Okay, the three numbers are not magic… but you already knew that yet there are no more important numbers when it comes to sustainable weight loss! You may have already come across some of these numbers when doing your research but may not have understood their true significance to the success of your weight loss.
I am going to go over each of these so that you are better informed on how important these numbers are and how any weight loss program that does not address these will always fail you. I will also provide you with a link at the end of the article to a weight loss calculator that will generate these magic numbers for you. Let us start with the first of the magic numbers, your Ideal Weight!
You no doubt have heard allot about this number. Your doctor, trainer or dietitian may have given you a weight value based on the accepted norms for your sex, age and height. Although this number is generic, it does cover at least 95% of most cases. What about that other 5%? Well this 5% can be +-10 pounds from the Ideal Weight given. It all depends on each individuals situation but does not lessen the importance of this value. What is truly important about the Ideal Weight is not that you need to maintain that exact weight but you use it to guide you towards your target to stabilize your weight at a level near your Ideal Weight that makes you feel comfortable and healthy. How do you know when the weight you have obtained is within the “healthy” zone for your Ideal Weight? Well that is determined by the next of the magic numbers, the BMI.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) can be used by your doctor and/or dietitian to figure out your general weight health based on your sex, height and weight and is associated with the measurement of body fat. Once that BMI has been calculated, the value is compared against the following ranges to determine your weight health. John Barban Weight Loss
- less than 19 –> Underweight
- 19 to 25 –> Normal
- 26 to 29 –> Overweight
- 30 to 34 –> Obese (Class I)
- 35 to 39 –> Obese (Class II)
- 40 or more –> Obese (Class III)
There are a couple of limitations with the BMI. One, it does not show the difference between body fat and muscle. Someone with a lot of muscle (body builder) may have a BMI in the unhealthy range, but still be healthy with little risk of developing health issues. Two, it may not accurately reflect the weight health of someone that is very short (under 5 feet) and in older people (80+). For the rest of us the BMI is a reliable indicator as to our physical weight health.
What should you do if your BMI is too high?
If your BMI is from 26 to 29 – start a weight loss program and increase your physical activity level.
If your BMI is from 30 to 34 – take your weight seriously as you are at a RISK of health issue, start a good weight loss program NOW and become more active.
If your BMI is from 35 to 39 – you are at a HIGH RISK of health issues. You need to address your diet with a weight loss program and include your doctor at each stage of your progress.
If your BMI is 40 or more – your health is at EXTREME RISK (DEATH!). Contact your doctor NOW and work to get your weight under control.
The last of the magic numbers is your Calorie Maintenance Level (CML) and it is the key number in a weight loss program. The CML is based on many factors and is specific to each person’s height, weight and activity level. Since the effectiveness of your weight loss program depends on this number, it is important that it be as accurate as possible. What is the CML? It is the total number of calories you need to consume each day to maintain your CURRENT weight. Lets say your CML is 2608 calories for your current weight. To start losing weight, change your daily calorie intake to a value less than your current CML (target around 500 calories less). The decrease will trigger your body to find the missing calories from body fat to try to maintain your current weight at that activity level. You should start seeing weight loss the first week, if not decrease your calorie intake a bit more and/or increase your activity level. The additional increase in demand for calories will start eating away at your fat deposits.