Beating obesity part 6: Look at the numbers

The starting point for weight loss is clearly to determine what you actually weigh right now. I fully understand that doing that can be very scary but it is the only sure way to put yourself on the path to victory so suck it up and jump on that scale. Okay maybe don’t jump on the scale, perhaps gently placing yourself on the scale is a better idea. And by the way, just to keep it useful and consistent, whenever you weigh yourself do it the exact same way each time. Clothes on or clothes off doesn’t matter so long as it is the same each time. In the morning before breakfast or at night after dinner, just keep it the same for consistency. Now you have that all important starting number, your current weight.

Get on your scale and get started
Get on your scale and get started

Now you know where you are so the next step is finding out where you want to be. For that you need to determine what your ideal weight truly is. There are all manner of charts and books for this but there is also an easy to use and very good calculator available online. Here is an example of how it works. Using an adult male 5 feet 10 inches tall should ideally weigh between 155 and 165 pounds. An adult female 5 feet 2 inches tall should ideally weigh between 110 and 123 pounds. For females, of course, these numbers temporarily go out the window during a pregnancy.

Now that you found it online simply enter your gender, age and height and then click on “Calculate.” Instantly you will have a range of ideal weight using several different formulas. Now you know where you are and where you want to be. Next you need to begin putting together your specific plan and that is where calories play a big role.

The big question, how many calories should you consume daily in order to lose weight? The components needed to make that calculation include gender, age, height, current weight and activity level. Armed with that information all you have to do is plug into this web based calculator:

Walking with friends including Hollywood legend Johnny Crawford
Walking with friends including
Hollywood legend Johnny Crawford

Using that calculator we learn that a 40-year-old male, 6 feet tall and weighing 245 pounds who is moderately active will maintain his weight by eating 3,429 calories a day but will lose 2 pounds per week by reducing his calorie intake to 2,439. I firmly believe that 2 pounds per week is as aggressive as anyone should undertake. Also understand that as you do start losing weight the numbers will change so after every 10-pound loss you should probably recalculate the right numbers uniquely for you.

As you approach ideal weight the calories needed for further loss will approach the absolute minimum amount of calories recommended for sustaining good health.

The other important variable in this weight loss calculation is an honest understanding of your activity level. That you actually push buttons on your TV remote does not change your activity level from sedentary to active. However, if you have started the previously recommended minimum activity of walking briskly for 30 minutes twice a day every day you do qualify for moderately active.

If you also in addition to the walks engage in other activities such as tennis, or bicycle riding, of playing softball a couple times each week you probably can call yourself active or possibly even very active. Just avoid the all too common temptation to overstate your true activity level.

loselovefrontIt is also very important that you also avoid the temptation to reduce your caloric intake by an amount greater than that needed to produce a loss of 2 pounds per week. Yes, doing so can result in more rapid weight loss, but by becoming over aggressive it is a near certainty that you will at some point bounce back to a weight even greater than you started with.

The goal is to establish a solid new lifestyle that is comfortable and will, over time, become fully integrated in your daily life, thus assuring not only necessary weight loss but equally as important that right conditions to maintain healthy weight once it has been achieved. This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

You can, at any time, get your very own copy of my true and real guide to effective and permanent weight loss, Lose Live available at, and Just be sure to keep checking in right here for regular updates. And if you have a question or comment for me please send your email to:

Copyright © 2016 Ron Irwin


Photos by Ron Irwin unless otherwise noted

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