Sunday, December 16, 2007

Revised Weight Loss Goal

In considering where I am, currently, with my weight loss, versus what I still see in the mirror, it has occurred to me that perhaps my initial target weight of 190 lbs is a bit too high. I am presently at 206 lbs, as of yesterday. That's only 16 lbs above my initial target weight, yet, it's evident from what I'm observing, that I probably have at least an additional 20 lbs of fat left to lose before I reach my optimal lean body weight.

If that's the case, then my new target weight should be in the neighborhood of 186 lbs or so. In my thirties, I weighed in, at my leanest, at around 145 lbs. However, considering I gained muscle mass in my early-to-mid forties, I probably added at least 30 lbs of muscle tissue. Bear in mind that muscle tissue is more dense than adipose tissue (fat) and, thus, weighs more than fat. Even when my body was pretty lean, in my mid-forties, I probably had a higher percentage of body fat than I will have as a result of the Paleo Diet, when I get to the point at which I stabilize and begin maintaining my weight. As I recall, in my mid-forties my abdominal muscles were still covered by a thin layer of fat so they could not be revealed (a major source of frustration for me then) and, because I was on a high carbohydrate diet of mostly pasta and breads and very little meat, my triglycerides were high, in spite of my high exercise level. At that time, I weighed in at around 200 lbs or so.

Considering my dietary mistakes at the time, plus the additional fat loss I could have benefitted from then, I'd say my ideal lean body weight should be under 190 lbs, probably closer to 180 to 185 lbs.

Given that, I am resetting my target weight for 185 lbs and I'll see how I look and feel when I get there.

Now, there is just one complicating factor that needs to be taken into consideration, and it's one I've already mentioned: muscle weighs more than fat. So, as I continue to lose fat, I will also be gaining muscle, due to my coming Total Gym workouts. If this occurs, I'm sure it will mean, based upon past experience, not to mention exercise physiology, that my ideal lean body weight may actually creep upward. Instead of 185, I may find that, with added muscle mass, my ideal lean body weight comes out to more like 190 or 195 lbs. In fact, I may find it increasingly difficult to continue losing weight, while at the same time, I'm losing more fat. After all, the goal here is fat loss, not weight loss. Since weight can be composed of muscle, fat, even bone tissue, weight loss, in and of itself, is not an indicator of improving health.

So, I'll shoot for 185 lbs, for now, with the caution that added muscle mass may reduce the amount of weight loss necessary to reach a healthy lean state.