If you ask most adults whether they would like to lose some weight, the answer is usually “yes”. However, studies have shown that most people are less effective at achieving weight loss and keeping it off without setting some specific short and long-term weight loss goals. Once weight loss goals are identified, approximately 20 percent of overweight individuals are able to achieve a minimum of 10 percent weight loss and maintenance of this weight loss for over a year.Achieving Weight LossAccording to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the National Weight Control Registry, successful weight loss requires one or more of the following strategies:
- Goal setting- Regular exercise at moderate to intense levels- Low-fat, low-calorie diet- Eating a consistent diet regardless of holidays and other events- Consistent adherence to diet and exercise for at least two years
To begin a successful long-term weight loss program, most people need to first identify their goal weight. An online calculator is an easy and effective tool to identify this goal weight number.
Lean Body Mass
The first number needed in order to calculate a goal weight is your lean body mass. This number is your body weight minus the amount of fat. In other words, lean body mass is the weight of the muscles, organs, bones, water, cells and skin of a body minus the fat.
Therefore, in order to calculate your lean body mass, you need to determine your body fat percentage. Enter in the following information:
- Weight (in pounds)- Waist size (in inches)- Wrist size (in inches, females only)- Hip size (in inches, females only)- Forearm size (in inches, female only)- Gender
Once you have determined your body fat, the next number that you need is your body mass index (BMI).
Use the online calculator to determine your body mass index (BMI). Enter in your height in inches, followed by your weight in pounds.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, your BMI helps determine your weight status as follows:
18.5 Or Less = Underweight18.5 – 24.9 = Normal25 – 29.9 = Overweight30 or more = Obese
Based on your current lean body mass and your BMI, figure out what your desired body fat percentage would be. Enter this number along with your lean body mass in the online calculator and you will get your goal weight number.
Use this number as incentive to put into place some or all of the strategies listed above as successful methods to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss. Always contact your physician before starting a weight loss program or with any questions.