The Ideal Body Weight Pisses Me Off: Time To Get Back In Shape!

If there's ever a time to have the ideal body weight, it's during a global pandemic! All the studies have shown that those who are overweight or obese have a much tougher time combatting the coronavirus. If you're in better shape, you increase your chances of living or at least recovering quicker.

Another thing to think about is maintaining an ideal body weight once you've reached financial independence. Once you're financially independent, a big goal should be to be as fit as possible in order to live as long as possible.

In any discount cash flow analysis, it is the terminal value that often makes up the largest portion of a company's value. The longer you can extend the terminal value, the wealthier you will be!

In other words, to be rich and out of shape is irrational. Yes, when you are rich, it's easier to hire people to mow your lawn, drive you around, and eat all the buttery steaks you want. However, it makes more sense to get in ideal weight to give yourself a higher chance of living a longer life.

Don't risk your family's future. Get an affordable term life insurance policy through PolicyGenius. PolicyGenius will help you find the best plan for the lowest price tailored to your needs. Use no-obligation quotes to get the best rate possible.

My Weight Battle And The Desire To Get To Ideal Weight

I went to play tennis on New Year's day to lose some weight I had gained during the holidays. After a two-hour match, I hit again for another 1.5 hours the very next day. I'm not delusional to think that after two days I would lose any amount of weight. However, I stubbornly got on the scale before and after anyway.

Hoping to see a loss of at least a pound, the damn scale betrayed me. In two days, I had gained 5 pounds from 168 lbs to 173 lbs!

How the hell does someone gain 3% more body weight in just 48 hours.  I could blame the flashing “battery” signal on the scale. However, that's just an excuse.

At 5 feet 10 inches tall, 173 lbs is a lot to carry on the tennis court. Kei Nishikori, a professional tennis player who is my height weighs 155 pounds. Meanwhile, I remember being cut in high school at 150 pounds.

Ever since my trip to India in 2008, my weight hasn't fluctuated more than seven pounds (162-169). But now I've broken this range with all the crap I've been eating. I feel bad for disrespecting all the poverty I witnessed while in India.

It finally took two kids and a pandemic to become overweight. How sad!

I don't accept mediocrity in my work. Therefore, why do I accept being overweight and mediocre in my health? It makes no sense at all.

Mission To Achieve The Ideal Weight

I don't want to be another big blogger. My field has a disproportionate number of folks who can't run two consecutive miles even with an angry three-legged bear roaring after them. At least we got sexy fingers!

As a result, as of today, I swear I will get back to the ideal weight for my frame and height. My ideal weight is around 165 pounds.

So how do we find the ideal weight? There are numerous factors that go into determining what your ideal body weight should be.

Based on an average of four sites I checked out (,,,,'s estimates look to be the most accurate and reasonable.

One site had a lower range of 129 pounds as a healthy weight for someone 5'10”. Unless the starvation look is back in, 129 pounds is certainly not an ideal weight for someone of my height and frame.

Let's take a look at the ideal weight charts for men and women. I plan to get back to my ideal body weight of 155 pounds while on sabbatical.

The Ideal Body Weight For Men By Height And Frame

Below is the ideal body weight for men by height and frame. If you are unsure of your frame size, then go with medium frame.

Height in Feet&InchesSmall FrameMedium FrameLarge Frame

As you can tell from the chart, at 173 pounds I'm up to 22 pounds overweight for my medium-size frame. I'd like to think that because I have large quads due to tennis, I'm not that much overweight. However, that's just another stupid excuse!

A couple of years ago, when I was closer to 168 pounds, my doctor said I was at a healthy weight. However, I had ~17% body fat, which was double what it was 20 years ago. In other words, my doctor was just being nice. He thought I couldn't handle the truth.

If he had given it to me straight that I was at least 5 pounds overweight, I could have been more focused on my diet. Alas, I continued to slowly let myself go.

Ideal Body Weight For Women By Height And Frame

Below is the ideal body weight for women by height and frame. Again, go with the medium frame column if you are unsure about your frame size.

Height in Feet&InchesSmall FrameMedium FrameLarge Frame

Definition of medium-frame: Your middle finger and thumb just touch when you hold your wrist. You are large-framed if your fingers do not touch. You are small-framed if your fingers overlap.

Ideal Body Weight By BMI

Let's say you don't agree with the above ideal weight charts. That's OK. Let's check out what your body weight should be using the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation. Punch your height and weight into the BMI calculator and you will get your BMI number.

BMI Categories:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Of course, if you are a weightlifter or professional athlete with a lot of muscle, your BMI will likely be higher. Therefore, you can't just accept your BMI at face value.

You must make a judgement call! My BMI is 25, which is right at the beginning of Overweight. I'm also of average build. Therefore, I accept that I am indeed, overweight.

My Weight Loss Goal

From today forward, my mission is to get back to 165 pounds. At this weight, I will be firmly in the band of “ideal weight” for a medium-framed man at my height.

I know myself. There is no way in hell I'll be able to get back down to the 150s like I was in high school. I also am experimenting with decumulating wealth by spending more money on food. So the challenge to get down to 150 pounds will be impossible, therefore, I won't even try.

As someone who is currently on sabbatical, one of my goals is to focus on my physical and mental health. We should be risk-averse with our health because there's no guarantee we can make it back!

Reasons To Get Back In Shape

1) My children.

The main reason why I want to get back in shape is so that I can increase my chances of living a healthy life for the next 30 years.

I figure, in 30 years, both my children will have the education and wisdom to live independent lives. Further, my hope is that in 30 years, my children will both have found life partners. Financial independence and love. What more can a father ask for his children?

Getting into better shape was one of my hedges during the pandemic. I figured, if I'm going to stay locked down for a while, I might as well eat healthier, stretch, more and exercise more.

2) Counteract other illnesses.

The second reason for getting back in shape is to counteract lung disease. I know I'll eventually have a harder time breathing given asthma tends to come back after 40.

Besides lung disease, I'm sure I will face other health issues that will slowly hurt the quality of my life. Therefore, if I can control my weight, that's the least I can do.

The goal for parents is to live as long as possible to be there for our kids.

3) To feel great more often.

The older I get, the more niggling health issues I seem to experience. If it's not a bum shoulder it's funny vision. Losing weight will also help put less stress on my knees, which are surely wearing down from so much tennis.

4) To look great.

When you look great, you feel great. Your self-esteem goes up and you are more confident to do more things. I'm already a confident person. However, it's nice to look in the mirror once in a while and think, “Damn, you fine!” Having self-confidence is great for meeting new people.

5) For my wife.

After a while, it's easy to get sloppy in our appearances. After all, we've already secured the love of our lives, why stay in shape? Not only will I get in better shape for my wife, but I'm also going to dress better as well.

I've dressed in old track pants, t-shirts, and old warmup jackets practically every day since the pandemic began. Now I will dress sharper by using more than 10% of my wardrobe.

6) To save money.

Being overweight may have also caused me to snore more and have episodes of sleep apnea. This ultimately hurt my chances of getting the best life insurance rate when I wanted to renew a couple years ago. Please get life insurance before seeing a doctor for a non-life threatening issue. Being overweight costs more money.

My Plan For Losing Weight

1) For every two hours I spend online writing, I will spend 30 minutes exercising. So long as I keep this 4:1 mental-to-physical ratio, I will at least not blow out. I regularly spend 20 hours a week online. Therefore, I will regularly exercise 5 hours a week by walking, playing tennis, and playing softball. The weight loss formula is as simple as apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top.

2) I will do 60 push-ups and 150 sit-ups for every basketball or football game I watch. Watching sports is the worst for an athlete, because it's a double negative. Instead of playing sports ourselves, we're rotting away our bodies and our minds.

3) I will eat more slowly to give my body time to know that I have eaten. It takes 15-20 minutes for the body to know one is full. Hence, that 15-20 minutes is a crucial period where one can overeat and gain a lot of weight. The solution is to eat slowly and be mindful of everything I put in my mouth.

4) I will eat vegetarian three days a week. Eating vegetarian feels great, is good for digestion, and could very well be cheaper too. I will also consciously reduce dairy and sugar from my diet. Sugar is really the silent killer of our generation.

To achieve the ideal weight really requires mostly better eating habits. I need to achieve a calorie deficit to lose weight.

Ideal Weight + Money = Better Life

The ideal body weight pisses me off because it's so low. In actuality, I'm just pissed off at myself for letting myself go. As a father of two young children, my goal is to live long enough so they can be independent adults.

I used to tell myself that I'm heavier because I have more muscles. I used to also blame a slower metabolism and my kids for my weight gain. Unfortunately, these are all excuses.

Today, I am saying NO to weight creep. Even though there's this new study that says middle-aged people who put on weight live longer than those who remain in healthy shape throughout their lives. You see, another excuse!

Being overweight puts a burden on society. By being overweight, other people ultimately pay for my extra health care costs through longer wait times and more expensive premiums. At least, for now, my family is currently paying an unsubsidized $2,250/month in health insurance premiums.

I will get back to the ideal weight range of 165-168 pounds by 2024! That's roughly 6% off from my current bodyweight that I plan to lose in 12 months. It shouldn't be a problem if I stick to my weight-loss goals above.

Who else is annoyed enough at the ideal body weight to do something about it? I'd love for more people to join me on my quest. Let's both get in ideal shape and make lots of money!

Related: The Health Benefits Of Early Retirement Are Priceless

Recommendation For Life

If there's one thing the pandemic has taught us, it's that life is not guaranteed. We must do everything we can to protect our dependents. Being out of shape increases your chances of an earlier death.

As a result, please get life insurance and try to get fitter. Not only should you get enough life insurance to cover your liabilities, your life insurance term should last long enough to get them through college.

The best place to get life insurance is through PolicyGenius. PolicyGenius will help you find the best plan for the lowest price tailored to your needs. Use no-obligation quotes to get the best rate possible.

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170 thoughts on “The Ideal Body Weight Pisses Me Off: Time To Get Back In Shape!”

  1. Roland Mallmann

    Hey Mr. Samurai, best thing to do is just to get into a work out routine. Seeing as you have limited time or wish to work out in parallel to something like watching tv, I could imagine doing (slightly more serious) bodyweight HITT fitness plus perhaps some slight jogging/running. I have a busy life too (2 young boys, increasingly busy career + keeping up with financial blogs like yours daily) and managed to fit in a HIIT routine about 5-6 days per week. This is not a shameless plug and I don’t work for the company either, but something like Freeletics (‘AI’ coach giving you harder workouts progressively, based on your feedback & input) is giving me good gains, especially combined with limiting my alcohol, sugar and salt intake. Of course there are plenty alternatives to Freeletics, but I just have 4-5 years of experience with the platform.
    Another thing that keeps motivating me is to do some RL events, for me they are Spartan, Tough Mudder races, but they could be anything. Keeping those in the back of your mind might be an additional incentive. :)

    Summarizing, whatever works for you in the long term, should be the goal, not too dissimilar from investing.


    P.S.: don’t stare blindly on those height & weight tables, I feel I have a skinny look at 6’3″ and 195 lbs. For me currently it is more about muscle gain & fat loss. I enjoy the work outs, blast music and everything else will come in due time. Nothing is visible on a day per day basis, but progress is measured in years.

  2. Want to lose weight and look fit. Rowing and kettle bells. Will change your life. I am 60. 6’1″ /180. People comment I look like I am in my 40’s. One other item, drink water and cut back on eating “dirty”.


  3. All I can say is thank heavens for that chart indicating weights for large framed people. I was thrilled when my middle finger and thumb were no where near each other. Those BMI charts do not count for the fact that some of us are larger framed and I avoid the BMI scale.

    Do we get monthly updates? I am also attempting to get down to a healthy weight this year but I am not providing any details. Part of my reason for losing weight is financial. Lose weight or buy all new clothes. People who maintain a steady weight have much nicer wardrobes because they can invest in quality classic pieces that they will wear for years. Many of us have wardrobes full of fast fashion in a variety of sizes to continually tide us over until we get to our ideal weight. I am tired of having a bunch of clothes that don’t fit.

    1. Indeed! Thank goodness for the large frame column :)

      I’ll provide quarterly updates at the very least.

      The financial aspect of losing weight or maintain weight really is a point. If I was 15 pounds lighter, I would be more comfortably wearing medium size shirts again. Hah. Thankfully, shirts are cheap!

  4. Like they say “you can’t outrun a bad diet”
    Low carb is the way in my experience. I’ve done keto then switch to paleo or carb cycling after having each of my 3 kids. A few relatives strictly do Dr. Bergs healthy keto and have lost major weight and able to maintain it. They also do it under doctors supervision with bloodwork. Honestly I don’t think it will take you a fill year to lose that much weight as a Male. Could easily be done in 3 months or less with diet.

  5. I gained about 10 pounds in 2020. Mrs. RB40 kept baking cookies, cakes, pies, and all sorts of treats. It was too much empty calories. I skipped breakfast most days for intermittent fasting, but it wasn’t enough.
    This year, I lost about 5 pounds so far. I was in quarantine in Thailand for 2 weeks. They gave us Thai serving size which was about half of the US serving size. I think my stomach shrunk during those 2 weeks. I can’t eat as much anymore. My weight is in a good range now, but I still have belly fat. I’ll keep eating less and hope to go down a few more pounds. Mrs. RB40 plans to bake a lot less in 2021…

  6. Managing weight is all about managing intake. Yes exercise is important, but I firmly believe eating is 80% of weight management. Another milestone to be wary of is your 50’s. I hit my early 50’s and weight management became even harder…plus I was working more hours…blah, blah, blah. So build the healthy habits early because it gets more challenging as you get older. BTW the charts are BS…I have been lifting weights for several years and my weight adjusted to my activity. 6’0”…160# to 195#.

    1. Agreed. To lose weight your body needs to burn more calories than you’re taking in. Calculate your basal metabolic rate to see how many calories you should be eating and then shoot for a 500 daily caloric deficit in order to lose a pound a week. Then find what your BMR is for your target weight and that’s what you need to stay at for forever.

      Keep in mind that your body burns thousands of calories a day to begin with, so exercise isn’t required to lose weight. It’s all about the math.

      Hitting that lower calorie level will require reprogramming your food mindset. You have to learn how many calories are in your meals and which foods are upping your tally: juices, processed foods, sweets, pasta. Bottom line is that if you don’t practice portion control and limit calories, exercise won’t make a difference.

      The amount of calories burned from exercise is relatively small. It takes a half hour on a treadmill to burn the same amount of calories in a glass of orange juice. So if you work out and refresh yourself with a glass of Tropicana, the net calorie effect is zero. Stop drinking juice (or processed foods, or shacking non stop), and you will eliminate calories without ever having to put on your gym clothes. It’s all about nutrition and developing new, sustainable food habits.

      Going veg three days a week isn’t a sustainable habit imo. You want a habit you’ll follow for the rest of your life. Have balanced meals every day that include proteins that your body needs, healthy fats that will make you feel satisfied, small portions of carbs for energy, and lots of vegetables that will keep you full longer. Make sure they fit in your caloric formula and you’re good.

  7. Canadian Reader

    We like Mike Vacanti OTR app for managing macros. It’s free and easy to use. You can either search the food items you’re eating in the list, or add items manually.
    My husband and I have both been in body building competitions in the past. It can be difficult to cut the last 5 pounds while retaining your lean muscle mass unless you track everything.
    I agree with your point about how great it feels to look and be in shape!
    Great goal and a one year time frame is perfect.

  8. Hi Sam,
    Great article. I’m in the process of slowly and steadily losing weight. I’ve lost over 35 lbs in the last 11 months and would like to shed another 20 more. What is the source of the height/weight charts you posted in the article?

  9. I will say that any weight that feels healthy is probably healthy. I am off the charts (they don’t call me Big-D for nothing). I was 257 at 6’3″ and around 7% body fat based on water scales. Yes I was a college athlete, but still according to most of these scales – I was severely overweight or obese. Again this is a representative. I am never going to be in that good a shape again, but I still lift and if I am near that weight – I will be happy. I certainly don’t bench press over 400# still (250 on a good day at 45 years old). I still leg press over 1000# however.

    Again – do you feel healthy is the key. Weight is just a number based on many factors. I can lose over 10 pounds by literally sleeping. I weight myself before I go to sleep, and if I get a good nights sleep (about 10 hours), I can lose over 10 pounds after my morning pee. Happens almost every weekend for me. Body weight is a factor of a number of things. Good sleep, metabolism, food digestion, etc. For me – I don’t see the result of a food hit my weight for over 2 days. So for example, I eat a pizza on Friday, I won’t see the result on the scale until Sunday at the earliest. This is why weight to me is the worst thing to follow.

    Check your numbers (diabetes, cholesterol, etc.), and check your measurements. If you have 34″ pants, and they are snug, you might stand to lose a little weight. Are you winded more easily due to physical activity? Then maybe some more cardio is in store. You can play the gain muscle or lose fat game in perpetuity, but measurements and results don’t lie.

  10. I did the Weightless program with Brock Armstrong and Monica Reinagel and had a much better outlook in those height vs weight charts and the dieters mindset vs lifestyle you can live with. I’m 5’10” and 172 lbs and absolutely fine. I encourage you to check out their Facebook page.

  11. I love seeing this post in with the usual mix. Health is one of the few things more valuable then financial security. Good luck to you.

    Added sugar is one of the worst appetite stimulator’s, your plan to avoid will probably shed a few pounds just by that one effort alone. If you’re the type looking for good reads, there is a book by a neuroscientist called The Hungry Brain that is completely enlightening on how appetite works (and it’s a fun read). The conclusion is the old fashioned advice to eat fresh, whole foods, but it explains the science of why not doing so is an eventual losing battle for the vast majority of people. It’s been years since I first read it and since then, with zero real effort, I’ve maintained my weight freakishly to the pound.

  12. Thanks for the charts and motivations! I was about ten pounds heavier than I wanted to be last summer. I finally set a weight loss goal in September to lose five pounds by October. I really cut back on calories which helped a lot. I felt really happy to beat my goal and held on for October, but started to slip once the holidays started. I’m back to my rough October weight and am going to try to lose another 2-5 pounds over the next couple months.

    For me cutting out sugar and limiting dairy help a lot. But oh that’s hard to do lol. I’m excited that warmer weather is slowly creeping back because that helps me get outside more. And I always feel better when I take more walks outside. Which in turn helps me want to eat healthier too. And then that all helps with weight loss.

    The cold winter days definitely make me crave heavy, comfort foods which aren’t good for the waist. Here’s to warmer weather and slimming down!

  13. Good luck, Sam! I actually think we are really alike. I’m Asian, 5’11, and weigh 155 – 158 pounds. To boot, I’m a personal finance blogger as well! I kid, I kid.

    I used to weigh 173 just like you. Then the pandemic hit and I could actually measure and track the calories that I am eating so I was able to lose almost 20 pounds, I was so happy!

    I don’t look any different at all. I think you’ve highlighted this in your other posts, so I would suggest that your primary focus should be on diet and not exercise. It’s great to keep your heart rate up and it does make you healthier. However, I think you know that what ultimately matters is diet. I haven’t exercised in the entire year 2020!

    Of course, this is just unsolicited advice from a random blogger on the internet. Therefore, you don’t have to take the advice at all either. Just a random blogger commenting along :-)

  14. You may want to consider Intermittent Fasting, Sam. It involves limiting your eating hours.

    A popular start to this is to eat in an 16/8 pattern. Eat in an 8 hour window, say 9-5 and fast the next 16 hours except for water and non caloric drinks.

    I’ve followed an 18/6 pattern for two years. I fast 18 hours and eat in a 6 hour window, say 12-6 pm.

    Scientific studies point out the benefits like lower blood pressure as well as weight maintenance/weight loss. Good luck.

  15. Sam,

    Check out the obesity code by Dr. Jason Fung.

    You will learn the truth behind fat loss, and learn that everything we’ve been taught about fat loss is WRONG.

    Thanks to the entities with a vested interest in keeping us sick and fat.

  16. Sugar really is the enemy. When it comes to high cholesterol, for example, most people think you need to reduce red meat or butter to fix this. While that is helpful, sugar is the real enemy. I’ve found reducing sweets and breads has the biggest effect on my weight and well being.

    Bread does indeed make you fat as was said in the movie Scot Pilgrim vs the World.

  17. Body weight depends on a lot of factors, not solely how much food you eat and the weight on the scale. If a top performing athlete weighed themselves, they would be considered obese due to their muscle mass, not their actual weight. As someone who has followed the Mediterranean/blue zone/paleo diet for all my life, as a 20 yr old college student currently although it can get tempting to eat junk and free fast food like my peers, it not only makes me more groggy, less full, unhappy, perform worse and many more negative side affects I don’t want to endure, it is also a waste of money because at the end of the day health = wealth. My family and I never focus on our weight, we only weigh ourselves at the doctor and that’s what keeps us healthy and lean. we don’t obsess over our weight because we eat when we are hungry. We’ve never tried any diet and even eat desert every night! It really starts with portion control and following your cues. Although the scale Sam provided isn’t completely accurate since it doesn’t include muscle, stress or water weight, we are all in the small size and would consider ourselves always lean and skinny. Even though its about how you feel not look like, just to give you a sense, that’s what we are like. We only have whole foods, not processed junk or sugar in our house and although it might seem like torture, I’ve gotten used to it living like this all my life. We prioritize eating together, cooking 5-6x a week, rarely eating out to avoid nonsense fees, sodium, etc. we have no distractions while eating, smaller plates and portions, no calorie restrictions instead focus on feeling full and eating protein and nutrient dense carbs and drinking lots and lots of water for the skin and improving digestion! We incorporate exercise into our daily routines not a time slot to workout and then sit for the rest of the day. My parents and I have a standing desk which helps us stay mindful of our posture and give us a free energy booster. Yes I asked my mom to get me an exercise bike because we are stuck at home 24/7, but I walk 2x a day and cycle every morning because walking is so much better for your mind than staring at screen sweating! Vitamin D and C are the best remedies for mood and walking is always necessary, preferably 10k steps per day. Lastly, sleep is a must. Sleep controls everything in the body and will make or break you. America is the only place on earth where there is a gym in every hotel and on every street corner in cities and workaholism and burnout on the rise ! In Europe, walking, resting and eating when hungry not because its free or there keeps you thin! It’s a lifestyle, don’t pressure yourself! Anyone can be healthy by following my top lifestyle tips that are easy, fun and work!

  18. The scales you list are a good reference but I think we all inherently know what a ‘healthy’ weight is for each of us. For me, it’s when my blood and cholesterol numbers are in the normal range and all of my clothes are slightly loose. I weigh only once a month but don’t put too much focus on the number. Instead, I concentrate on eating when I’m hungry, stretching each meal to 20 minutes (to give my stomach time to send the full signal to my brain), and stopping when I’m full. I eat pretty healthy Mon-Fri and save my ‘treats’ for the weekends. Lately, I’ve changed my strategy for sugar intake on the weekends. Instead of eating a full dessert, I take three bites, savoring each one and enjoying the flavors. After three bites, you have fully experienced the dessert and continuing doesn’t provide any additional benefit.

    Just my two cents ;-)

  19. Is there a body fat percentage or degree of strength tied to those ideal weight ranges? I fall into the “small frame” category at 5’8″, and have ranged from 120 pounds on the low end (weak and skinny) to now 170 (after a fair amount of eating and lifting). I’ve also been at 150 while sedentary (awful) and 150 after some biking and lifting gains (better).

    So far I prefer my current 170 pound self the most. But I have gotten chubby, so I’m looking to drop about 10 pounds with as little strength loss as possible to see how I look and feel. I definitely have fat to spare, but I also have room to gain plenty of muscle mass. I’m holding back with eating as-is because I don’t really want to get fatter, so it’s time to lose some fat.

    The chart you posted has 140-148 pounds being ideal for a 5’8″ small framed man, which sounds reasonable for someone who has moderate-at-best muscle mass (e.g. mostly cardio-based recreation). But I was also in that range as a sedentary office drone, which should be far from ideal.

    In contrast to the lower-weight ideals, 170-175lbs might be more of an ideal for my frame at 10% body fat if I were to hit “natty limit” levels of muscle building with gifted genetics according to this calculator.

    The practical reality for me is probably somewhere in between 140 and 170, given that I’m not capable of being a top-tier champion athlete. But regardless of the exact weight, I’m aiming for ~10% body fat and more respectable numbers on my lifts than I currently have, which is going to put me closer to 170 than 140 I think.

  20. The goal is to look athletic and graceful. People’s bodies reveal that look at different weights, depending on critical measurements. For example, a 5’ 11” male with a 28” waist, 38” chest, and 6% body fat will snap the necks of men, women and children all around (our brains react instinctively to specific rations considered ideal in nature), and weigh-in between 135 and 145.

  21. Scales suck but so do random money advisors. As a recovering anorexic, I found this post through the Googs, so I’m now going to read your site.

    Ugh, but I’m sure I’m one of the few who read before trolling.

  22. Most people don’t know their actual weight and even if they knew, they don’t know what is their ideal weight for their body. This is also happened to me. So I am very thankful for this post because it will give you a hint on what to do next. I will help you plan what to do in the future to have a good health.

  23. If you are 6 foot and weigh under 150 you probably look like the pictures from Aushwitz. If your goal is to become fit and healthy then expect to gain weight not loose weight. Skinny isn’t pretty. You won’t get compliments you well get concerned looks and often comments. People might be hesitant to tell a friend they’ve gained weight but they are very bold when they see weightloss that falls to the range listed as healthy in those charts. Diseases associated with wasting syndrome come to mind. Stay active and keep eating. You will be happier and look healthier. Plus those around you won’t be worried all the time.

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  25. I hardest time getting rid of that spare tire of extra 5 to 20 pounds around my waist that kept me from my ideal weight. then I met a guy who told me about Dr. Davis and the “Wheat Belly” that plagues us in our society.
    So I gave up wheat, and that means All bread and pasta and breading on chicken and meats, where ever you detect wheat, stay away and don’t eat.
    you will be finally be able to regain control of your body weight.
    honestly if you don’t give up wheat you’re just wasting your time with exercise and other diets because it’s the wheat that is going to build up your body fat in a never ending cycle as long as you eat wheat.

    1. I eat some sort of wheat every day and I have abs and deadlift 500lbs+. My cholesterol and glucose are in normal range.

      I weight 175 and am 5’7”.

      Let’s avoid the pseudo-science. If this works for you and helps keeps you healthy, great. But it’s not for everyone.

      This is not a health and fitness blog and claiming that you should be X weight for Y height is not helpful or factual.

  26. Sam,

    What is you weight these days? I am still holding at 160 lbs with a 6’2″ medium frame. Life is good.


  27. Tim Ferris’ 4 hour body. That’s all I have to say. Best book ever. I am a 5’7” small frame female lawyer. Was 145 within 4 years into big law firm life. 4 months after starting the 4 hour body and now I’m 125. Body looks amazing and can’t believe how big I looked earlier this year. I thought it was IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight. Crazy thing is that it wasn’t even hard to lose once I knew what to eat and had a plan to follow. Crazier thing was that at 145, I worked out way harder and, by normal standards, I ate healthy and low calorie. Now I eat more calories, work out less and have a way better body.

    1. This diet is much easier to follow, and stay compliant long term than keto for me (I can’t eat dairy and don’t like eggs) but I have not been able to lose much other than a few lbs water weight with this diet so far in 2+ months (I’ve tried it for a few weeks each time in the past). I am really giving it a go this time since many many people have success with this but quite frustrated. One thing to know is that a lot of women tend to lose weight much slower on this diet than men due to our varying hormones throughout our cycle. I will keep trying though since Tim Ferriss has so much good info in his books. 4hr workweek totally changed my thinking and life and I got hooked from there.

  28. Be careful of “ideal weight” charts. Depending on age, they are not so ideal. For a young person they are fine, but as age progresses studies show that somewhat heavier people actually live longer than skinny people after adjusting for factors like smoking and various diseases that could cause lower body weight. The short version seems to be that heart disease is the number 1 killer and higher weight is a risk factor for it. But there are a lot of less common causes of death that collectively kill more people than heart disease and they tend to prey on skinny people.

  29. Frankly.. I think the charts are bullshit. When I was in University, I was riding a bike 8 – 10 miles four days per week, and swimming a mile three days per week.. and was also on a very limited caloric intake (poverty, I think it’s called).. my weight, at 5’9″ – 171 lbs.. I was a freaking rock.

    Now – after many, many years, I was up to 248 four months ago and, yes, I was FAT.. I can tell the difference. Today I’m down to 213.. and still know I need to lose, I’m guessing, about 20 lbs to be, basically, healthy. That will have me at about 190 – 195.


    BTW.. in the last three years, I’ve completed four triathlons.. so, put less stock in these so-called “scientific” charts and consider where your blood pressure is, where your cholesterol is, what your resting heart rate is.. (all normal or below normal for me, even my current weight) and how active you are and how you “feel”.

    And throw the chart in the garbage.

    1. Great to hear these charts piss you off as well! But I think if we are honest with ourselves, we realize we’ve still got more pounds to lose.

      How’s you find my article in the first place curious to know.


    2. Seriously! These charts have been telling me BS for YEARS – esp cuz muscle weighs more than fat anyway, and I was like 120lbs & 5’8 (but very thin) & now I’m 137lbs, & I have a lot more muscle, but I look the same (in far away pics/I’m practically the same size) – but, muscle weighs more than fat! People need to remember that & care about what’s in the mirror, rather than what’s on the scale

  30. Frankly, this ‘ideal weight’ stuff reminds me of teenage (physically or mentally) girls worrying about ‘split ends’ of their hair, or that one zit on their forehead.
    In other words, lack of real problems make people obsessed with trivialities.

    Is your ‘weight’ causing you some health problems? By all means, solve that. But other than that, ‘ideal weight’ is probably just that hysteric teenage girl talking.

  31. You are an inspiration dude. It’s like I’m reading my own mind when I read your blog posts…. except they’re written by someone who’s much more eloquent then myself. Thank you for putting so much of yourself on the internet for others like myself to take in and enjoy.

  32. Hey man..enjoy your posts – you’ve given me many good ideas that I have employed regarding personal finance. Just curious…what is your ntrp rating in tennis?

  33. I’m right at 6’0″. I was up over 180lbs in high school and normally ranged from 175-180lbs in college. Now I bounce between 158-162lbs, which puts me on the low end of the “medium frame.”

    A lot of people focus more on exercise and less on eating, which is the exact opposite of what they need to do. Cut out the sodas and junk food. Eat real food. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients in what you’re eating, maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. Would you like some Tert-Butylhydroquinone with those chicken nuggets? MMmmm, tasty.

    This year I had two surgeries — one in June and a follow-up in October — and even with all that downtime, I didn’t gain weight even though I eat enough to feed a small village. I still need to focus on turning some fat into muscle, but losing weight was incredibly easy as soon as I paid attention to what I was eating. I honestly started out at 175lbs and planned to stay that weight, but to convert the fat to muscle. However, as soon as I cut out the junk food, the weight came off without even trying. I actually had to increase my meal portions just to maintain my weight. My 17 year old self would have never believed losing weight was so easy. I guess drinking a 2-liter bottle of soda a day and eating fast food all the time back then didn’t help…

  34. I think the scales are a little light. I’m exactly 6 feet tall, small, or rather slim, frame, lean & toned. On “heavy” days I can barely make it to 160 lbs. That’s right at the top of the scale for my height and fame. But for 35 years people have been hounding me that I need to put on weight. I’m a good athlete, lift weights and bike or run daily; my exercise routine is 60 to 90 minutes, and I have done this routine for 30 years. I eat what I want when I want, but generally reasonably healthy.

    Since age 17, my weight has ranged between 155 and 165 lbs. I’m now 48.

    1. Again genetics, I’ve gone from 177 age 24 to 260 at age 53 and guess what, I’ve reduced my portion size by some 50% over the last 10 years. I do snack on junk food but has always done that.

  35. Bullshit! I’m 5.8 and the lowest I ever weighed was 156 and that was practically starving myself and working out everyday like nuts! Right now I’m 168 and if I could get down to 160 I’d look like a super model. I do lift weights but that makes you burn even more calories so I think you’re being too hard on yourself. Depends on body type. Do the mirror test. If you look good, you’re healthy as F!

      1. I hope you don’t put too much stock in these nonsense weight guides. I was scrawny and 132 pounds my first year of college. I have a small frame, no doubt about it, my wrists are quite small and my fingers do indeed overlap. I weigh 180 now. I’m in perfect shape, so no, 160s isn’t overweight for 5’10”, it’s actually small. I bench press 275 and I have a resting heart rate of 52. My body fat percentage is usually between 13-15%, and no that’s not high. A good range for guys is 12-18% and 18-24% for women. If you’re under 12% you’re probably a boxer or another athlete who needs to be lean and not so much strong. If you’re strong especially, you probably won’t be under 12%. I was at 165 once and 9% body fat but I couldn’t bench more than 185, either. I much prefer to be strong. I can’t imagine being in the 160s again, way too scrawny lol.

  36. The problem with the scale is that no one checks it until they are trying to lose weight. You need to know your body’s normal fluctuation first! Without doing anything out of the ordinary, my weight can easily fluctuate by 5lbs day-to-day! This doesn’t really mean that I’m gaining or losing a pound a day. I’d say learn your body first before trying to change it.

    1. I believe that Leslie. Kind of like finance! We need to know what we are spending money on in order to optimize. The chart makes me mad, but in reality, I know it’s the truth, b/c I was 15 lbs lighter when I was in prime shape.

  37. I think your charts just told me I need to lose weight, which coincided with what my jeans were telling me today. I’m supposed to be baring the bikini in Italy in July :/ I better get myself in gear, yowza

  38. Though I don’t do it any longer, I used to be a very high level personal trainer. I’d be happy to help you with any additional information you need to reach this goal. No foolsies. No strings attached.

    Hit me up at mighty at funkmode dot com. Please don’t hesitate to ask. No obligation. Totally gratis. Glad to do it.

    1. Hi… I’m a female … I am 5’11 .. And starting to put on some weight .. I was out searching for something or someone for help … I need help loosing the weight… To get motivated something … I had a killer body but I guess getting married having two kids and somewhere in all of that I learned how to cook so I just started packing it on … I’m uncomfortable with myself everyone else says I look fine but at the end of the day it’s the mirror and I that have the problem … Please help …

  39. Don’t rely too heavily on what the scale says. Your weight will vary from day to day. What you should focus on are measurements and pictures. You should take a picture of you now, only in your underwear, and then another picture every week or two. When you look at yourself everyday in the mirror, you won’t “see” any changes. But by having pictures, you can see the changes.

    Also, take measurements. Even if the scale says you are still at 1XX, if your waist measurement is going down, then you know you are losing fat (and probably gaining muscle).

    My girlfriend just started a weight loss program and was focusing on the scale weight. She was getting discouraged because the number wasn’t dropping. I told her to focus on her measurements and pictures and she is rejuvenated because she sees progress there.

  40. Business travel this past year or so has been murder on the waistline. From 34″ to 36″, and from 184 lbs to 193 today. I was at 198 right after the holidays, and feeling not so very good. I hit my high about 10 years ago at 225, which is a lot on a 5’6″ frame. It helps that I have wide shoulders, but as you said that’s a BS excuse. I’ve had a personal goal to get back to playing indoor soccer this year, but not before March. Still have a fair bit of phys therapy and conditioning to do.

    1. Yeah Andrew, “big bones”, “wide shoulders”, “big cajones”… all kinda excuses man! Just think back to how heavy you were in high school and college, that is if you were of normal health.

      How are the goals going?

  41. I think I have just the thing that will help you obtain your body weight goal, connect socially with friends (so your Financial Samurai readers can follow your progress), and challenge other bloggers to become more fit. You ready for this????! :)

  42. Definitely easy to pig out on somebody else’s dollar, but not necessarily a healthy habit to get into! Good luck on the weight loss goals.

  43. Marissa @ Thirty Six Months

    Im right at my ideal weight. I eat like a pig but I play soccer 2-3 times a weeks and am generally really active. I am scared that once my activity level dips, so will my metabolism.

  44. 20 and Engaged

    I hate the charts too Sam! Ugh so frustrating. I’m working on getting my weight down 40 pounds, which will just get me to the end of the medium frame for my height. I don’t want to be as thin as I used to be, but I also don’t want to be as fat as I am now. I’m tracking my calories, working out, and incorporating juicing too. Good luck!

  45. Blogging has been terrible for my exercise regimen. Since I work as a computer programmer half the day and I spend some time writing, I sit way too much. Now that it is winter, it is harder to get outside and run around. Blah blah blah.

    I need to lose a few pounds probably. I have been focusing mostly now on making sure what I eat is actually beneficial to my body and not just satisfying some craving. Also, I am just trying to move more each day and not be sedentary. When this knee of mine is fixed though, look out!

  46. I feel your frustration, but I am in a different boat. I have to wait at least until the middle of May to attempt to do something about my weight–that will be six weeks after my delivery.

    I do not think I have ever gained more than 30 pounds during a pregnancy but you know you look incredibly large when you get up from eat dinner at a restaurant and you can hear someone say “Oh my G*D”…then again, my kiddo was 10 pounds.

  47. You are lucky to be the shadow of the man from 1.5 years ago. One of my old posts was about gaining weight to lose weight. Feels good gaining b/c the food is so yummy, and it feels good losing.

    100 pushups at one go? The most I’ve done is like 45, then i’m dead.

  48. Yeah, sorry to depress. I was SO agitated that I gained 5 lbs in two days that I just had to write this post. I know it was 5 lbs of fat or whatever, but still, I was pissed.

    Glad you’ve joined the pledge. I like the no excuses attitude!

  49. Those that don’t believe that metabolism, age or menopause plays a role in weight gain – come back and talk to me when you are 65!

    When I decided to stop smoking (in my 40’s) I lost weight ahead of time because I knew I would gain when I stopped. I got back to my ‘ideal’ weight for my small frame and height – but to do that I ate about only 500 calories a day and rode my bike for 20 miles every night after exercising for at least 30 minutes each morning.

    I like to eat – but I do exercise and stay in shape.

    Good luck with your goal Sam.

    1. Thanks Marie. Women who are moms and past menopause get a hall pass!

      Nice job quitting smoking and planning ahead. I think i’d faint if I only ate 500 to even 1,000 calories a day AND rode 20 miles every night!

      Best, Sam

  50. Well, I have a long way to go!! According to your charts almost 100 pounds. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is what I keep hearing. They did something in a day, in a week I bet they built a house. After going to the gym for 4 weeks not much of a change but I am getting stronger, my stomach is going in a little bit more every day. I will get there. I just have to blog about it more, yeah that is what I will do!

    1. I used to take it slow, until I realized, shit, I’m going the wrong way. Before 11 years ago, I had an instance where I ballooned to 180. That kinda sucked. My buddy said I looked like Charles Barkley!

      I like the title of your site! What’s it about? Just kidding :)

  51. As other people have chimed in Sam, don’t put too much emphasis on weight loss. As a “former athlete” I like to motivate myself with athlete-specific challenges such as running farther/faster, lifting more, getting back to a high recreational level in a sport etc. This gives a much better indication of where your at in my opinion. BTW, 15% is not bad at all man! I do appreciate your dedication to getting back to ideal shape though. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting back to boxing (I’m about 45 pounds over my old fighting weight of 195, at 6’2 with a large frame). There’s no better motivator to get in shape than getting hit in the face!

    1. Those definitely are good suggestions. Were you the one who mentioned you played basketball in school? Sorry that I forgot if so.

      My motivation is to win my matches at my tennis level. I think i’ll have an easier time if I don’t have an extra 15 lbs dumb bell on me.

  52. Sounds good Hunter! 50-100 miles of riding is great. Another datapoint that suggests food intake is more important than exercise to lose weight.

    I’ll definitely shoot for my goal by September!

  53. With as much tennis as you play, I should think a lot of your weight really is healthy weight such as muscle. Still, healthy living is always a positive thing. Good luck.

    As for me, I try to stay within the BMI chart for healthy weight (18.5-24.9). I’m within the range, but slowly creeping up to the top of it. Losing about 10 pounds would put me back in the 22 range, which is considered healthiest – according to my Wii Fit Plus :) . Therefore, that is my goal for this year.

  54. Read about your plan on Consumerist. Sorry to see that you are taking the non-evidence-based approach — but not surprised that you are because most people without a science background and who don’t know the evidence-based dietary science think as you do that exercise is the key to weight loss. Look up Gary Taubes’ piece on exercise in New York Magazine for the corrective science on this.

    Furthermore, per Taubes massive research into dietary science (vs. the “science” you’ve been led to believe is correct), it is carbohydrates — sugar, flour, starchy vegetables like potatoes, apple juice — that cause the insulin secretion that puts on fat.

    Here’s a woman who went by the science:

    Furthermore, I sit at a computer all day and I could never exercise again and be thin as a rail (which I am — now weigh what I did in high school at 47) because I eat bacon, eggs, steak, plenty of meat fat, buttered green beans, salad with a lot of dressing. What I don’t eat are carbs, save for the few that are in the salami and cheese I snack on. If you eat this way, you will not be hungry and pounds will drop off you like stones off a truck.

    To do this well, see Dr. Michael Eades “Starting or Restarting a low-carb diet” at

  55. I run, glad you checked out our calculator. I want to raise a big flag about your weight chart and the fiction of “frame size”. The difference on your 5’10” with a small frame and same height with a large frame is 26 pounds (154 lbs vs. 180 lbs) on the high end but only 14 pounds on the low end???? If bone structure is the issue then it should be the same on both. Many sources quote that skeletal weight is about 15-20% of body weight, so these tables “back in” to the numbers, taking a weight range, assigning an amount to the skeleton based on a % of the body weight. In reality, if you take a bunch of 5’10” male skeletons, you are only going to see a 7-10 pound deviation in total weight (not 14-26). So you don’t want the westernized version of your ideal weight, don’t include frame size in the calculation. Thanks again for using and mentioning us on your site.

    1. Howdy Greg,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on bone structure and deviation.

      Does have an Ideal Weight Table you’d like to highlight? I’m happy to check and and share too.



  56. Always weigh yourself early in the morning before eating and after your wake-up run to the John. That way there is consistency withe more accurate results.

  57. Simple Rich Living

    Based on your chart, I barely made it before. Over the holidays I probably have gained 5 ish lbs so now I am over. I think it’s fantastic idea with your plan (writing = exercise; football game = pushups; etc). I hope you don’t mind I think I am going to steal a few of those ideas.

  58. Good discussion. At 6’2″ and 200 lbs, I would like to lose 20 lbs, but in spite of working out 6 days a week (45 minutes on weekdays, 1.5 – 2 hours on weekends) that only maintains my weight.

    I do think eating foods with less calorie density would help. Actually, maybe it’s time to take a job hiatus and hike the Appalachian trail in a season- that would allow for the shedding of 25+ lbs!


      1. I am re-reading this and smiling. After doing a juice fast some 3-4 months ago, my weight is still at 160 lbs, a full 40 lbs lighter than when I wrote this comment two years ago. I am still working out 6 days a week, have a body fat level around 5%, and can bench press as much as when I was 200 lbs…. I am maintaining a vegan diet (no dairy, no eggs, no meat) and am using nuts and seeds along with brewers yeast for protein- it’s amazing what a diet change can do for you. I’m now convinced diet makes 90% of our body makeup and exercise is the remaining 10%.

  59. LOL Mad at yourself, aren’t you? Join the club, Sam.
    According to the table I am between small and medium frame, and I am overweight. Not funny! I was in a such good shape in September. Then I went back home, ate all that food I was missing for years, and now I have very sad (fat) results. What helped me to lose weight in the past was: reducing red meat, controlling portions, running and lifting a lot. I lost ten pounds in about seven months. Older we get, slower our metabolism gets. So we need to eat less and move more. Good Luck! P.S. Men’s metabolism is still better than our’s. Lucky you!

  60. Darwin's Money

    I don’t buy random charts, BMI, etc. (like you said, they’re all over the place). I think % bodyfat and basically how you look is much more telling than a chart. I lift fairly often so have more muscle than the scrawny guy at the same height. How does the chart account for that? According to the chart, I’m a bit on the high end for med build, which I’ll buy – I’d like to lose another 5-10 pounds (I just put on 5 since Thanksgiving).

    For your situation, I’m more an 80/20 guy and law of diminishing returns guy. You could spend your whole life trying to have the “perfect” build, but for what? You will have forgone drinks with friends, many great meals, lots of time for perhaps very little benefit. The difference between being in “great shape” and “perfect shape” might be hundreds of hours a year but may not change the fact that you get cancer at 72 and die regardless, ya know? I’m not saying we should all be slobs, but pursuing perfection may not be the best use of time and resources.

    1. That’s a good point about how much effort it takes to get those final 5-10 pounds. However, to me, it’s worth it b/c it feels damn good to be in really good shape, and I want to be healthy.

      I can honestly say that I could lose 10 lbs with my frame.

  61. Sam, Don’t forget that muscle weighs more than fat! I don’t trust those charts because they don’t accurately reflect athletes who are toned and muscular….they are more for average Joe’s. If you exercise as much as I think you do you must have some muscle weight, so don’t worry about it!

    I have a similar weight and at 5’8, I’m anything but fat and definitely not a “large frame”. Some might even call me a dynamo …. well….maybe ten years ago…

    1. I highlighted that bad excuse in my post. Is 10lbs of muscle heavier than 10 lbs of fat? Nope. They are both 10 pounds!

      If you’re happy with being 168-169 at 5’8, that’s cool. It’s just too much for me.

  62. I’m fat. I know I’m fat. By BMI standards, I’m morbidly obese. By the charts above, I need to lose around 85lbs. Would I like to lose that 80lbs? Yes. In fact, this last year, I lost around 25lbs just by getting braces (an 8 week liquid diet at the start, and after every adjustment when it hurt to chew didn’t hurt.) But… and yes, there’s a but.
    I’ve found that I have to stop obsessing about my weight. Thinking about being fat just makes me depressed. I can eat nothing and still gain weight when I’m depressed. Instead, my goal for this year is simply to be healthier (includes exercising more, eating more vegetables, and stopping eating when I’m full instead of feeling like I need to clean my plate because people are starving in India). If weight loss comes with that, good. If not, that’s okay.
    Without getting on my soapbox, I think that our society also puts more emphasis on weight than health. People with ideal weights can be very unhealthy and people who are larger can be quite healthy. I’ve known a number of people who have gotten weight loss surgery. Their weight has dropped dramatically, but their health has gotten worse. And even those who got gastric bypass are starting to gain back about 5 years down the road, despite the fact they can still barely eat.
    Maybe it is because I’m fat, but I am very much a proponent of the Healthy at any Size movement.
    Still, if you’re unhappy with how you look and/or feel, it’s good to do something about, and I wish you the best of luck on your goals. Just make sure you don’t tie up too much self-worth with the numbers on the scale.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I haven’t let me weight get me down for the past 11 years b/c frankly, I thought I was doing OK! Now that I did several hours of research, spoke to a doctor and a trainer, I realize that I’m definitely on the higher end and beyond for ideal weight.

      Because I play competitive tennis, I’m more acutely aware of my weight b/c I depend on power and speed to win. I imagine carrying an extra 10 pound dumbbell on the court and that makes me mad b/c that weight bogs me down.

      I also used healthy at an size as an excuse. No longer for me today. Not today, never again!

      I do believe we will change when we get sufficiently annoyed about our state. The upside if we don’t is that we don’t have to work out, which is a pain, and we get to eat all the good food we want!

      1. Because I try to be honest about this subject, I’m not saying your thought about being sufficiently annoyed doesn’t apply to me. However, I decided years ago that it was healthier for me to be happy with who I am than to be depressed about my weight constantly. (Depression does not equal weight loss. Happiness, amazingly does, though not 80-85lbs worth)
        However, for some of the people I know, telling them that the reason they haven’t lost the weight/kept it off is because they don’t want it bad enough, isn’t helpful. In fact, it’s mean, cruel, and in some cases, outright false. These people are not fat because they don’t respect that starving kids in India. They aren’t fat because they haven’t tried to lose weight. Some of them are fat despite developing anorexia or bulimia. For some people, their weight is strongly effected by medical (often genetic) issues.
        Now, I’m not saying everyone should just be complacent about their weight. Weight is a factor in a healthy life, but it is not the only factor, nor is it the most important factor. It is simply the most visible factor. And I honestly believe the world would be a whole lot better if we stopped thinking we “knew” certain things about people based on their weight.

        1. Erin, good point about weight being the most visible factor.

          I want to be cruel to myself and admonish myself for not being more mindful about others. I’m way too complacent.
          I have lived and visited so many impoverished countries, and it is unacceptable to me to continue to be overweight. I understand that the majority of readers or Americans have not visited India, so I don’t expect them to feel the same way. Travel is very beneficial in providing perspective in this way.

          I do believe we have the power to change, which is why I’m challenging myself , SWEARING publicly that I will change or else.

          I don’t judge people based on their weights anymore. I’m just judging myself for letting myself go and making so many excuses over these past 11 years. I wasn’t sufficiently agitated to change, which is why I didn’t. Now I am.

          This post was majority meant to motivate me to kick my own ass and provide some information to the readers. If readers find motivation in the info and in my self admonishment to lose weight, awesome! If not, no problem.

        2. I am sorry if I have come across as judgemental. I am not trying to be, though this is a soapbox issue for me, so sometimes I have a harder time reigning it in.
          I think your goals are great. I think they represent a healthy way for anyone to lose weight and get in shape.
          I am not trying to bash you for wanting to lose weight. I will admit to a jealously of how little overweight you are. But that’s my issue, not yours.
          On twitter, you expressed (or so it seemed to me) a little dismay at the response this article was getting on The Consumerist. I was simply trying to provide you with another perspective.
          You are right, I’ve never been to India. I still don’t think my weight issues are an insult to them.
          You (and it seemed most of the commenters before me) don’t appear to have ever been a seriously overweight person. That’s the perspective I’m trying to share. And no, I don’t think your weight issues are an insult to me.
          And just like you think it would be cool if others are inspired by you (and I agree), I think it would be cool if just one person who reads this might stop and think next time before they tell a fat person who has failed at losing weight that “they just don’t want it bad enough”.
          As you say, its all a matter of perspective. I’m never going to have yours. You are never going to have mine. And I say that’s what makes conversations like this valuable and wonderful.

          1. Yep, understood. No worries.

            I know I’m on the lower end of being overweight, but I’m still overweight and mad so I’m doing something about it.

            If you read my comments to others here who are also OW and mad, I am supportive of them and hope they succeed. You’re right in that we all have different perspectives, agitation points, and standards, which does make for good points and counter points.

            I don’t like to judge anybody, especially if I’ve never walked in their shoes.

  63. According to the chart, looks like I am just five pounds from being within my range. Being sick for the last four days paid off! :).

    Jokes aside, I think it is the plight of people who work full-time sitting down. There are a few people at the agency I work that have set up makeshift standing stations for themselves so that they are standing more than sitting during the day. I am intrigued!

  64. I love your enthusiasm for the body change you are looking for. I have come to believe (through experience) in Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Body guidelines – and that weight is a bad gauge of fitness.

    I think Body Fat and measurements are way more important… Tim actually stress’s measurements of body parts and BF as the best way to tell if what you are doing is having an affect.

    I’m 43 now, 220lbs with 16.5% BF – according to my handheld Omron. I think the BF sensors in the scales are off too much and ignore mine.

    I’m one of the recovering masses getting back on track after the Thanksgiving-New Years bing eating. I record every time I measure weight and BF, in late July, I was at 14% BF and 208. Felt good as I ran two half marathons over the summer.

    With the outline of what you are going to do for fitness above, I could see you getting stronger and not actually losing weight at all. Watch your measurements and the BF ’cause the muscle’s you will be adding will counteract any fat you release (you don’t lose fat, cause when you lose something, you go look for it!! Release it!)

    Anyway- great attitude, you certainly have your big why going for you!

    Best of luck and I hope you post updates on this subject!


    1. Matt, how tall are you at 220lbs?

      The doctor says 8-18% is an acceptable body fat percentage, but me at 15% and you at 16.5% is pushing the high-end, even thought it’s OK. I mean, that’s 30+ pounds of fat on my body, and I just imagine how much quicker and leaner with just 15 pounds of fat essentials!

      I bet you really did feel great at 14% BF. Let’s get back down there together and more!


      1. I’m 6′ 4″ – and I agree that I’m pushing the high end. When I started tracking BF over a year ago, I was over 20%. I know how much better I feel when I’m closer to 15%. BTW – I ran two 1/2 marathons last summer (my body is NOT the typical marathoner!) and the lower the BF, the better I felt running.

        I plan on a marathon this year, so I need to get my diet and, therefore, BF down. Less Injuries that way and feeling much better.

        I’m trying to get my wife on board with a more Slow-Carb/Paleo diet – it can be tough to be the only one in a household on a ‘different’ eating plan!

        I agree, 14% is the next stop!

        1. Nice work Matt! That’s great you ran two 1/2 marathons! If the three-legged bear were chasing me as I mentioned in my article, I think he’d catch up to me by mile 7 FOR SURE!

          Let me know when you do that full marathon. That would be excellent.

  65. I’m 35 years old, 6’4″ with a big frame, and I’m currently weighing in around 250. I think my ideal weight is closer to 200 lbs or so. Yup, I’ve got a ways to go.

    Last year I started in on the weight loss thing, mainly focusing on healthier eating. I lost 30 lbs (started at around 270), and then gained about 10 back after losing some momentum and falling into old habits.

    This year my goal is go lose those extra 50 lbs – and to do that I’m starting P90X this month – combining the healthier eating that I did for part of the year last year with more frequent exercise. So we’ll see how it goes!

    I used to be on that 2-3 hours of tennis every day program playing all through high school, and teaching it in college – but not sure how long I would last these days..

    1. Hi Peter – I hope you took advantage of your height for your serve! That must be fun pounding the serve flat and at a sharper trajectory!

      200lbs sounds great. Michael Jordan was 6’6 and played at 205-210.

  66. Hey Sam,

    For consistency sake, only weigh yourself in the morning when you first wake up before eating or drinking anything, but after you go to the bathroom. This will give you a good tracking baseline. I’m medium frame, 6’1″, 34 yrs old, and now at 184. I’m in the same boat, my plan is to get to 169 by the July 4th, but my stretch goal is to do it before I head to the Phillipines in late May. Weigh creep has definitely creeped in on me!

    1. Brian, you are spot on in telling me to be consistent in weighing myself the same time after the same function every year. I am a dumbass for not doing so!

      I know i couldnt have gained 5 pounds in 48 hrs, yet still beat myself up. Thank you for your encouragement.

  67. Yo, Sammo. 2011 was my year to lose weight (42 pounds in 6 months). In previous failure plagued years, I thought running more would do the trick. Last year I quit all exercise and focused entirely on my diet. I was amazed at how much mindless snacking I had been participating in during the day, especially at work.

    I’m not saying working out won’t work. But you might want to experiment for 30 days with a diet only weight loss program. The issue I had with working out a lot is that I felt hungry…all the time. So, whether willfully, or subconsciously, I would sabatoge my efforts by eating whatever the heck I wanted thinking that working out would neutralize the bad food choices.

    So, maybe instead of on killing yourself with exercise, focus on cutting out sugar and other insulin spiking foods. And be sure to give yourself one day a week of pure gluttony :-)

    1. Jerret, I agree with you 100% that it’s more about less food intake and better food than exercising. Exercising just makes me hungry and risks me overreacting a lot of times!

      I once ate 25% less for 3 months and lost 8 pounds. I then worked out 3x more for 3 months and gained 1 pound!

  68. Sounds like a great goal sam, and I must say these charts make me mad as well. I’m not exactly sure how tall I am, but I’d guess 6′ or 6’1 – and with my weight of around 170, im sitting right at the top of the former, and towards the top of the latter. I dont really feel out of shape or unfit though, and nor do I constantly eat huge amounts.
    I’m about 10lbs off my all time high of 180, which was clinically overwieght, but I look the same as I do now – because muscle weighs more than fat, and i was spending 2 hours in the gym every day for about 8 months running.
    As a suggestion to lose some weight – try drinking more water.

  69. Good on ya, Sam for having a goal w/clear statements to get there. Now then, I grow weary of hearing so many complain about “weight”, especially “ideal weight”. Not to mention “frame size” or “bone structure.” Consider the numbers in terms of mass, and actual physical abilities. If you have the endurance to play a solid hour or so, 5’10” and 165 isn’t shabby. A buddy of mine is like 6′ and 210-ish, but he runs 5-10k at least 3/wk plus his other work-out. (think Insanity or P90X-like) While clinically ‘overweight’, he is in shape.

    As you’ve probably discovered, the important considerations are weight, height and body-fat in this equation. After that what matters is the body’s metabolism. Diet (i.e. overall eating habits) have the greatest effect, not only on weight/ body fat, but metabolism as well.

    Reducing then eliminating refined/processed sugars, soda, and anything “diet” then replacing w/ quality foods- fruits, veggies, lean meats, etc. will be your best friend in this venture. As well as smaller snacks and meals more frequently throughout the day. This decreased quantity, increased frequency of more complex foods will make your metabolism work.

    Also, there are some who suggest that this kind of diet is more in line w/ how our ancestors ate; therefore it is how our own bodies evolved to digest foods. From the ancient hunter/gatherer societies forward to modern-day humans.

    Those are just my thoughts on the whole diet/weight thing. I’ll put my soap box away now.

      1. Sorry, did not think about that. I’m around 5’9″, 145 w/ 14.5%. My fitness plan of choice is FfitDeck. Usually I have a decent enough diet; no soda, mostly water, some coffee ( ~2 mugs/ day) and a fair spread throughout the food groups.

        Good on ya! I don’t think I could play half a match anymore w/o a rest. My own 2-mile run time has doubled at best. Being tired afterward and being finished afterward are two distinct things, I think. You sound in good shape.

      2. 14.5% is my body fat percantage according to my home scales. According to the CDC, my BMI is 21.4. While there is a relationship in the two, they are distinctly different numbers. BMI relates height/weight whereas my 14.5% is more of a ratio of fat:lean muscle mass.

        Just wanted to clarify those numbers a little better.

  70. I’m small/medium frame and my weight is right in that range.
    You can also try eating smaller meals more often. This isn’t easy if you eat out a lot though.
    The restaurants’ portion size is way out of proportion.

  71. I am a small frame according to this chart and I am within range which is good. However this is a new thing for me. I have worked hard at taking control of my health the last couple years and it is nice to see it pay off. I think you have some great goals and some great steps on how to reach them. I am a vegetarian and I can vouch for how much better you feel and how much lighter you can be when you cut out meat. I won’t ever go back to my carnivore ways.
    You can do it Sam. We are all rooting for you.

  72. You seem to be in a fine weight range to me but maybe I’m just delusional bc according to this chart–I’m super overweight (although I wear a size 8).

    Anyway, just wanted to tout my 10 pound challenge to you since you’re planning on losing weight anyway. lots of prizes, $75, $50, $25, an ipod shuffle and more!

      1. 57.

        Thanks Sam.

        You appear to me to be in the proper weight range. But you know your body.
        By American standards you are considered slim, if not skinny, but you
        know you more than anyone else.

        Sam, my favorite nutrition book of all is called “The Pleasure Trap”.

      2. I never knew you had a blog. You should link it to your name at least!

        Sam, are you talking about when I make a comment on a blog and I have
        the space to write in my blog? If so, I usually do that.

        If you’re talking about something else, could you please tell me what you mean?

        I’m happy you would check out a book on my recommendation. That
        usually is not my experience. Thank you for that.

  73. Been there and done that! As you get older, you have to work harder to keep your metabolism up. I am 5 ft. 9 ins. and 147 lbs. I have developed a routine that works for me. You may want to look at what throws you off. For example client lunches and dinners are probably biggies! Make small changes to seafood or salads or just smaller portions. Losing weight can be difficult because muscle is heavier than fat. Good luck.

      1. Whenever I go to fine restaurants, my downfall is New Zealand lamb chops! I just love them with a mustard sauce and pommes frites. I am drooling just thinking about it. I may have it 1-2 times a year. Hmmm, I have out of town guests, this may be an excuse to have them!

  74. 5’8 here – I have a large frame…at my peak lifting days I was wearing a 48 suit jacket and maxed out on the bench at a pretty good amount. However, when you take away lifting seriously for 6 or 8 years but still eat that way you get me!

    I just started up martial arts again and I’d be PUMPED to get down to 195 (at 220ish now).

    1. Sounds good Evan. What were you hoisting up at when you were at your strongest? The most I ever got was 215lbs. My friend, who is 160lbs, 5’11 can bench 350lbs, and I was amazed!

  75. I didn’t realize the variance between sources was so big for the weight tables. I don’t watch sports on TV but I like your tip on doing situps and pushups simultaneously. Thats the right way to multitask! I’m not aiming for a specific weight this year but I did write up a lot of specific fitness and health goals for 2012. Overall I’m trying to increase my cardio, flexibility, and in take of raw foods. Best of luck with your target weight, you sound determined so I bet you can do it!

  76. I once lost 15 lbs from all fruit diet. I just ate fruit for lunch and then a normal dinner for one month. I also went to the gym 4x a week for 4 weeks. I went from 183-168 lbs doing this. But as soon as I stopped I gained it all back in no time. Losing weight is possible short term but for long term it’s a out a archangel in lifestyle which is very hard for most of us.

  77. Minor nitpick on determining frame size… I’ve heard the same thing over and over about putting your fingers around your wrist, but I don’t buy it b/c that test is influenced by two things (wrist size and hand size) and only the former really relates to frame size. A better test is to measure the distance around your wrist, as well as elbow breadth, and compare them to a chart based on your gender & height, or use a calculator like this one:

    I bring this up in part because the hand-around-the-wrist test would tell you that I’m amongst the smallest of the small boned, but it’s mainly because I have rather large hands w/long fingers. If you looked at me, you’d never say I’m “small boned”, and when I’ve done the measurements I come out right on the line b/t medium and large frame.

    Anyhoo… I’m still a bit higher than where I should be no matter how you slice it, though I have dropped around 25 lbs over the past two years. My goal for this year is 12 in ’12… That is, to lose another 12 pounds. Good luck!

  78. Jeffrey Trull

    I don’t put too much value in charts like these, and I try not to obsess over weight myself. The charts are made for an “average” person, so not everyone will fit into them. They also don’t work for those that are muscular. A better way to judge what kind of shape you’re in is body fat percentage, which you can find out through various tests.

    I really like your strategies above, especially the 40% vegetarian and other eating ones. I think eating properly is much more important than people in general realize.

    I’m midway through Insanity right now. I’ve definitely gained muscle in the first 4 weeks, but my gut wasn’t helped by the holiday eating. Good luck, Sam!

    1. I worried little about my weight up to about 25, but now that I’m older and go out non stop for work and workout 50% less, I worry now.

      It’s harder to stay fit the older we get, but again, that’s just another BAD excuse!!

  79. I thought these charts were a little unrealistic too until I saw several other charts which had weights about 5-10lbs LOWER for the ideal weight ie 140-153 for a man 5’10”! I spent several hours researching online, in the bookstore and talking to a trainer. The above chart, although difficult for those not in the range to accept, is ideal based on nutritionists and doctor recommendations.

    I’ve been way too soft on myself for too long!

    1. Agreed – the American, ahem, excuse me – the North American population has become too complacent with weight in general. It’s costing hundreds of millions of dollars because we refuse to take care of ourselves. Good for you for identifying that you’ve begun to slip and now it’s time to do something about it! Best of luck with the journey

  80. Money Beagle

    I’m 5’8″. At my peak, I hit 170. Last year I got down to 155 which I was cool with. With the holidays, I’m around 160. I have set a couple of incremental goals: Get back to 155 first. Then, I’d like to get down to around 152 and stay in that range.

  81. Good luck to you in 2012. It seems like a reasonable goal.

    I lost a great deal of weight, 50+ lbs., about five years ago. I have always been really active but I had three kids and got older and I was still eating like a teenager, constantly and too excess. I started counting calories and boosted my exercise routine. I was really never on a diet, I ate what I wanted I just worked with portion control. It took me about eight months but I am at comfortable weight. I could probably lose some more pounds but I am really happy with where I am.

    1. 50lbs is great!

      I guess so long as you are happy where you are, that’s the most important thing. I’m always amazed when women can get back into pre pregnancy weight.

      I’m not happy with my weight creep, hence this post.

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