19 April 2010


Many, many years ago, at 165 lb. I found myself to be 10 lb. overweight, and decided to correct the situation through fasting. I'd fasted previously, for a day or two. This time I fasted for a few weeks, and lost 30 lb. It took only marginally longer than that to regain the weight I'd lost.

Fast forward (so to speak) twenty years or so. Once more I'd inched up the scale, until I was substantially even more overweight. At 5'9", I'd attained a weight just shy of 200 lb. This time I went about losing weight in a more sensible manner, watching my diet and limiting my food intake to 1200 calories of balanced nutrition per day. The resulting drop of around 2 lb. per month was far easier to manage. I've since reached, and even dipped beneath, my high school weight of 155 lb.

During neither time interval was I exercising studiously (although in the years between I went through a period of athleticism that included karate, weight training and whitewater kayaking.) I accept the value of both diet and exercise in staying fit. An article in the NYTimes examines exercise as a component of losing weight. The findings of recent studies reveal that exercise may not play as important a role weight loss as had been previously accepted, but that it still is important in losing the weight one manages to lose.
My principal guide for a target weight is the Body/Mass Ration (BMR) Index, which offers a weight range for people of different heights, broken down by gender. Generally, I believe that lighter is more healthy, within one's range. This varies depending on how much exercise one does. Less exercise should mean a lower target weight. More exercise should allow for a higher target weight, since (a) muscle mass is denser than other soft tissue, and (b) the greater number of calories burned will require a greater caloric intake to support. At least, that is my understanding based on current research.

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