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Old 05-02-2007, 03:13 PM   #1
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Question What is more important?

Your BMI or your weight? I had gastric bypass and when I started this whole adventure weighed 297 lbs. I am now 149 lbs. The doctor suggested a weight of 150lbs as my goal but at my height this is still overweight when it comes to my BMI. Now that I reached this goal I am considereing losing more and getting down to 130 lbs. But I really don't understand why the doctor would suggest a weight that is still considered overweight.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:18 PM   #2
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I don't know why a doctor would suggest a weight that is still overweight. I am 5'8" and my doctor suggested I get down to 135. If I weighed on the high end 164 would still be a normal weight for my height. I am also large boned. I really don't care what I end up weighing as long as I'm a healthy weight. If I never make it to 135 then my body didn't want to be that weight. Do you feel like you're at a healthy weight? Do you want to lose more? Those are probably only questions you can answer.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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I'm going to blow some people's minds, I'm sure, but I'm going to say that NEITHER number is the most important. I would say your body fat percentage is the best number you could go by. Some people are just naturally heavier than others (more muscle and such), but if you have a healthy body fat percentage, then you have enough muscle to support your weight, even if it is too high for some doc's charts. BMI only takes into account your height and your weight--IMO, it's a pretty crappy indicator of health. There are plenty of people with a "healthy" BMI who are more flab than muscle, and yet others who have an "overweight" BMI who have lots of muscle and a great and healthy level of body fat.

If you needed a "number" to go by, I'd have your body fat percentage checked and try to track that (using skin fold calipers, not those electrical impedence scales). Otherwise, I'd get to a weight at which you are COMFORTABLE and satisfied. If that number happens to be a few pounds higher than the doc's charts, so be it--no one can argue that you're not a million times healthier than BEFORE you lost any weight!
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:57 PM   #4
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Funny thing with doctors isn't it? Mine set a goal weight for me of 150 pounds. At my last check up I was telling him that my greatest fear is that I will get to 175 pounds (the lowest weight I have been my whole adult life) and feel so good that I'll quit, not finish the job. This would still definately be overweight for me by BMI standards. Here's the kicker! He (the dr) told me he would be thrilled if I got down to 175! I think the bottom line is he doesn't really believe that I can do it. Or will take whatever loss I can come up with as I would be healthier than I am now. He also thinks I exercise too much. I do cardio 6 days/week. He told me to stop losing weight at 175 I'd have to cut back my exercise or "eat a couple of cheeseburgers a week". Can you believe he said that?

Bottom line. Doctors are not always weight loss experts.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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Well, IMHO, both numbers are important. But the truly A+ test is whether or not you're HAPPY, and whether or not you're COMFORTABLE.

To me, that's the trueness of getting to any goal weight.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:25 PM   #6
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I think that I agree with jillybean that body fat percentage is pretty important.

BMI is just a general guideline--without any individuality taken into account. Weight on a scale is also just one measure--one could have an ideal weight and still have a high body fat percentage. Or one could have a good weight but have lost muscle mass and even bone mass, which wouldn't be very good either.

At the same time, who decides what is a "correct" body fat percentage? All of these are only general statistics.

Sometimes if a person is older, they may not be able to lose weight below a certain level and keep it that low. But I'm just making a guess. The only way to know why a doctor would say anything is to ask that doctor!

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Old 05-02-2007, 04:32 PM   #7
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Check out this article that Meg posted today. Very interesting.

Article - When determining who’s fat, is BMI bunk?
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:35 PM   #8
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At my short height, the BMI scale says I could get down to 95 pounds and still be 'normal', but I don't think so. I've got too much muscle in my lower body for that to happen, plus I've never been able to sustain my weight below 105.

Since you're still in diet mode rather than maintenance, why don't you see how low your body wants to go. Then try maintaining it for several months. The Maintainers forum has great support once you get there.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:06 PM   #9
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I agree that BMI is bunk. For example, my lean mass alone (ie: 0% body fat) would put me in the "healthy" category, according to my BMI. I sincerely doubt that 0% body fat is healthy! I mean, I suppose I'm not taking into account the fact that I would have to lose lean muscle mass to get down to that weight...but I don't really see that as healthy loss for me.


EDIT: Hold the phone here. From the article...
Quote:
...could have a BMI suggesting they were overweight yet still have healthy levels of body fat, defined as less than 20 percent fat in men and 33 percent in women.
Is that true?! Is under 33% really considered to be the "healthy" level? That seems a bit high to me. (If it is, then -- WOOHOO! I have a healthy %-age of body fat! ...but that sounds way too good to be true.)
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:25 PM   #10
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Here are the body fat guidelines for women from the American Council on Exercise (ACE):

Essential Fat: 10-12 percent
Athletes: 14-20 percent
Fitness: 21-24 percent
Acceptable: 25-31 percent
Obese (or high risk): over 32 percent

So yes, anything under 32% is considered to be acceptable.

Personally, I'd rather say that anything under 25% is a better 'healthy' guideline. Regardless, if you're under 32%, you're doing great!
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
Here are the body fat guidelines for women from the American Council on Exercise (ACE):

Essential Fat: 10-12 percent
Athletes: 14-20 percent
Fitness: 21-24 percent
Acceptable: 25-31 percent
Obese (or high risk): over 32 percent

So yes, anything under 32% is considered to be acceptable.

Personally, I'd rather say that anything under 25% is a better 'healthy' guideline. Regardless, if you're under 32%, you're doing great!
Wow, that made my day. Thanks! I'm definitely aiming for lower, of course.

Sorry for the topic hijack, btw.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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I got so excited about this topic that I went to the gym and said, "Hey, measure my body fat percent." I hadn't had it done in a long time. Well, here's the result:

When I was 198 lbs: 44.30%

Now, 164 lbs: 34.10%



It is really hard to drop fat %--I am STOKED!

Jay
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:47 PM   #13
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Jay, that's awesome!
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:30 PM   #14
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Please excuse the hijack. To the OP: You've lost an incredible amount of weight! Congrats!

---------Start Hijack-------------------------
Gosh Jay, I wish I could do that at my gym. (I think I'll ask them tomorrow.) I just input my info into several different online body fat calculators and got widely varying responses. The highest I got was 31%, which is way too high for me--I'm not even close to borderline obese. It didn't ask my height. (Duh, 38" hips might be big on a 5'2 woman, but they are not huge on someone who is 5'9!). Another said 20% and the rest were somewhere in between. Ho hum. I guess I'm somewhere between athletic and obese Sounds about right.

It's not super-important, but it would be nice to be able to get an acutal measure, so that I can see objectively when I've lost fat and replaced it with muscle.
-----------End Hijack--------------------------------
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Last edited by baffled111 : 05-02-2007 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:36 PM   #15
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Baffled, you're a good example of why I think online BF calculators are worthless. Your gym will be able to give you a much better idea of what your BF% truly is. If possible, ask them to caliper you rather than using a bioelectrical impedance device - it's more accurate but takes time and skill. The most accurate BF reading of all - besides underwater testing - is a 9 site caliper test. 3 and 4 site are good also, but not quite as accurate.
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