Fifty-seven percent of American adults say they would like to lose 20 pounds or more, according to “Eating Patterns in America,” a report from NPD Group. This desire for weight loss comes as no surprise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.
So what’s your magic number on the scale for optimal health?
“There’s no such thing as an ideal weight loss goal,” says Heidi Stroessner-Johnson, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine doctor. “It’s very individual from person to person.”
Family history, genetics, body frame, medical conditions, pregnancy, lifestyle – these are all factors that determine what the scale should read for each individual.
And some weight gain as you age can seem almost inevitable, says adult weight management director Karen Handy, of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Most Americans gain about a pound a year, starting in midlife. As we age, we lose lean muscle tissue. Since lean muscle tissue helps drive our metabolism, we began to burn fewer calories. So even if we eat the same diet, we can begin to gain weight.”