Weight Loss Support - Setting Reasonable Goal Weight

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09-13-2011, 09:41 AM
I'm just getting restarted. One of the things that I believed has tripped me up in the past is going gung-ho at losing weight without thinking things through and having a solid plan with milestones.

So, as I'm ramping up the exercise and eating/drinking healthier - I want to be more deliberate in how I measure progress.

How did all of you come to your ending weight goals?

My motivation for beginning again was stepping on the scale and seeing 250.0 -- at that moment I decided this STOPS NOW!

MY gut reaction is to set my GW at 150.0 because it's a nice round number and seems both overwhelming as a whole, but obtainable in small steps (10 x 10lbs or 20 x 5lbs).

I'm 5'7". My lowest weight ever was 135 in late high school, but honestly I had a very unhealthy lifestyle (depravation/binging/overexercising). Over the last few years I've fluctuated between 215 and 240ish. The lowest I've been since college is 195.

I'd appreciate any suggestions....or insights into how you set your goal weight!


09-13-2011, 09:49 AM
I'm only 2 weeks into my weight loss/lifestyle change, so no expert, but I figure a series of 3 goals might work the best?

Like, I want to lose 30lbs, but that's not gonna disappear in a couple months. So, 15lbs is my mini goal and I think when I reach it, I'll feel like the next 15 (and maybe beyond!) will be a piece of cake. (haha... the irony)

09-13-2011, 09:49 AM
Good luck! It seems like you put a lot of thought into your goal weight :) However the beauty of a goal weight is that you can change it if you need to!

I've never been thin in my life. I don't know what I would look like at a normal weight, so it was difficult for me to decide on a goal. I first decided to set my goal at the highest possible weight for the healthy bmi range for my height—140lbs.

I'm pretty close to that number now and a few days ago I decided that I probably wouldn't be completely satisfied at 140lbs, nor would I likely be at my goal size of a 4/6. I moved it to 130lbs and while I'm going to shoot for that number, I think I'm going to move into the 130s with the mindset that I can STOP if I feel I'm satisfied (although, honestly? Saying I lost 70lbs would be awesome ;))

09-13-2011, 09:51 AM
I think most people just aim for a healthy BMI. Of course that's a lot easier said than done since every body is different and the BMI scale is kinda flawed.

My goal weight is based on the BMI scale and just into the healthy weight range for my frame size. It's not concrete or anything. I might get to 160 and find I'm completely happy there. I might make it to 150 and decide I can go even further.

It's not really about the number for me. 150 is just a guideline. It's about getting to a size and into shape where I feel good about my body.

You can of course set a number, but at the end of the day it shouldn't be the center focus of your journey. =)

09-13-2011, 11:03 AM
I would not worry about your goal weight yet. I would set a shorter intermediate goal. I think if you go over to the maintainers forum you'll find most of them changed their goal as they approached.

Set a goal of 10%. When you get there set another goal. etc.

09-13-2011, 11:03 AM
I am also 5'7" and set 150 as my initial goal weight.

The nice thing about a goal weight is that it can change as your body changes.

09-13-2011, 11:15 AM
Why not set your initial goal weight to 190? Knowing that you've beat your lowest since college is a wonderful milestone.

I lost weight a couple years back and 172 was the lowest I hit, and I was pretty happy there. So, I set my current goal at 170. When I get to 170 I may decide to go lower, I may not, I may stay at 170 and try to maintain it for a while. The healthy BMI for my height is 140, that doesn't mean that's where I want to be, maybe higher, maybe lower.

09-13-2011, 11:31 AM
Welcome! Losing a lot of weight can be overwhelming, so I set a few: 10%, lowest adult weight, 'overweight' category, and ultimate. Ultimate goal takes me just out of the overweight BMI category and 164 is the weight I got down to in high school that I was very happy at. :) These will all be very significant goals for me, though, and I want to celebrate each one sufficiently so it doesn't feel like such a huge undertaking.

Thighs Be Gone
09-13-2011, 11:38 AM
Hi there, Aletheia. I started with similar stats as you. My first goal was to leave obese category. I will never forget seeing that flashed onto the Wii screen in front of a room full of adults--wow, OBESE. I knew I must do something. I resigned myself to get out of that category. Once that was accomplished I was feeling better and began to exercise. I remember 165 being my goal for a while. As I lost the weight I became more aware of the shape my body could be in. I logged my eating and exercise and read all I could to understand what foods and drinks my body needed--how specific exercises could help and then restructured literally EVERYTHING to work to my benefit.

I finally chose my goal weight after lots of experimentation and education. I could not determine that when I was just starting. I just started and as the weight came off I readjusted my goal.

09-13-2011, 11:39 AM
My first big goal is 199 on my ticker....maybe you can shoot for that and readjust as you get there and keep going down. For me to set a goal of 150 is a little too undaunting for me. As you can see by my ticker, I have set small goals to achieve on the way, then I feel like I am getting somewhere.

09-13-2011, 11:40 AM
I have a goal weight. It's about the weight I was through most of high school and college. I thought I should lose weight back then, but anything more than that just seems unreasonable to me from this distant vantage point. Even that weight seems a little implausible from here. We'll see when I get closer.

The topic of your post is one that crops up pretty often, and I'm always a bit surprised by it. Yes, it's nice to envision how things will be, but it seems a little beside the point at the outset. It's like walking from NY to CA and trying to decide what time dinner should be served when you get there. It's long journey between here an there, and who knows what you'll encounter along the way. Just start heading west, and sort out the details of your arrival when you get closer.

Having a solid plan is a great idea, but also realize that you may need to adjust that plan. Life can throw obstacles at you, and you need to have the flexibility in your mindset to keep on going even if you get thrown off track now and then.

OK, I'll quit with the metaphors! Good luck to you!

09-13-2011, 12:03 PM
Thank you all --- you've given me a lot to think about!!! I appreciate all of your insights. I think I'm (for now) sticking with th 100lb overall goal --- but giving myself permission to adjust that on an ongoing basis.

Here's what I currently see as my milestones along the way:
M1: 235 - 15 lbs lost (Target:10/6/2011 trip to DISNEY)
M2: 222 - 10% lost/Into Class 1 (Target: 11/24/2011 - THANKSGIVING)
M3: 199 - 50 lbs lost/Onederland
M4: 190 - Out of Obesity/Lowest Adult Weight
M5: 175 - 75 lbs lost
M6: 159 - Into Healthy Range
M7: 150 - 100 lbs gone!/Initial Goal Weight

And then of course, I will be setting mini-goals/joining challenges along the way. I find the challenges VERY motivating!

09-13-2011, 12:05 PM
I'm just getting restarted. One of the things that I believed has tripped me up in the past is going gung-ho at losing weight without thinking things through and having a solid plan with milestones.

I don't have a numerical goal weight at all. I don't even really have intermediate numerical goals (though I admit that both reaching 200, and reaching 100 pounds lost, felt a bit like intermediate goals as I approached them).

That doesn't mean I don't have a solid plan - but the plan is focused on what I do, not what I weigh. After all, I have more control over my behavior than I have over how my body responds to that behavior. I have found that I can't plan to lose X amount of weight - I don't have control over that, sometimes I lose and sometimes I don't. But I can plan to eat a certain way, to exercise a certain way, to make certain choices, to work at setting up my environment to reduce the opportunities for making worse choices.

Numbers are great, for what they are worth - I weigh myself every day, and I do use them as a measure of my progress. But I urge you to consider building your plan and your goals around behaviors, because these and only these are within your control. If you meet your behavioral goals, the numbers will follow.

09-13-2011, 12:15 PM
There are two ways to determine your goal weight.

1) Check out pictures of women your age/height/body type and choose how you want to become. Take their weight then as your goal weight

2) Find your healthy Bmi range. That is quite easy. Go to a site that calculates bmi and find which weights are bmi 25 and which are bmi 19 for you. Any weight within that bracket is healthy for you and supposedly sustainable.

Good luck! :hug:

09-13-2011, 12:19 PM
I've been at different goal weights in my adult life. When I was in my 20s, I wanted to weigh 120. In my 30s, 130 sounded reasonable. Now that I'm in my 40s (almost 50), 140 sounds perfect. Now, I don't want to keep raising my goal weight up every decade I age, so 140 it is!

I've been 130 in my 40s for a bit, but I really had a hard time maintaining that weight. Then you have to take into account that I have gained and lost a lot of weight numerous times over the years and have had 2 children. Losing too much weight leaves the skin on the tummy looking really crepey and loose. And the wrinkles on the face look more pronounced. And at 130 my butt got too flat, the girls hardly filled their size B-cups and my face was looking a bit gaunt.

I don't have the money for a tummy tuck, so I'll have to be happy with a higher goal weight to not look so loose and crepy. Plus, it's a bit easier to maintain. I'd be a size 6, which is just fine by me.

09-13-2011, 12:50 PM
I'm a big fan of mini-goals (I have my listed in my signature) but basically I just picked weights that had a significance to me in some way or another.

I picked my listed goal weight for similar reasons to you in that it was 100lbs less than my highest weight. I was also 140lbs in high school and was very athletic then. However, my eating habits were WAY off (I don't think I ate a lot of calories but I ate very unhealthy foods) so I think between working out in a more efficient manner now-a-days and eating well it would be something I could easily maintain. HOWEVER; my main goal is to get to 155lbs now. I'm weight lifting (didn't in high school) and have been doing so for about half a year now so I can imagine by the time I get to a healthy BMI I might be content earlier on than 140lbs.

I also want to be in at least a size 8 or smaller and have a 28" waist or smaller so if that comes before 140lbs, I might just stop there. ;)

09-13-2011, 12:58 PM
The mini-goals are a good idea--but be careful with the date deadlines! Those can be really discouraging if you don't meet them.

(And to be honest, losing 15lb in the next 3 weeks is likely to be a very tall order...I will be happy if I lose 2-5 pounds in that time period.)

09-13-2011, 01:12 PM
I didn't want to have a scale goal. I had a jeans size goal of 4. Everyone kept bugging me for a scale number though, including my doctor. So I got my math geek DH to help me figure out what I would most likely need to weigh to be a size 4. At that time he had figured 110-120, so 115 was born. It also happens to be in the middle of healthy BMI for me. Right now I am a size 8/9 at 162 and dropping a size nearly every 10 pounds so it looks like I may get to a 4 before I get to 115. I've never been thin, so I have no idea what I will think when I get there. Maybe I will change my scale goal, maybe I will change my jeans goal, maybe I will change both, who knows! Whatever you set it at now is not set in stone. You can change it. Mini goals are definitely helpful. I have used many of them and continue to do so. I didn't figure out all of my mini goals ahead of time though. I think of a new one each time I reach one. Some are obvious ones, like my current 100 pounds lost. I also find having goals that aren't scale related to be helpful. Right now I am working on being able to do 10 double burpees in a row, 50 push-ups, unassisted pull-ups, and running 5K. I also set goals like trying at least 1 new healthy recipe each week.

09-13-2011, 03:20 PM
I did much the same thing as FitGirlyGirl; I decided that I wanted to be somewhere around a size eight, and then determined while talking to a friend that it'd likely be somewhere around 150 pounds. Hence my goal was born. . .about four months into my plan. It puts me at a normal BMI--somewhere around 23-ish.

Before that, my goal was simply to weigh less than yesterday. I might adjust as the long-term goal gets closer. But, really, in terms of it being healthy. . .just pick something in the normal BMI area, or a size you'd be happy with. Adjust as you approach.

09-13-2011, 03:35 PM
The mini-goals are a good idea--but be careful with the date deadlines! Those can be really discouraging if you don't meet them.

(And to be honest, losing 15lb in the next 3 weeks is likely to be a very tall order...I will be happy if I lose 2-5 pounds in that time period.)

Absolutely great point! I should probably mention that I've been working on it for a couple of weeks....my current weight is 240.8. 5.8 pounds in 3 weeks seems much more likely and reasonable than 15lbs! :p

I'm going to have to think through some non-scale goals too. In my head, I've always wanted to be a size 8. But I haven't been there in so long, that I can't remember what that is actually like.

April Snow
09-13-2011, 04:20 PM
I should probably mention that I've been working on it for a couple of weeks....my current weight is 240.8. 5.8 pounds in 3 weeks seems much more likely and reasonable than 15lbs!

phew, glad to read this!! lol! Yes, that's a reasonable goal - enough to work hard for but not outrageous.

fwiw, as someone who has never been thin since I was in elementary school, I have no idea what weight is going to look and feel good to me. So I'm breaking things down into similar increments as you - mostly focusing on 10% at a time, but with with certain milestones like 199, and no longer being obese (191, which happens to also be exactly 70 lbs for me). My general idea is that once I lose 10% four times, I'll be down to 172 and I'll have a better sense of how much more I want to lose, and probably switch to 5 or 10 lb increments until I hit the right place.

09-13-2011, 04:30 PM
for me it is to be 149... I want to be in the healthy range for me! I might adjust later. I just started week 5 so I have many weeks to go! Good luck!

09-13-2011, 11:32 PM
It's so hard to set a goal weight. I know I have mine listed at 125lbs, but that may or may not prove reasonable. I've never been thin...ever. My lowest weight that I can recall was 127lbs when I was 15 years old...I didn't eat and was miserable. I had lost from 145lbs to get to that point...I gained all that back before I graduated from high school, but got down again to 130lbs in colllege...again, not healthy, was on a 500cal/day diet. I was using Fitday.com to count calories at the time and can go back and look at what I was eating...wow that was not healthy at all. I also have these notes I was writing myself on there...apparently I was still fat at 130lbs :(

Now I'm trying to do this in a healthy way through balanced nutrition and exercise. I think if I ever get down in the 125-130lbs range again I will look fantastic, but would really, really like to be under 120lbs. My max acceptable weight is 145lbs to be in the 'healthy' range and even that seems too far away!

I should set up mini goals like some of you have done. That might be more encouraging than looking at huge daunting numbers!

09-14-2011, 08:54 AM
Aileen - Definitely make yourself some mini-goals. They are sooo important. I think that if when I started I had only looked at needing to lose 130 pounds I would quite probably be sitting here today needing to lose 130 pounds (or more). I didn't lose 83 pounds, I lost 10 then 15 then 20, then another 10, and so on. I started my most recent mini goal with 18.6 pounds to lose to get to it. I also set myself mini-mini-goals, like trying to get to the 150s this month.

09-14-2011, 11:12 AM
I had no idea what to set for my goal weight, so I asked my little sister! She's almost 3 years younger than me, and she has the perfect body. Our family has really wide hips and shoulders (seriously, it drives my sis crazy when we go clothes shopping, no fat on her body and sometimes she has to get up to size 8), and she told me she weighs around 145. So that's my goal! :P

Also, like everyone else said, mini goals are SO important. If you think "I need to lose 100 pounds" it can freak you out. But if you say "I want to lose 25 pounds in 4 months" or whatever your goal is, that seems much more do-able. My current goal is to be 175 by December, but then I broke it down more by the month so I can stay more on track.

Good luck, and remember it's not ALL about the numbers! It's about you being healthy and happy with yourself. :)

Larry H
09-14-2011, 12:10 PM
I picked my goal weight rather simplistically. I looked at the height / weight charts for my age group and selected a number in the middle. Now whether that is realistic or not remains to be seen. I have learned to be careful about telling people my goal because they all say it is too low and they try to talk me out of it.