The truth about your ideal weight

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Tiffany McMillian started struggling with weight when she was in high school.

"I was gaining significant weight over a short period of time, clothes fitting tight, not having the same amount of energy and stamina," said Tiffany.

At her highest weight of 270 pounds she became obsessed with dieting.

"I tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and South Beach diet," added Tiffany.

Tiffany also became obsessed with scales.

"Scales is a good indication but just understand it's not the ideal way to determine body health," said David Vollinger, MD.

Body health is determined by a lot more than just numbers says Dr. Vollinger.

"The patient's weight includes both their muscle and their fatty tissue. The scale only tells you part of the story."

Dr. Vollinger says body composition is what you need to know, if you really want to get results.

"This gives you a true indication of muscle mass, fat mass and bone mass."

While the scale isn't completely useless, Dr. Vollinger says it may not be the best tool for people just starting a fat loss program.

"What we want is a healthy weight as opposed to what most people think is the cosmetic ideal super model weight."

As for Tiffany, she didn't toss her scale; she just took her focus off of it. She now weighs 197 and is now only 20 pounds away from her personal goal.

"There's always going to be numbers but I have to look at what's healthy for me, how I feel."

Dr. Vollinger says the key to any weight loss program is, first, nutrition:

What you eat and how you eat it.

Next, it's exercise and activity.

And third, behavior modification

He says we eat not just because we're hungry, but we eat because we're sad, we're happy, we're lonely, as a reward.  So the real goal with behavior modification is to be mindful in your eating.

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