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I Want to Lose 17 Pounds by December 19th

How does one formulate numbers for either fat loss or lean muscle gain? Whenever I get a new client they have often have this special number picked out in their head when trying to either gain or lose weight.  On top of this, they are very confident that it’s where they want, have, or need to be body weight wise. This is okay and it’s fantastic to have a goal, but there is no possible way you can predict how you will look or feel when you reach that magic number in the future.

Let’s explore this misconception…

Did you choose this weight because you think you will look good when you hit it? If you’re trying to get to a weight you were in the old days, you probably won’t look the same as you did back then even if you do reach it. You are at a different point in life and have either more or less muscle mass, fat, and or posture and flexibility etc. Saying this, you could look or feel better or worse when you get there.

Did you compare yourself to someone else? Just because Jane Doe looks great at 105lbs or John Smith looks awesome at 180lbs it doesn’t mean you will too. Again, they have more or less muscle mass than you do and are a different body fat % as well. Even if they are the same body fat % they could look totally different. (Refer to pictures below) They have different genetic traits, tissues, and structures and knowing this your body will not look like theirs no matter what.

Did you just pull this number out of the sky? I hope not because obviously common sense explains this has almost no validity at all, unless you are a time after time physique competitor who constantly monitors and pays attention to detail. Considering what I said above though, even then it is not full accurate to pick a number.

Moving forward I’m sure most of you know by now that most body fat % calculators, and BMI charts are not as accurate as you may think. Girth measurements are a good guideline but that doesn’t tell you your fat to mass ratio. The scale is a good tool, but stepping on it all the time along with taking into consideration all the fluctuations in pounds we can have during the day or week will drive you crazy. Pictures and the mirror are great tools to use, but you need a reliable source taking pictures the same way, with the same lighting, the same distance away etc. Otherwise they are skewing what you “really” see.

Critiquing yourself is one of the hardest things you can possibly do. Have a true, knowledgeable down to person you can trust be 100% honest and realistic with you about your goals so you can take the steps needed to obtain your future calling. Or better yet have a professional coach evaluate you. They will truly help identify what you want and need to change to reach your fitness goals.

I’m sure this post wasn’t what you thought it would be, but at least now you understand you can’t really formulate weight transformation numbers 100% accurately. If your still thinking right now, Justin you’re insane, “I’m 100% sure I need to lose or gain 5 more pounds”, then power to you and I challenge you to do it. I can almost guarantee when you reach that point you will want to either lose or gain more weight. I hope even more that it helps you go after those 5 pounds if they are truly needed.

About Justin Rivelli

Justin Rivelli has been training clients online and in-person at his private gym in Berkshire County, Massachusetts for over 15 years. He specializes in helping 35 to 65 year old adults improve their body composition with well-rounded fitness plans that suit their needs, wants, and lifestyle. You can find out more about him at


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