Ideal Weight or Happy Weight?

Maybe you don’t like the way your clothes fit or how you look in the mirror. Perhaps your doctor has told you that losing weight is important for your health. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to work on losing weight. But how much weight do you need to lose?

Ideal Weight

There are a variety of websites that will help you calculate your “ideal weight” for your height. Some people choose an “ideal weight” by looking at their past and when they were the most happy with the way they looked. The truth, however, is that you may not need to lose as much weight as you think to enjoy the many benefits of weight loss.

The 10% Weight Loss Goal

Experts say that losing just 10% of your body weight if you’re overweight can bring about a wide range of health benefits. Losing 10% of your current weight can lower your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Losing 10% of your body weight helps reprogram your body’s natural weight “set point.” Much like your body regulates an average body temperature, it also works naturally to keep your weight within a 10 to 20% range. That range is known as your set point.

If you lose too much weight at once, your body may fight this weight loss because it’s outside of your normal set point range. Hormones like ghrelin may spike to make you hungrier, which is your body’s way of trying to get you back into the comfortable range. However, if you lose just 10% of your body weight and work to maintain that weight for a few months, your body will get the signal to lower your set point, making it easier for you to keep the weight off permanently. Once you’ve reset that natural range, you can set a new goal of losing another 10% of body weight and working on lowering your set point further.