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21 Nov 2005

Healthy Weight?
Dear Fitnessdoc,

I am 169m and weigh 73kg. My doctor has told me that I should loose about 2kg to be in the healthy region. I weighed 87kg in Jan this year. According to various website I should weigh between 58kg and 70kg (max). My question is - Why is there so much discrepency? I really carry most of my weight in the stomach area. Someone's also told me that I have large bones and should consider this in determining my healthy weight. Is this true? Apparently you can test if you have big bones by seeing how easily your index & thumb fit around your wrist. Mine just makes it around. Is this just pure nonsense?

I appreciate you expert opinion :-)
Answer 573 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Sophie

There's so much discrepancy because unless you can do very detailed (and very expensive) complete body analysis, it's difficult to say how much of your weight is fat, bone, muscle, water etc. The key is obviously to have the minimum of fat, maximum of lean mass, but a scale can't tell you this. So what they have come up with is a BMI, or body mass index, which sets up ranges, so that certain people are not discriminated against. Someone with higher bone density and more muscle, for example, will weigh more, even though they have less fat. So if you had a very narrow range for body mass, it would exclude these people. So, the ideal range for BMI is between 20 and 25. BMI is calculated by dividing your mass by the height squared. So in your case, the BMI at a mass of 73 kg is 25.6, which is only just above the normal range. Considering that it used to be 30.5, you have done amazingly well! But, it probably is true that you can lose a few more kilograms, just be eating well and continuing to exercise. Having bigger bones doesn't make up that much extra weight - people often use it as an excuse, but it's not really that valid - most people will get down below 24 quite comfortably, and perhaps your goal should be to reach the high 60's and you will have done brilliantly. As for the thumb fit idea, it has no basis as far as I know and so I wouldn't worry about it at all, just keep doing what you have been and the weight will come off until you reach the ideal'
GOod luck
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