The Mathematics Behind Weight Loss

Easy Peasy………

In our recent 2021 resolutions survey just over 75% of you said you wanted to drop some pounds this year. This post is not about dietary strategies or shaming each other for the foods we eat. Each of you will choose tactics to lose weight, which could include more exercise, less sedentary behavior, more good foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, etcetera), less food overall and so on.

Before we start let’s determine just what our weight situation is. A universal measure of weight category is Body Mass Index or BMI. This index is not a perfect measure as your body type (bone structure and muscle mass) can affect the reading. But it is not a bad guideline. BMI is determined by weight and height. You calculate a number which places you on a range scale as outlined below.


Category

BMI Range
Severe Thinness<16
Moderate Thinness16-17
Mild Thinness17-18.5
Normal18.5-25
Overweight25-30
Obese Level 130-35
Obese Level 235-40
Obese Level 3>40
Courtesy of Calculator.net

I will not suggest that we should all be “Normal” nor will I recommend to anyone what their target should be. I am comfortable in sharing how I look at the index and what my goals are. When I started my “weight loss” resolution I was 198 pounds and a statuesque 5 foot seven. This gave me a BMI of 31.2, so in the Obese Class 1. My goal is to achieve a weight of 175 pounds, which as I laid out in a previous post, would be bring me to the mid range of normal body fat. My BMI at 175 would be 27.4, which is the midpoint of the overweight category. I am comfortable with that weight as I believe I have an above average level of muscle mass and the low 180’s is where I have been most of my adult life. You can calculate your own BMI using the link below.

http://BMI Calculator

Now let’s turn our attention to what it takes to lose weight. I used to think it was as simple as ingesting fewer calories that you burn. I now know it is way more complicated than that and I have been reading up on the topic. I will try to distill what I have learned in future posts.

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