in my life.
    If "doing everything right" includes eating at an actual deficit, you will lose weight.
  • Tyggr56
    Tyggr56 Posts: 6 Member
    I echo DeguelloTex an ACTUAL deficit will make your body lose weight.. it has to be a habit though, if your normal habits are to eat a certain amount and your habits don't change, then expect your weight to go right back to where it was.
  • DrJenO
    DrJenO Posts: 404 Member
    If my math is right 61kg ~= 134lbs? Isn't that a normal/healthy weight for 5'5"?
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    I echo DeguelloTex an ACTUAL deficit will make your body lose weight.. it has to be a habit though, if your normal habits are to eat a certain amount and your habits don't change, then expect your weight to go right back to where it was.

    It's really not what I meant though. What I meant is that under a certain weight, keeping a deficit gets harder because I get hungrier. So in theory, yes, you lose weight at a deficit, in practice, maintaining that deficit gets much harder under 61 kilos.
  • lavaughan69
    lavaughan69 Posts: 459 Member
    nope.

    I think maybe mentally you are comfortable with certain habits/actions that result in a perceived "ideal weight", but I don't think that physiologically your body can just decide to be a certain weight and "try" to maintain that weight.

    I have to agree with this.

    I like to think of "ideal weight" as one of my best excuses for giving up on goal weights in the past. After my first daughter I thought my body wouldn't let me get below 140. After my second daughter I told myself that 150 was my new ideal weight. This year I've blown those numbers out of the water and my current weight is 130-132. Now that being said, maintaining this number may be difficult because quite frankly I enjoy eating the amount of food/types of food I ate when I'm 150-165. If I don't track my food and weigh and measure everything it doesn't take long for me to slowly increase my eating resulting in weight gains.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    Yes and no...not so much a matter of weight though as BF%. Ever wonder why those BF% charts show increasing levels of acceptable BF% as age increases? It's because the human body naturally holds more fat stores as you age.

    Maintaining 10% BF when I was 21 years old was easy...it would be very difficult for me now at 40 to get that low and maintain that level of leanness. It wouldn't be impossible, but I would most certainly have to go above and beyond what I used to have to do to get there. I maintain around 18%-20% BF pretty easily just being relatively smart about what I eat and mindful of my intake and working out. I could get down to around 15% relatively easily by making a few tweaks here and there...but beyond that would require a substantial overhaul of an already relatively healthy diet and active lifestyle.

    18ish% BF for a 40 year old male is completely acceptable and within a healthy range...not so much for a younger man. I consider this to basically be my "set point" if there truly is such a thing...but it's the point at which I can pretty easily maintain without doing anything crazy....it seems to be my body's most natural and happy place.
  • caracrawford1
    caracrawford1 Posts: 657 Member
    It sounds like you are talking about "set point theory" the theory that the body has a certain set weight it is comfortable and will fight to stay at.
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
    I echo DeguelloTex an ACTUAL deficit will make your body lose weight.. it has to be a habit though, if your normal habits are to eat a certain amount and your habits don't change, then expect your weight to go right back to where it was.

    It's really not what I meant though. What I meant is that under a certain weight, keeping a deficit gets harder because I get hungrier. So in theory, yes, you lose weight at a deficit, in practice, maintaining that deficit gets much harder under 61 kilos.

    I believe that the majority of this is habit and using food for emotional fulfillment in many people. You really don't feel any more hungry 10 pounds over goal weight or 100 pounds over. You're just more focused on food perhaps. If you set up good eating habits and practice you'll learn the difference between bored-hungry and hungry-hungry.

    I want to drive 100 mph on the way to work too but I can't because it's not good for me. It's not that I never get that urge I just know that it's not one that I need to fulfill. If you focus on what you can't do then you're going to want it more. Think about other things. Plan your meals ahead of time and eat them knowing that that's what you NEED and not what you want.


    EDIT: Your body wants to be as fast as possible. That's your answer. It's never satisfied.
  • KSimmarano
    KSimmarano Posts: 12 Member
    The Very tipy top of my recommended BMI is 158lbs (I'm 5'8"). I just barely grazed that about 10 years ago and then jumped back up to 160 for a while. I was able to stay there for a few years and then the last 5 years, I have steadily gone up, up, up. . .

    I remeber feeling pretty good, physically, at that weight. Especially compared to now at 40 lbs over...OUCH! Did I just say that? That's prety sobering...

    I've never had the problem of being too thin for my height/build or not feeling healthy because I'm too skinny. I don't know though if I can physically, in a healthy way, get much below 158. It was really,really hard work way back when. I think the answer lies somewhere inbetween. I do think there is an "ideal weight" where if you get much thinner, you won't feel as healthy any more the same as if you gain too much weight.. I would be more concerned with how you FEEL than the # on the scale though. Know what feels best for your body. If you want to try to go lower, do it. But if it's so much work and aggrivation, that it consumes you, then it's not healthy. You have to look at the whole picture. SPIRIT, MIND and BODY. (Yes I am a former YMCA director, if anyone was wondering... (; )

    Be blessed!
  • QuietBloom
    QuietBloom Posts: 5,413 Member
    nope.

    I think maybe mentally you are comfortable with certain habits/actions that result in a perceived "ideal weight", but I don't think that physiologically your body can just decide to be a certain weight and "try" to maintain that weight.

    Even when it's a perfectly healthy weight?

    I think what matters to your body more is your lean mass to body fat ratio, rather than weight.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    nope.

    I think maybe mentally you are comfortable with certain habits/actions that result in a perceived "ideal weight", but I don't think that physiologically your body can just decide to be a certain weight and "try" to maintain that weight.

    This mirrors my thoughts. Well said.

    Mine too...I always thought this myself..hence my first goal weight of 165..I thought that was where my body wanted to be...

    bam....15lbs later (I range current between 150-155) I got my eyes opened...and after this summer I might even consider 145 we will see...

    was it easy to go from 165 to 152-153..as easy as I made it...eating in that deficit doing my workouts etc....I expect the same if I go down to 145...

    Truth of the matter is you can weigh what you want...healthy or not you just have to be willing to put the work in...
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    I echo DeguelloTex an ACTUAL deficit will make your body lose weight.. it has to be a habit though, if your normal habits are to eat a certain amount and your habits don't change, then expect your weight to go right back to where it was.

    It's really not what I meant though. What I meant is that under a certain weight, keeping a deficit gets harder because I get hungrier. So in theory, yes, you lose weight at a deficit, in practice, maintaining that deficit gets much harder under 61 kilos.

    If you are hungry are you eating filling foods?

    At TDEE-20% (which imho is reasonable) I was very rarely hungry...there were a few days usually after a hard weigh lifting day but I made sure my foods were filling...or is it a "mental" thing?

    I mean once you get to the "lower" weight you won't be in a deficit anymore and there is no reason if you keep your activity level at a reasonable spot that you can't maintain on a lot of food...
  • jlynnm70
    jlynnm70 Posts: 460 Member
    I think to some extent our bodies have a weight they want to be at. Why not? Some have blue eyes, some have brown. Some are tall, some are short. Some have big frame/some smaller.....so why not have a body that wants a higher BF % or weight. It doesn't mean that you can't fight it and try to be smaller - or even get better - but I would think that DNA could say that this is where I want to stop. I also know that it is much harder as you get older.

    In my 20's I could eat ANYTHING and stay at 120-122# - didn't matter what I did - now (at 43) I fight to stay in the 130s - and know that staying around 120 is gonna be HARD.