I'm trying to decide on an appropriate target weight, and would appreciate thoughts on whether the following approach makes sense, or if I should be considering other factors.
Here is the background. I'm male, 47 y/o, 5' 11", medium build. I started 2010 at 214 lb. During the spring I went to 195 lb via a couple months of calorie counting. I was eating on average 1,500 cal/day. I cut out baked goods and pasta, learned what a "4 oz portion" looks like, and explored my relationship with food. The lesson was that the more time I spend cooking, the less "need" I feel to actually eat. I was already cooking a fair bit, but started cooking even more.
During the summer and fall, I stopped actively counting calories, but continued cooking a lot and being moderate in my eating, and my weight stayed constant.
In November, at 195 lb, I resumed calorie counting. I'm eating on average 1,380 cal/day - this is a combination of 1,200 cal/day most days with the occasional 2,000 cal days.
After all that, I'm currently 187 lb, and trying to decide on a target weight.
Currently my body fat scale (I have an Omron bathroom scale that measures body fat percentage) says I have 28% body fat. If that is right, I have 135 lb lean mass and 52 lb fat.
I figure, suppose I make it my goal to build 15 lb of muscle, via weight training. So my lean mass would then be 150 lb. Then if I had 12% body fat, my fat would be 20 lb (32 lb lower than now) and my total weight 170 lb.
Looking at various BMI tables, it seems that a healthy weight would be 136-179 lb (BMI 19-25).
As a historical compare, at 25 y/o I was 162 lb with 5% body fat, so I had 154 lb lean mass then.
Does it seem reasonable to set my target weight at 170 lb? As an initial target, anyhow? I suppose I will re-evaluate when I get there.
170 is a fine initial target, and like you say you can always re-evaluate when you get there.
But as an aside, 1200 or 1380 calories on average is nowhere near enough for you to be eating. The absolute minimum that men should eat is 1500, and that goes up the bigger you are. Plugging your stats into a BMR calculator I get around 1800 for you, that being the minimum number of calories your body needs to function even if you're in a coma. Eating less than your BMR greatly increases the chances of messing up your metabolism and hitting plateaus, and deprives your body of the energy it needs for exercise and the raw materials it needs to repair itself and maintain muscle mass while you lose fat.
I agree with jp's comments. 170 is a good target but don't undereat to get there.
Based on my experience when I reached 26 BMI, you'll have to generate almost all of your weight loss deficit with exercise from here on out. Hit the trail, gym or pool and start putting in the time. Spending time cooking is a good idea. It alleviates the boredom and keeps you from eating, but you need a few hours a day doing something less sedentary.
Thanks. You are both absolutely right on the exercise.
On the calorie intake, I get 1800 for my BMR as well. I am starting to track my lean mass. I'm interested to see if it is declining. That would certainly make me increase the calories.