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Great way to figure out realistic "ideal" weight

I feel like an idiot for not realising this sooner...

Body fat percentage. Let's think about this. If, in my case, I weigh 190lbs, and have 32% body fat, then I have 60.8 pounds of fat, and the rest of me is all good. Therefore I have 129.2 pounds of muscle, bone, etc. So even though I'm only 5'6, if my goal were to lose 60lbs, I'd either be incredibly unhealthy, or will have also lost muscle mass- neither of which I'm interested in.

If however, I lose 27lbs of fat, then my weight becomes 163, the remaining 34 pounds of fat provide me with a body fat percentage of 20 (roughly) which is a number I'm comfy with as a woman. So no matter what anyone else's weight is for their height, size, etc., I know my goal is realistic of my actual body.

I know it's easy to assume all weight loss is fat, and that may very well not be the case in one's weight loss journey, but could you imagine the heartache I would cause myself if I wanted desperately to be 120lbs?


Thu. Feb 1, 7:55pm

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Are you sure 32%bf is right for your 190lbs??
Don't trust those at home body fat scales either - all they do is show you how dehydrated you are.

Thursday, February 01, 2007, 8:10 PM

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OP- I' m not trusting a scale- the scale said I'm 28% fat. The calipers say 30%. I'm allowing a 2% margin of error. I have big dense bones and a lot of muscle.

Thursday, February 01, 2007, 8:48 PM

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Those scales are crazy-- When I log in under my hubby's height and sex, it says I'm only about 18-20% fat. If I log in as myself, then it's WAY higher....

Thursday, February 01, 2007, 11:53 PM

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There's a formula out there that produces and average lean body mass based on age/sex/height - sorry, I can't remember where I found it, but I remember that at 5'4", it came out to 106 lbs of bones, muscles and organs. This makes my goal of 130 perfectly realistic.

Friday, February 02, 2007, 12:59 AM

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Is 5'4 115 realistic?

I am currently about 20-22% body fat. And I've lost 20lbs so far. Is 115 realistc for me?

Friday, February 02, 2007, 7:34 AM

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To OP:
I think before you get set in stone with 163 as your magic number you need to realize that while in theory this sounds great I think you math is flawed.

Set your goal as 20% body fat, and watch the scale's readout... when it says your close to that THEN get yourself re-caliper tested. Don't set your goal based on a scale number that says you are overweight according to BMI unless you actually get yourself caliper tested at that point to verify you body fat is that low.

to 11:53
Part of the way those scales determine your body fat % is based on your height and I'm sure the sex plays a part too... that's why it needs the data input. That's the reason why it's result is changing. If it's giving you consistent data each time you do it with your correct data then it's a good tool for measuring change... but not necessarily perfectly accurate in regards to your real body fat %.

To 7:34
I know many here hate BMI but for your height the 'normal' BMI range for your height is 108-145 so based on that 115 should be realistic. However if you are extremely muscular that may change. How far away from 115 are you. I never thought I'd get close to 135 again and here I am just 8 lbs away.



Friday, February 02, 2007, 8:13 AM

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don't forget boobs!

I'm only 5'2" and I'm shooting for 120 because any lower than that would be "too skinny" for me. I suppose if I were flat-chested, a weight of 110 (or less?) would be reasonable. But I have boobs - and want to keep them!

Friday, February 02, 2007, 1:09 PM

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To the boob girl...
My 5'3" sister had hers reduced from an overwhelming DDD to a small B and it was only 4.5 lbs of fat (apparently the doctors weigh what they remove, how gross), because fat is outrageously bulky. My other sister, 5'1", took hers down from a DDD to a C and that was worth 2.5 lbs.
So you're overestimating by far.

Friday, February 02, 2007, 1:15 PM

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right-that may be what one's breast actually weigh, but you wouldn't lose your breasts completely after losing 2-5 lbs. In order to go down a couple of cups, most women have to lose more than that. I think 1:09 poster means that her breasts would be much smaller at 110 lbs than they will be at 120.

Friday, February 02, 2007, 2:18 PM

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7:34 - 115 is realistic for 5'4", depending on your build, and if you can maintain it without going crazy. I am 5'4" and it's much easier to maintain 117-118 than 115. It's crazy, but those three pounds mean like 3-4 extra hours of working out each week and 200 less calories every day, so that means absolutely no treats or desserts. I'd rather weigh 117 and have a normal workout routine (an hour a day) and be able to eat an ice cream cone once in a while.

Friday, February 02, 2007, 11:11 PM

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it is important

To look at body fat.

I get hydrostatic weighing - since it's most accurate (short of DEXA which I can't really afford) regularly while losing weight (and will probably once a year while maintaining)

I'm 5'4 and at 147 lb was recently tested at 20% body fat. This was my original goal but when I got here I realized that 20% still felt like too much so now I'm aiming for 16% So I'm using a combination body fat and the mirror, since it feels to me that at my height the 29 lb of fat still looks like a lot even if that only puts me at 20% fat.

If you're far from your weight, it's also important to remember that most people lose some lean body mass as they lose weight, though a diet with adequate protein and plenty of high weight strength training can help prevent this.

But body fat (and don't trust those scales, currently my scale claims I'm anywhere from 13-22% depending on time of day) definitely helps you not set unrealistic goals if you have a larger frame than others, or exercise significantly more for more lean body mass.

Saturday, May 16, 2009, 7:52 AM

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