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Nutrition & Dieting/Ideal weight to shoot for?


Hi Lawrence
I am 55, 5'7" tall.
As a young guy in my early 20's, living on my own, broke, and subsisting on toast and cigarettes, I weighed 130 pounds. I didnt look like a concentration camp survivor, but that was my lightest weight as an adult.
A few years later, I got into bodybuilding, and found I was a fast gainer. I put on about fifty pounds of muscle. My legs, chest, back, and arms got pretty muscular. I got married, had kids, and although still working out, more fat went on then muscle.
At my heaviest a few years ago I was almost 250. Lets say on the beach I didnt look obese but was noticeably overweight.
I have since managed to get down to 230 pounds with the help of a low carb diet. I tried low fat and very low calorie but this seems to be the only one that works for me. I still eat lots of fruit and veggies, just no sugar, bread, potatoes, etc.
Going by the height and weight charts, BMI, etc., I am extremely  obese. There are no charts for ex bodybuilders.
I am starting to feel lighter and look pretty good in the mirror,  even a hint of my old six pack is returning!
My question is what is a healthy weight to shoot for? Would 200 be too heavy or too light? I had to switch to a size extra large shirt after lifting weights, and still wear that size, though it is a wee bit loose now. Most of my friends that are my height wear small to large. Maybe I should shoot for wearing size large comfortably?
Thanks for your thoughts!

If you are gaining muscle and working hard to do so, the BMI chart is not the chart for you to use to determine the shape you are in with regard to body composition. While the BMI chart is a great guide, it is not a great indication of obesity. My suggestion to you is to get a body composition using calipers at a local gym. This will tell you the percentage of fat, which is a better indicator. Generally, if your fat percentage is higher than 32% you would be considered clinically obese.

One word of advice, word hard to find the skin calipers. The biometric impedence scales are nice but they are not as accurate and have a 4% degree of margin of error one way or the other. If you have to use the impedance calculators, add 3-4% up to be conservative. Also, make sure you are well hydrated an hour before testing on it.  

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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach


Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.


I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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