When you set out on a diet, you should begin with the end in mind. But how do you know what an appropriate weight is for your body? In this chapter you’ll learn how to determine the best goal weight for you.

 

You need to strike a balance between being optimistic, realistic, and most importantly healthy. Many people have no idea where to even start. But it’s a good idea to begin with taking a look at your history.

 

Your Body’s History

 

Many people who weight over 200 pounds dream of being 115 pounds. That may be a realistic goal, but it may not. The first thing to do is take a look at your body’s timeline. The easiest way to do this is to get out the family photos.

 

Make a timeline of yourself from the time you were a very small child until the present day. It doesn’t have to be perfectly accurate, but do your best to come up with accurate dates to put the photographs in order.

 

If you can remember, make a note of the weight that you are in each picture. If you can’t remember, that’s okay, too. You can probably estimate just by looking at your pictures. The main thing you need to do right now is establish a pattern.

 

Have you been heavy ever since you were a small child? Did you gain weight later in life? This information will help you to go about setting a realistic goal for your body. It’s not that you can’t weight whatever you dream of, it’s just that you need to be clear about your own body.

 

If you’ve never been a size 6, it may be that your body wasn’t meant to be a size 6. For some people, it’s perfectly healthy to be a size 12. In fact, for some people a size 12 is healthier than a size 6 could ever be.

 

BMI

 

Another number to take a look at is your BMI, or body mass index. This is a number that health professionals use to determine how much you should way based on your height. It’s actually a complicated formula turned into something simple.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that the BMI is not a perfect number. Many people shoot for unrealistic goal weights based on the BMI. It should only be used as a guideline to help you determine a goal weight, but it’s not set in stone.

In general a BMI score of 18.5-25 is considered a healthy weight based on your height. From 25-30 is considered overweight, and above 30 is considered obese. Below 18.5 is considered underweight.

 

There are many online BMI calculators you can use for free. They’ll ask you to input your height and weight and then they will crunch out your BMI. In addition, they’ll also tell you what your ideal weight range is. You can add 10% to the top number and still not be overweight.

 

Remember to take this number with a grain of salt, however. While it’s the standard used in medical practices it isn’t perfect. You’ll also need to take into account your body type and your age.

 

Once you’ve determined the BMI number that’s appropriate for your height and age, you can use that number as a guideline to help you make a goal weight. Remember, though, that this number isn’t perfect. In fact, for some people the BMI is much too low for their actual body.

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