How much weight do I need to lose?

How much weight do I need to lose to attain a healthy body mass? The standard weight charts tell that due to my height (5’10”), frame size (medium), and gender (male), I should weigh from 151 to 163 lbs. Really? I mean I currently weight 213 lbs. Do I really need to lose 50 lbs?

The weight charts do not take into account lean body mass (and no, I’m not saying that I’m 200+ lbs. of muscle). So, given my body fat percentage and a realistic goal of attaining a weight consisting of 20% body fat, how much do I really need to lose?

The answer requires a means for measuring body fat and some math. I have a scale at home that measures my weight and body fat and currently I am 213.2 lbs., 33% of which is fat. Here is a formula to find my ideal body weight:


Where Wc is my current weight, Fc is my current body fat percentage, Wg is my goal weight, and Fg is my goal body fat percentage. My ideal body fat percentage for my gender (again, male) and age (38) is between 8 and 19 percent.

Plugging in the numbers for my current weight and body fat and a goal body fat of 19% gives me:


The result is an ideal weight of 176.4. Slightly more than what the body fat charts recommend. Perhaps I do have some extra muscle? Maybe?

So, I need to lose about 37 lbs. Or, two Katos. My cat Kato currently weighs 17 lbs. I’m not going to go into whether or not he is at his ideal weight. He’s a big cat – not fat, just big. But, and more importantly, he’s heavy. If I lost the weight amounting to two Katos, think about the stress that would take off my medium frame? And that is the real goal.