Welcome to Part Three of the repeat of my Weight Reduction programme. This post will also be familiar to those who have read Size Matters my book on the programme.
Before I get into the mental and emotional attitude that you need to adopt to reduce your weight successfully there are a few logistics to get out of the way!
How much do you weigh now?
And how much should you weigh to be healthy?
Where do you start?
It is important to have a start point when you are planning to lose weight so that you have a road map to follow, with a destination that is attainable. I often hear clients say ‘I would just love to lose 10 kilos or 2 stone or 10lbs’. This is based not necessarily on the actual weight they need to lose but what they consider to be an acceptably achievable goal. To be honest you need to be a little more specific than this. You may only need to lose 7lbs or 5 kilos or you may need to lose more to reach a healthy weight for your age and activity level.
There are two common methods of measuring your weight with regard to health and that is a straightforward weight/height/sex comparison and BMI or Body Mass Index. I believe that it is easier to manage and track your actual weight rather than focus on just BMI – certainly if you are a body builder and fit, determining your health with BMI is not relevant.
Most ideal weight profiles are derived from insurance company statistical tables. These tables however were produced nearly 60 years ago when physically we were shorter and our diet following the war years was still restricted for many people.
I don’t believe that these tables are appropriate today and if you take the ideal weights in that table and treat it as the minimum weight for your height then I believe that it is more realistic for this generation. It is a guideline only and the important factors are the indicators of how healthy you are internally as well as externally.
Of greater importance to me, are your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. And if you need to lose more than two or three stone – 42lbs I would suggest that you get those measured before you start. In the UK you can pop into certain pharmacies and they will do the checks for you. It will also give you another measurement during the weight loss process to determine your progress not just with weight but general health and fitness.
I also do not believe in starving the body into submission – when I was studying to correct my own weight issues, I realised that despite being 24 stone I was suffering from malnutrition. Lots of calories but no nutrients in my diet – hence mal–nourished. You have no idea how funny most of my overweight clients find that notion. You will often hear the expression “starvation syndrome” which is where the body loses weight under famine conditions (crash diet) and then rebounds with extra weight when there is a time of harvest (when you start to eat normally again) I have always preferred to call this “nutritional deficiency syndrome” .
Some of the other important questions also need to be taken into account. During your weight loss do you have plenty of energy and is your immune system functioning efficiently? Losing weight successfully involves a number of other factors apart from the food you eat, including exercise, willpower and your emotional involvement.
However, we do need that start point and I have a basic ready reckoner that you can adapt for your own physical build. I have used this for years for both myself and my clients and I have found it the easiest to combine both frame size and weight.
Working it out
There are a number of sites that will work out your frame size for you – it involves your wrist measurement and your height. Take your wrist measurement with a tape measure and plug in with your height.
Working out your weight.
For medium framed women as the average.
As a base, use 100lbs up to five foot and then 6lbs for every inch over that height. Modify by 5% either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
For medium framed men
As a base, use 106lbs up to five foot and then 7lbs for every inch over that height. Modify either way by 5% if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
- · A woman who is a heavy frame and 5’ 6” would have an optimal weight of:
- 100lbs + 36lbs = 136lbs – Add 5% for heavy frame = 6.8lbs
- This gives an optimum weight of 142.8lbs or 67.7Kilos
- · A light framed man of 5’ 6” would have an optimum weight of:
- 106lbs + 70lbs = 176lbs – Subtract 5% for light frame = 9lbs
- This gives an optimum weight of 167lbs or 75.9Kilos.
To be honest, I have met people who are fantastically healthy, fit and full of energy who are a stone or even heavier. But, there is no doubt that if we are talking about a healthy weight, fit and at less risk of the health problems including hip and knee problems, being nearer the optimum weight is best.
Step one – take your weight tomorrow morning when you get up and deduct your optimum weight according to your frame size.
If you need to lose between 7lbs – 14lbs– then you need to set a target of 14 weeks. You are not going to get a quick water release as soon as you start so losing 1lb a week is both healthy and reasonable. You may find that there is just a minor adjustment needed to your daily diet and activity levels to achieve this comfortably.
If you need to lose between 14lbs and 42lbs –you are going to have to both make adjustments to the types of food that you are currently consuming (sugars, processed foods) and move your activity level into higher gear. You are looking at around 14 -30 weeks for the best results without the danger of regaining the weight.
If you are between 42lbs and 84lbs overweight – you are looking at between 30 and 52 weeks to lose the weight, reduce the risk of loose skin that can be left, and to develop an activity programme gradually that will retrain your muscles and build stamina. If you are on medication for BP etc. then please consult your doctor.
If you need to lose more than 84lbs then you should be consulting with your doctor in regard to your general health. I am sure that they will support any health eating programme that involves eating natural, unprocessed foods but since you may have other health issues and medication, please consult them first.
However much weight you need to lose, you still need to mentally and emotionally prepare for the journey ahead. We all start out with good intentions but if we do not have a clear goal, measurements along the way and a set routine we all fall by the wayside.
Step two – Keeping a Food Diary
All groups should start a food diary and keep daily. Every item of food, processed, natural, main meals, snacks and fluids. Do not worry about the calories – the first stage is determining what foods you are eating that are contributing to your extra weight. Be honest – only you will see the food you are eating written down but this is no time to fudge the figures if you want to lose weight.
You will see how this relates to weight loss when I post the Fat Accumulation Table…Amazing the difference over a year that having two biscuits with your cup of tea can make instead of just one!
You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.