How much weight does a woman have to lose to drop an individual dress size?
As a very rough guide, it's typically around 10-14lbs. Less so when you get near to a healthier weight, as your body may appear to shrink dress size dramatically even when the scale's slowing down. This is especially so if you start weight training workouts and develop lean muscle to replaces the lost fat.
I've just lost 80lbs but I still have another 15lb to go before I'm at my ideal weight. According to my BMI I'm still overweight but my friends and family keep telling me I'm getting too skinny and I don't need to lose more (when I clearly do or I wouldn't be overweight!) Have you experienced this? Funnily enough, I am in a similar situation with my weight! I'm 8lbs away from my goal weight which is at the very top end of the healthy BMI range, so really I have around another 26lbs to go to reach a 'perfect BMI' of 22 (though this a very flexible goal based on my weight training results, and my body fat %). I've had a couple of comments along the lines "Oh you're fine as you are now, don't lose any more" and the one that annoys me most: "You're not becoming anorexic are you?" (anyone that knows me well enough will know there's certainly no danger of that happening!).
Personally, I think people are so used to seeing unhealthy images of people at far ends of the scale that many of us have no idea what a healthy body really looks like or what size it is. Clothing sizes in particular trip us up, in the UK a very tall woman, let's say a model in a magazine (who is also likely to have been Photoshopped!), is wearing a size 6 and is slightly underweight even before the obscene editing. When we are confronted on a daily basis with images like this we become to associate a size 6 with being underweight, despite the fact a much shorter woman or a tall-yet-muscular woman could wear that exact same outfit and size and still be a perfectly healthy weight. We also forget the muscle/fat ratio, which at the athletic end can result in slim healthy people weighing far more than they look.
The point I'm attempting to make here is that it's near-on impossible to judge how much weight a person has left to lose just by looking at them, particularly if they're athletic (the more accurate guide would be body fat percentage as this takes into account the muscle/fat ratio, unlike BMI using alone). Your friends and family are most likely saying this out of genuine kindness i.e. "I think you look lovely just as you are". There's even the possibility in some cases that it's just plain simple jealousy ("I can't lose weight, so I'd rather you stopped losing it and making me feel bad").
I also think the initial shock of how much weight you've lost and how much your body has changed by this point may cloud another person's vision of how far you may have left to go. (Often it's the other way around for the individual losing weight, we struggle to see how far we've come and only see how far we have left to go). If you're not already, monitor your body fat percentage and you (and your body) will know when you've reached an ideal healthy weight.
If you have questions of your own then feel free to email them to BeyondTheBathroomScale@hotmail.co.uk , tweet them to @BTBSBlog or post them on BTBS's wall at https://www.facebook.com/BeyondTheBathroomScale