How to Determine the Percentage of Weight Loss

Scales Indicating Time to Weigh In

The idea of calculating the percentage of weight loss over a particular period of time is a relatively new one. It became popular with NBC's The Biggest Loser show, a competitive show where contestants compete to see who can lose the highest percentage of weight in a 12-week time period.

It is important to note that the idea of losing weight as quickly as possible is neither healthy nor effective; in fact, many of the contestants who lose weight quickly on this show gain the weight back just as quickly. Nutritionists, weight loss specialists and doctors alike agree that anyone who wants to lose weight and keep it off needs to avoid "quick weight loss" schemes that wreak havoc on the body's metabolism and endangers their overall health.

If you have been working towards your weight loss goals and want to know how much weight you have lost over a particular period of time, the formula for calculating the percentage of weight loss is relatively simple. Divide the number of pounds you lost by your starting weight and multiply this number by one hundred. For example, a person who weighed 200 pounds two months ago but lost 20 pounds in the last two months would divide 20 by 200. The answer (.1) would be multiplied by 100. The answer to this problem (10) indicates your percentage of weight loss.

An even more accurate weight loss measurement tool is the Body Mass Index (BMI). While it is not perfect, it does accurately measure your health risk based on your height and weight. The Metabolic Research Center offers a free online BMI calculator you can use to determine how much weight you need to lose in order to avoid health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.


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