Only 5% of us have skinny genes!
Scales are unreliable, standard height and weight charts are unreliable (muscle weighs more than fat, bone density can differ) and our own perception of ourselves in the mirror can be really unreliable.
Too many of us look at media and think that’s what we should look like, and will be judged if we don’t look the same. It’s refreshing to see that over the past few years, “Strong is the New Skinny” seems to be flying around the health and fitness world. One pound of muscle burns about 15 calories a day, and while that’s still not much, it’s more than what one pound of fat will do for you.
Check the body shapes of women in your family tree. Looking back to old photographs when dieting and skinny models was not the fad and you’ll probably find a women who has your healthy ideal weight.
The “ideal” female body has changed drastically over time. Look at old photographs, artwork and films. The typical 1920’s-1940’s swimsuit models and women in Michelangelo paintings had beefy thighs and a lot of curve. Marilyn Munroe was a size 12 and above.
TV, movies and magazines rarely show the average-shaped body. They are also altered by computer image editing to cut out “flaws”. In healthy 20-50yr old women, 28% body fat is average.
Do catwalk models typically menstruate?
Among elderly women, the thinnest have a death rate 50% higher than average height-weight women (Associations Between Body Composition, Anthropometry, and Mortality in Women Aged 65 Years and Older, Am J Public Health. 2007 May; 97(5): 913–918).
Dieting causes you to yo-yo above and below your ideal weight and blunts your metabolism. When you’re trying to lose weight — or maintain your current weight — you think about fats, carbs, calories and exercise. One important piece of the weight loss puzzle, though, is your metabolism, which you may not think about at all. When you severely reduce the number of calories you eat over a long period of time, your body compensates by slowing down your metabolism, allowing it to save calories for energy your body will need to handle its basic functions.
Many people look back at photos of themselves before they ever dieted and say how good they looked back then, when they were at their ideal weight and hadn’t interfered with their emotions, hormones and metabolisms by low-calorie dieting or taking weight-loss supplements.
The bottom line – eat whole, fresh foods, move around more and notice the difference between eating to live versus living to eat. Watch your thoughts and emotions. Don’t get pinned down with any diet, fat-loss, metabolism-enhancing or longevity products or online plans. Steer clear of personal trainers who look unhealthy, want to sell you products or give you a meal plan that doesn’t make sense. Healthy eating should make sense. Online fitness should make sense.
Click here for my online strength and conditioning programs.