What Should My Goal Weight Be?
I used to be that guy, who always wanted to have a dream goal weight of XX kg cause according to my best friend, Google, I have a small frame, and XX amount of weight would be ideal for a male of my height that with a small frame. I finally figured that trying to achieve my "perfect weight" suggested by google adds a ton of unnecessary stress and decided to let this thought of mine go.
Firstly, eating disorder is both a physical and mental condition. People with eating disorders tend to have low self-esteem and are perfectionists. You are probably here because you want to find out the perfect weight. There is no fixed magic number to your perfect weight. Everybody is different; therefore everybody’s “perfect” and ideal weight is catered to their bone structure and metabolism rate.
My favourite example I like to give is this. Assuming there are 2 types of dog, one is a toy poodle while the other is a husky. If you give the same amount of food to both dogs, a toy poodle will never be as big as a husky while a husky will never be the size of a toy poodle. This is because even though both are the same animal species under dogs, they have different bone and physical structure. This is what makes them unique.
This is also the same reason why Asians generally tend to be more petite compared to Americans who generally tend to be slightly bulkier due to their genetics and bone structure. Of course, there are big-boned Asians and petite Americans, but you get my gist. Hence, you should be proud of your body and embrace it. Everyone is unique in their own ways.
So long as you are in the healthy BMI range of 18.5-24.9. Of course, if you are in the very unhealthy or morbidly obese range, you should not be embracing your weight and instead do something about it for your own personal health.
Depending on how long you have it for, the average person takes about 1-2 years to recover and gain back the weight. Physical changes do happen quicker than mental changes. Most are not fully recovered mentally as their mind is always battling on whether they should eat or not, or if it contains too much calories and if it’s going to result in weight gain.
The total refeeding process took me 4 months to hit my overshoot weight of 69kg. I began recovery at a body mass of 41kg. I gained 15kg in the first month, 5kg in the second, 4kg in the third month and the final 4kg in the fourth month. I maintained my overshoot weight for a month, before gradually dropping back to 63kg over the next 2 months.
For me, it took 4 months to gain back the weight physically and 6 months mentally before I did not have a ridiculous amount of guilt upon consumption of fast or junk food. Of course, having a balanced diet is important but when you are underweight and malnourished, that should be the least of your concern until you are back to a healthy weight. However, I would suggest you hit your overshoot weight and maintain there for a while.
The reason being, people with eating disorders' view of a balanced diet is far "healthier" and a lot less calories than the average person’s view of a balanced diet. Hence, you might be in a never-ending spiral of losing and gaining weight until you learn to let go. This used to be me. I wanted to eat normally and started gaining weight. Then, I would overthink if this is going to make me unhealthy and my skin worse and ended up going back to my raw vegan diet and losing back the weight.
Therefore, take this time off your mind on the type of food, the calories, exercise and the macro and micronutrients. Stop trying to achieve the perfect diet. Focus on something else like your passion or hobby that is not diet and health related.
For most people, you should not have a goal weight. The goal weight for you will be determined by your body genetics and not the number you want it to be. Just be patient and truthfully eat without restriction until you hit your overshoot weight and maintain there for awhile. By then, most of your junk food cravings should be severely reduced and you should follow an 80-20 rule of regular balanced meals to junk food craving indulges.
Instead, you should set a goal number of weight gain to achieve every week. You should gain at a minimum of 0.5kg to 1kg per week until your overshoot weight is achieved. That should be used as a minimum. You should aim to gain more and it is very normal to do so during the early stages of recovery. The more you gain, the quicker your body reaches its overshoot weight and the extra food and energy can be used to repair and heal the body hormonally and physically.
When your body has healed and repaired, your weight will gradually go back down. That will be your “goal” weight that is ideal for your body type. Most people’s weight is usually within a certain range if they eat normally without purposefully dieting. Due to having a small frame, it’s somewhere between 60 to 65kg for me. However, this may change as I get older and my metabolism starts to slow down or if other external and environmental factors come into play. Therefore, your ideal weight for your body now may be different than what your ideal weight is going to be 20 years from now if the diet remains unchanged over that period.
Hence, stop worrying and start eating. Everyone has an overshoot weight and you will stop and maintain there for awhile. You will not keep gaining endlessly. (Click here to find out how much food you should eat for recovery.)
Therefore, take this opportunity to enjoy food and satisfy all your cravings. If you are like me, you would have cravings for lots of junk food which you control yourself not to consume. Now’s the time to be free like a bird; and in no time, your mind and body will also be free from eating disorder and life will be fun and worth living again.