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How Much Should I Weigh?

If you have decided to get off the merry-go-round that is chronic dieting, or you are recovering from disordered eating, you may be wondering, “How much should I weigh?”

Clients always ask this question. Even with multiple degrees in nutrition sciences and experience in outpatient eating disorder treatment centers, I can’t confidently tell a client exactly what they will weigh once fully weight restored. BMI's and ideal body weights say nothing about what is healthy for a specific individual. Our bodies have a unique set-point range at which they are comfortable. In the scientific literature, set-point is considered the weight your body will naturally defend physiologically (Stice et al., 2008). Your body will always fight to get back to this comfortable place.

Although I can’t predict your exact set-point, what I can tell you is that if your weight is staying about the same (not including for those who are still growing), and if you

  • Eat a variety of foods

  • Honor food preferences

  • Honor hunger and fullness cues in a flexible way

  • Eat for pleasure

  • Don’t obsess over food or exercise

  • Don’t count calories, macros, points, etc.

  • Don’t over-exercise

  • Are flexible with both your food and exercise routine

  • Don’t follow any food and movement “rules” (unless indicated by medical necessity)

then you may be close to the set-point range that is comfortable for your body.

We can try to manipulate our set point, but our bodies are smart and extremely resilient. Our bodies are so resilient that roughly 95% of people (!) regain the weight they lost on diets in the long term.

Everyone's set point range is different; it is OKAY if your body's "healthy" doesn't look like someone else's "healthy."

Stice, E., Davis, K., Miller, N. P., & Marti, C. N. (2008). Fasting increases risk for onset of binge eating and bulimic pathology: a 5-year prospective study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(4), 941–946.

Curious to learn more about your set-point weight range and how to get there so you can stop obsessing over food? Contact Jaeger Nutrition today for a virtual appointment.


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