The other day I was doing the InBody assessment for one of our members.

He’s lost over 4 stone.

Dipping under 14 stone.

And, as a blog title suggests, he commented that he hadn’t weighed that little since he was 16 years old.

And that’s not the first time I’ve had that conversation over the years.

When people get fairly slim, they’re often surprised how little they weigh.

Many of us, when we’ve been carrying excess weight, have seen things like the government guidelines of recommended weight……..

And thought to ourselves “I could never be that light”.

“I’d have to chop a leg off to weigh that little”.

Or we’ve had BMI, or something similar, done at work and thought the suggested weight it gave for us was ludicrous.

We’ll hear that “BMI doesn’t take into account muscle levels”.

That it “puts bodybuilders and rugby players as a obese”.

Even though we’re not a bodybuilder or rugby player.

Yet, after over 20 years in the Fitness Industry, pretty much everyone I’ve ever coached who has become fairly lean has ended up in those recommended weight ranges.

We were just carrying more body fat than we realised.

When I was at my heaviest (16 stone 10) I told myself that a fair amount that was muscle.

But then I lost loads of weight.

And have floated around the 14 stone mark for over 20 years.

And I’m pretty sure that I’ve had more muscle mass in that timeframe than I did when I was an inactive, heavy drinking, rubbish eating student.

When I dropped to 3% body fat for my 40th birthday photoshoot, I actually dropped under 13 stone for the first time since I was probably in my early teens.

I’m not suggesting that’s what anyone needs to do but, that does show that extra stone I normally carry is largely body fat.

If we’re unsure, it’s actually relatively easy to calculate if we know our body fat percentage.

Take our current body fat and subtract a target amount to get the difference between them.

Here’s some guidelines as to what someone might chose to aim for.

Essential fat: 2-5%
Athletes: 6-13%
Fitness: 14-17%
Acceptable: 18-24%
Obesity >25%

Essential fat: 10-13%
Athletes: 14-20%
Fitness: 21-24%
Acceptable: 25-31%
Obesity >32%

So if you’re a guy with 35% body fat and you’d like to get to 20, you’d have the number 15.

If you a woman with 38% body fat and you’d like to get to 26, you’ve got a 12.

Take your current weight and subtract that percentage (times by 0.85 or 0.88 in these two cases).

If you’re a 18 stone guy wanting to go from 35% to 20% you would end up weighing about fifteen and a half stone stone all else being equal.

At 10% you would be more like 13 and a half stone.

From my experience we might be lighter still as there’s be some loss of retained water, etc.

Nearly always ending up roughly in the middle of the government guidelines or BMI.

Because, for the vast majority of us, our lean mass won’t have increased all that much since we were 16 or so.

A little, maybe.

But a handful of pounds rather than stones for the vast majority of people.

As always, they are our bodies to do with what we like.

They can be any size and weight we want and no one should make us feel otherwise (but we’re very good at helping people who would like to change that but have struggled before. Two weeks extra free before Christmas. .


If you’re not a bodybuilder or rugby player (and even for them, the additional weight of muscle has implications)………

Then BMI and weight guidelines are are pretty good guide as to what we could weigh, if we chose to.

Much love,

Jon ‘Sweet’ Hall

P.S. Two days to the free online master class ‘How to still enjoy Christmas without undoing the progress of 2023, regretting it and leaving even more to do come January’. What else will you be doing on Sunday that you’ll be so glad that you did? Find out more and book in at Or regret not doing it!


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.