Hitting an Ideal Weight

Dec 19th, 2007 | By | Category: Weight Loss

Since moving to Seattle I’ve gained thirty pounds.

On my slight five-foot-ten frame, that represents about a fifth more of me since 2001. How did that happen? Very slowly, and with both fat and muscle gains contributing.

Arriving at 135 pounds to Seattle, I was close to being underweight, my BMI above 18.5. Now at 165, I’m not officially overweight, my BMI is still below 25.

BMI isn’t the greatest measure of health. According to the Met Life tables, my ideal body weight is about 155 pounds. Putting aside the numbers for a moment, it’s where I’ve gained fat that matters more from a health perspective. Belly fat, like many men gain as they exit their twenties, is the most worrisome, with negative effects upon blood sugar, lipid profiles and general health.

At some point in the near future, I’m sure to find myself telling a patient to lose weight–ten, twenty, thirty, fifty pounds. How hard is it? By many of the measures I’d use with patients, I could stand to lose ten. Using the best available scientific data, can I do it?

Well, let’s try.

The first step: for the next week, each day I’ll carefully record what I eat and my weight. The goal is to stay about as close as possible to a “typical” week of eating for me, in an attempt to figure out my particular equilibrium between the calories I consume and use in a given day.