Tag Archives: method

How Much Should You Weigh?

Is “Ideal Body Weight” important? What about the BMI?

I was not always the “Weight Loss Guru” who lost 140 pounds and kept it off for 30 years. Before I discovered how to succeed with permanent weight loss and wrote The Anderson Method, I was and out-of-control overeater for several decades, getting worse with each diet failure.

I’d have a moment of truth on a regular basis, usually after some health crisis. “This time I really mean it,” I’d say. “I gotta lose weight.” One time, as I approached age 30, I was in the doctor’s office on a follow-up to a “medical event” due to my weight. I was around 300 pounds after years of yo-yo dieting, and this serious health crisis in my late twenties really scared me. I was determined to change, I swore to the doctor.

“What weight do you think you should be?”, the doctor asked.

I thought for a moment and said “I’d be happy at 225”.

“No!”, he said. “You need to be under 185! 225 is way too much.” He handed me his dietician’s diet and sent me home feeling defeated even before I started.

Ignore people telling you what to weigh. Dismiss them. It’s not their body or their life. It’s none of their business!

That doctor was a jerk. And he weighed about 250 himself! He did me no favors discouraging me. Weighing 225 would have been a lot better than weighing 300. He might have helped if he had been encouraging. He discouraged me when I was open to change and set me back. I tried his dietician’s diet for about a day and gave up, like all the other times. I hated it, felt hopeless, and continued my unhealthy ways.

Sometime later, I learned how to succeed at permanent weight loss through principles he and his dietician knew nothing about. One of the important things I learned is that to be successful, you’ve got to work to be the weight you want to be, with foods and behavior patterns that you prefer, not someone else.

Pick a weight that you think you’d be happy with, and shoot for that. When you get there, you can decide if you want to lose more. That’s what I did, and it worked out fine.

You can become any weight you want to be, if it’s what YOU want.

You can’t lose weight to make someone else happy. You’ve got to do it for yourself. You’ve got to do it in ways you can live with.

I discovered methods to lose weight that are guaranteed to work when you learn and apply them, no if, ands or buts. They are based on the irrefutably reliable sciences of physiology and thermodynamics, and I discovered the psychotherapeutic techniques to make them possible to apply. Because I was doing it for myself, with my own chosen goals, foods, and eating patterns, I was able to muster the power to achieve them.

Don’t buy into “Ideal Body Weight” worship.

“Ideal body weight” was an idea cooked up by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1943 and embraced by the medical community. You saw it on that chart at the doctor’s office. It had the height and weight listed, and the standards we were all held to. It was developed as a result of actuarial studies that determined at what weight we had the lowest morbidity and mortality, what the very healthiest weight was for our height and frame size. Click here to see the 1999 version. There were also simple formulas that more or less coincided with the correlations the Metlife statistics revealed, changing a bit here and there over the years. Click here and scroll down the page to see the common formulas. Roughly, they equated to: 1) For women: 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height, plus 5 pounds per inch over 5 feet, and 2) For men- 106 pounds for the first 5 feet of height plus 6 pounds per inch over 5 feet.

You’ll notice (perhaps with horror, as I did) that these are really skinny weights! At 320 pounds, I could not even imagine myself at 180 or so. Most of my 5’4″ female clients are in shock when they hear they “should” weigh 120. They just about give up hope hearing that.

The reality is that you do not have to be the “Ideal Body Weight” to be healthy. Many people who are 20% or more above their IBW are perfectly healthy. Get to the weight you’d be happy with and then go to your doctor and find out what your bloodwork and vitals say. See what he or she says about your health at that weight. The heck with the ideal. Get to a happy weight. If the doctor says you need to lose more, ask why, and ask for the evidence that says it’s healthier. We know that real obesity, 150% of the IBW or more, is unhealthy, but the weight you’d be happy with? Where’s the proof that it is not OK?

How about BMI, the “Body Mass Index” that is used today?

The BMI is another measure that I can’t stand. Click here to see the BMI chart. It says I’m overweight at 6′ and 184 lbs.! An insult! It says my 5’4″ client is overweight at 128 lbs.! What an outrage!

Honestly, do we need these charts to tell if we need to lose weight? To be healthier? To be happier? I don’t think so.

Forget thinking you need to be at the weight the charts say. The heck with them. Just think about the weight you’d like to be, what weight you’d be happy with. Follow me, and you’ll get there. Then you can decide if you want to lose more weight. That’s what I did. With the right approach, using real science, reaching a healthy happy weight and maintaining it is absolutely possible, even enjoyable!

How I Lost 140 Pounds and Kept It Off For Three Decades

(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he developed his methods, and he’s kept it off for over 30 years. Read about his method in his book at the right, or listen to his audiobook, free sample provided here.)

After years of dieting failure, I had become convinced I was born to be fat.

In my early 30’s I had been trying to get control of my weight on and off for 25 years, with my first doctors diet at 7 years old. After 25 years of yo-yo dieting, I became convinced I was born to be fat. It was in my genes, my DNA, I thought, and no matter what I did, I’d be severely overweight. The problem was, it was killing me. If I was not able to change it, I was possibly near the end of my life, at 33, with young kids and a whole life to be lived if I were not obese.

When I was 33, all my years of learning bore fruit. I lost 140 pounds and have maintained an ideal 180 lbs. for 30 years. Here’s what happened.

In all those years of failed dieting and exercise attempts, I learned a lot. I learned about the sciences of nutrition and physiology, and that an obesity problem is really a lifestyle problem. If you habitually eat more calories than you burn, you’ll become chronically overweight, and the solution is in controlling your habits, developing habits where you eat fewer calories than you burn. The problem was, self-control didn’t work. I could not get control of my habits. They controlled me.

More important than learning about nutrition and physiology, was learning about behaviorism.

By serendipitous good fortune, I gravitated to the study of psychology when I was older. I learned that rather than choose our habits, we get unknowingly programmed by a process of conditioning and “hypnosis” that we really aren’t aware of. I became interested in addictions, sensing my habits were like them, and went into the work of helping people get control of their addictions and addictive behavior.

By applying the principles of science and behavior therapy, I developed and succeeded with a method that helps people change. It helped me to permanently solve my weight problem, and it’s helped others too.

Here’s what you need to know:

1) Your weight is the result of your energy balance. Eat more calories than you burn and you’ll gain weight. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you’ll lose weight.

2) To lose and manage weight, it requires more than just learning about the calories in food and what your body uses. You need to permanently acquire the habits of eating the right balance, so that weight management becomes automatic and natural.

3) Acquiring the right habits is not a matter of intellect and will power. It is a result of training and conditioning in technique from the behavioral sciences. It is a matter of learning how to program yourself and master that part of yourself that manufactures your desires, urges, habits and feelings.

4) Diets and exercise crusades don’t work. Doing something for a while, even if you lose weight, and then going back to “normal”, will make you worse, not better.

5) Success comes not from denying yourself pleasure and good food, but by forming habits that are more pleasurable, with food that you really like that causes you to become healthy and fit instead of overweight.

With study and effort, in time, you can become successful at permanent weight loss.

I have discovered methods that are scientifically proven to work if you are able to apply them. It’s not easy, just like learning to play an instrument, earn a degree or master a sport is not easy. But there is no maybe about the efficacy. I have never had a client not lose weight following what I teach.

I have volumes of information at my website (check the “Table of Contents” at the bottom left of the page) and I’ve written a book, now an eBook and audiobook, that explains everything I teach my clients. I hope it can help you too.

This story was first published on ThriveGlobal.com