Your calculator says I’m overweight after losing 60 pounds yet am where my doctor says I should be.

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I just filled out your Healthy Body Calculator® form and have a problem. You say I’m overweight, even though I have lost 60 pounds in the past year and am right where my doctor says I should be! I’m confused. How can both of you say different things? I’ve run into this several times when talking to people who live in California vs. the Midwest. Californians apparently need to weigh 20 pounds less than me, according to what their doctors are saying and what mine is saying. How can two people with the same height and body type be told so two obviously different things?

Congrats on losing 60 pounds! Current research suggests that if people lose 10% of their current weight, it results in a significant improvement in their health risk from dietary causes. So unless you weighed over 600 pounds, you achieved that goal and your doctor seems to be happy with your success.

My calculator is based on published research and current practice that uses a variety of tools to give you feedback on where you are as well as incorporate your weight goal. Even though my calculator said you were overweight, did it say your BMI was overweight for height? BMI is more important than body weight in assessing nutritional health risk as it is an estimate of body fat. The more body fat you have the higher your health risk. Secondly, are you satisfied with your weight?

I don’t know what weight guidelines your doctor used in assessing you, but if he/she is satisfied. then perhaps you should work on maintaining your current weight. Your personal physician has access to your medical chart and can make recommendations based on lab and physical data. If your doctor is satisfied with your weight, choose to maintain your weight to see Your Nutrition Facts for how much to eat when you use my calculator.

Has your doctor talked to you about exercise? Ask him/her if exercise is OK for you. You should aim for 60 minutes 5 times per week at a minimum and enough intensity to break a sweat.

Weight guidelines don’t vary depending on geography, but there are age differences. Are you comparing 2 people who are also the same age?

Persons living in California would not be told to weight 20 pounds less using current research-based nutrition assessment tools. Research has shown that persons who live in colder climates tend to put on some weight just prior to winter whereas people who live in warmer climates may not want the extra insulation of a few pounds of winter weight.