I am a 19 year old female trying to lose weight. I am currently 5’9” and 226lbs but according to my friends look much lighter. My doctor says it’s because I’m very muscular. I have PCOS which makes it difficult for me to lose weight but since he put me on metformin I have dropped 30lbs. So now I’m steadily losing weight but wonder what my goal should be. My doctor guessed I should actually weigh 170-180 because of my muscles but I think that still sounds like too much. What do you think?
This is a bit of a tricky question since I’ve never actually seen you, but I’m guessing that you have a fairly large bone structure, able to carry a good deal of muscle with ease. In this case you may find that a comfortable bodyweight for you is tens of pounds more than it is for a woman of your height but a lighter build.
I’ve consulted several height/weight charts and found that while 170 pounds may be at the upper limit of your ideal weight range, it is not extraordinary. It seems that 180 pounds could be on the excessive side. Some charts list 160 pounds being the uppermost comfortable limit for a healthy 5’9” woman who isn’t a top bodybuilder. I list this caveat because as you know muscle weighs more than fat and so bodybuilders can’t really be measured according to conventional systems.
Another way to find whether your weight is in a healthy or optimal range is to measure its BMI or Body Mass Index. This is a measurement that describes your ratio of body fat to overall bodyweight in terms of a single number. The number is then correlated with one of the four levels on the BMI scale, which are as follows: Underweight = <18.5, Normal weight = 18.5-24.9, Overweight = 25-29.9, Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater. Of course this is also skewed towards “average” people and doesn’t take into account those with above average musculature.
I encourage you to keep in touch with your doctor as you drop pounds and to consider consulting a good nutritionist, who can help design a diet based on your body’s unique needs. Remember to keep your body nourished as you lose weight as this is a common pitfall for dieters.
I wish you the very best of luck in reaching your goal!