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How do I decide what my goal weight should be?

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Hello! I am back again with a question on goal weight. I started with 99 kg and initially my surgeon had suggested 70 as a good weight to keep - this would still put me in an overweight BMI. The nutritionist I saw after surgery said that I should aim to 63 kg which is at the highest end of healthy BMI for me. I am now hovering between 62-63 but I still feel that I would like to lose a bit more, and I am finding the process of losing additional weight a bit slow. Which made me wonder whether my body thinks that I'm at a right weight now. In an ideal world, I think that 60 would make me feel great, specially around my middle which is still where fats accumulates the most.

I would appreciate any insights on how other people decided what final weight was ok to maintain. I have not started exercising routinely, and I have noticed that when I do, the weight loss starts again, so this may be a consideration.

Many thanks in advance!

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Because I had never been anything than overweight/obese that I could remember, I decided just to get to a normal BMI for my height and take it from there.  I was never given a goal weight (and never asked for one).

Once I got into the normal BMI range, I had a bone density test which showed that I had a below normal frame size.  My shoe size went from a 7 - 8 extra wide down to a 5 1/2.  My wedding ring went from an 8 down to a 4 at my lowest but ended up having it resized to a 4.5 - now it's back to a 4.

It's my experience that my body told me where I felt most comfortable with weight-wise but something I was not going to settle for was a weight that was above the normal range for my height.


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Great question - I wonder this for myself too.

I started out at 309lbs on a 5ft 10in frame.  

I started the liquid diet at 288 & had surgery at 275.

My nutritionist said I would lose 50% to 70% of my "excess" weight - she then did the math & said if I was "average" I would drop down to 216lbs.  I am a big tough guy & I almost cried when she said that.  I couldn't imagine 216 lbs.  I haven't been 216 lbs in 20 years.  

I set my goal weight at 220 because I was worried I wouldn't get there - but here I am 2 months post surgery & I'm 226 & still dropping like a stone. 

I also have not really started exercising that much (I walk 2 miles a couple of times per week - but not every week). 


I started playing around with a BMI calculator & found that my 220 goal still has me listed as obese - I need to get under 209 lbs to be considered 'over weight' & I need to be 174 lbs or lower to be considered "normal".   I haven't been 174 lbs since I was 18 & in high school.   


So I honestly do not think I can ever get close to 174 - not sure I would want to.  But I would LOVE to get down to 200.  I was 205 when I got married (almost) 27 years ago.  If I get there I'll be ecstatic. 


So - back to your original question - how do you set your goal weight?  Just take your best guess at what you feel is achievable and healthy for you!  Then see where your body takes you.  

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My surgeon set my original goal weight (shown in my profile) based on a calculation around the average percentage of weight loss for bariatric surgery and that number would have left me with a high BMI.  I decided to not pick a goal weight and figured I would wait and see how I feel, mostly because BMI or just weight are not really great metrics for long term health.

I think a better metric would be either height to waist ratio or percentage of body fat if you have access to a body composition scale.  Two years post-op and my body fat percentage has bounced between 17 and 20 percent (considered healthy) but my BMI is typically 25-26 considered "over weight".  I've had at least 12 lbs of weight fluctuation but have maintained a healthy body fat percentage and most importantly feel good and found a sustainable life style in the process.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Rob_VSG
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I set mine as something I hoped to obtain.  I didn’t want to fail.  Lol.  Set it where you feel healthy and comfortable.  

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If I remember correctly, my surgeon used the lowest weight I'd been as an adult as my goal weight (I had gotten down to 135 lbs when I was 19)- that's a BMI of 21.1, for reference. It ended up being roughly a good weight for me. I prefer myself a bit smaller (about 125 lbs, so BMI of 19.6), but the collective opinion is that I look healthier at around 130-135 lb. I found that my body naturally showed me a good, healthy weight. My weight loss slowly tapered off and my body stays around 135 with relative ease. If I watch my diet more closely and exercise consistently, then I'll go down to (my personal "happy" weight) 127 lbs. Ultimately, I think it really comes down to a combination of what's within a healthy range, what you feel best at and what is reasonable for you to maintain without a ridiculous amount of effort.

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My thoughts on goal weight are in a posting that I made a couple years ago on the Maintenance forum here at TTF:

At its core, I believe that success at maintaining weight once you reach your goal weight is about these things:

First, be sure that you set and then attain the right goal weight - not too high and not too low.  Weight charts and BMI calculators are almost useless in determining the right weight for a particular person.  The proper weight should just feel good and look good.  One person at TTF a few years ago referred to it as your weight "sweet spot."  The easiest way to find your proper goal weight is to keep losing weight until you are too skinny, and your goal weight is about 5 pounds more.  Try not to set a goal weight based on a vanity number or on what you may have weighed in high school or on a particular BMI.  While advice from your surgeon or NUT on a proper goal weight can be helpful, too often they will set a goal weight that is too high in order to make the goal attainable.  Remember, everyone can reach their ideal goal weight after weight loss surgery if they stick to a proper post-op diet; thus, there is no reason to accept a goal weight that is too high. Similarly, a goal weight that is too low can be unhealthy.  if you are all "skin and bones" then you probably need to gain a few pounds. 


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@Res Ipsa Thank you, you are right, I will try to get to the "sweet spot" based on how I look and feel.

@athenarose thanks! I think I need to lose more as I am at the very top of the healthy BMI, and feel that I can lose a bit more around my middle to feel normal and not overweight.

@Rob_VSG Wow, my body fat is 28% so way higher than yours. I will focus also on reducing that, as part of my goal weight.

@cinwa ; @Brass Monkey: @Cheesehead many thanks for the feedback. I will keep trying to lose a bit more to see how far I can get to. I will ask my doctor for a bone density test when I have my appointment in May, to see how I am doing with regards to bone health.




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