General Diet Plans and Questions - Goals: Weight VS Clothing Size

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09-06-2011, 07:14 AM
I was wondering if it would be better to have a clothing size as a goal (let's say, a clothing size in a particular brand, since sizes vary) or if a weight goal is more appropriate? I keep thinking about it and can't decide. On one hand, it's good to have a number to keep oneself in check, but on the other hand, the number can "lie"...water weight and muscle gain/loss.


09-06-2011, 08:57 AM
For now, I'm focusing solely on clothing size rather than scale (as you can see from my ticker). I tend to give the scale too much power, and in truth, that's counterproductive since the scale can be affected by all sorts of factors other than how I did that week on my eating and exercise. Also, I figured that what I really want is to fit comfortably into a size 8 (which I'll only believe when my closet is full of size 8's, not a mix of 10's and 8's). I know others feel as if going by size is too loosey-goosey. Maybe I'll feel that way one day, but for now, I'm staying away from the scale.

09-06-2011, 09:02 AM
I think you need to have both. The actual number goal for obvious reasons, but also clothing size because many times you hit a platue and no matter what you do the scale wont budge but because you are working out more you lose inches and the clothes size you see a big difference. You need a couple of ways I feel to measure your progress so you dont get discouraged

09-06-2011, 10:11 AM
I have both. I want to be at a healthy BMI AND be a size 8 or less. Here's the problem, though, both the scale and going by clothing sizes has a lot of faults.

When it comes to the scale you're always going to have water weight fluctuations and it can't tell you your percentage of body fat (the scales that try to do that are pretty inaccurate) so if you're very athletic and lift heavy you could look VERY different than someone with the same BMI as you. Also it tells you nothing of your frame size, which should also play a role when determining your goal weight.

That being said the scale is probably the easiest measurement. You can step on it every day and see progress over time (assuming you know enough about your body's natural fluctuations). If you're 10lbs heavier than your goal weight (and it's not TOM), well that's probably a good indication that you need to lose a bit more. Now a few pounds above can be explained away so again it's not that percise.

Clothing size is REALLY tricky. What probably makes the most sense is going by measurements. Using myself as an example, I have a large chest and even when I've been at my goal weight there are certain clothes that I can't wear and I just won't get down to a very small shirt/dress size without some sort of breast reduction. However, I can get to a smaller pants size and I can have a goal waist size. So for me I've set measurements that I'd like to be under taking my body shape into account (I'm almost an hourglass).

Another thing too. Within the same brand a smaller size might not fit you well. Let's say you have wide hips and your favorite brand was cut for more slender hips. This might work well at higher weights because you were more evenly proportioned but your body shape might be a pear shape and it's ideal weight and you'd end up just losing more weight up top instead of on your bottom. I posted this link awhile back here already: but in there it discusses sizing and how women gain weight and sometimes your body shape does change as you gain. Unfortunately, we don't always gain proportionally and ditto when we lose. (here's where I posted it on 3FC so there's some discussion about it there ).

09-06-2011, 11:00 AM
Clothing sizes vary crazily . I used weight as a goal and still do in maintenance. I have clothes in my closet that vary 2 -3 sizes and they all fit.

April Snow
09-07-2011, 07:32 PM
I don't have a final weight goal but I do have a clothing size in mind for where I'd like to be. That is to be completely out of plus sized clothing. I am top heavy so right now, I was a 1-2X top but misses 16 bottoms. I think I have a long way to go before I'm out of those plus sized tops though, so for right now, I am focusing on small increments - mostly losing 10% of my current body weight although my next milestone after I hit that will be Onederland which will get to be it's own mini-goal.

09-07-2011, 08:18 PM
I have a weight goal and a clothing goal. Truthfully I only weigh myself 1-2 times a month because I can't handle the fluctuations and maintain any level of sanity. Also, I get too obssessed, weighing multiple times throughout the day. Having said that, I have put more emphasis on a clothing size. Size 4. I am in a 6 comfortably, with a couple 6s loosening up. So I guesstimate another 15lbs to be a comfortable 4. The clothing size matters more to me.

09-07-2011, 08:45 PM
I have both goals as well. I want a healthy BMI (which is about 155 for me) and would like to see a size 8 or less. I've been told by several people that I carry my weight well, meaning I don't look like I weight as much as I do, so both are important goals.

I'm 210 and in a loose size 14. Based on 10-15lbs per dress size, I would probably look good at 170 but I want the healthy BMI too.

09-08-2011, 05:18 AM
I just have a weight goal because I like these clothes and do not particularly look forward to throwing them out. But really, in general, the goal of a diet is to look thinner, not to weigh less. And when people look at you, they don't read your weight on your forehead, they see your size.

09-16-2011, 06:25 PM
I think a pant size goal is a good idea. I'm a 14 and hope to reach a 6/8. What's your goal size?

09-28-2011, 12:26 AM
Like many people have said, I think it's good to have both. Yet, there are some different issues with both. With weight goals--obviously there will be water weight and muscle density that will throw off the calculations from day to day. With size weights though, the problem is that nearly every store runs on different sizes. So a size 4 in one clothing store is equivalent to a size 8 somewhere else, and a size 2 somewhere else. So it's really tricky to do size goals, even more-so than I would say weight goals. At least with weight goals, you know you are within 5lbs or so, taking the water weight/muscle into account.

That being said, I have both :-) But i've made my size goal in one specific brand of clothing so that I can really measure my progress with some sense of accuracy.