A research study has determined the answer to questions that many of us have been curious about:
- How much weight you need to lose for people to notice.
- How much weight you would need to lose for people to find you more attractive.
Let’s dive in.
When it comes to areas of your body that you want to slim down and tone up, most people think of the usual ‘problem’ areas - thighs, butt, arms (insert area that you don’t like here). As it turns out, one of the first places that people notice weight loss in your face.
It’s written all over your face.
Your face signals all sorts of different information to people about your health. Your face gives medical professionals cues about what is going on with your immune system, cardiovascular wellbeing, and the levels of stress that you are experiencing.
As it turns out, the face is also one of the best indicators of your Body Mass Index (BMI).
If you are overweight or obese, the increased volume in the fatty areas of your cheeks - called buccal fat pads, will give you a larger, heavier appearance. Conversely, if you are too skinny, the lack of fat in your cheeks will make you look drawn and gaunt.
This balancing act between too much fat and too little fat in the face has women opting for buccal fat removal surgery to create a more ‘desirable’ contour in the face on the one hand, and then adding volumizing ‘fillers’ to plump up skinny faces on the other. Welcome to the ever shifting beauty standard tightrope walk.
Healthy BMI ranges from 18.5-24.9 and according to the study, people prefer looking at faces that are at the lower end of that BMI range.
To show weight loss in your face, you need to change your BMI by approximately 1.33 points the study found. The average woman (5 ft, 4 inches) would have to lose 9 pounds for someone to register a change in her appearance by the fat loss in her face.
Interestingly, the study found that just because people notice a weight loss and a change in your appearance, that does not necessarily translate into them finding you more attractive.
So how much weight would you have to lose for someone to find you more attractive?
To give your face a boost in its perceived attractiveness, you would need to lower your BMI by 2.5 points. The average woman at 5’4 tall would be looking at a weight loss of 18 pounds to achieve this.
Faces judged to be the most attractive by the study group had BMI’s of 19 for women and 24 for men. For Women at the average height of 5’4, this came to be a weight of 111 pounds.
What does any of this mean?
To be honest, it means whatever you allow to mean. The vast majority of us are not 111 pounds, so whatever you are thinking, you are not alone. The Corporate Beauty and Fitness Industries have programmed us for decades to perceive what it is to be ‘beautiful’ or ‘fit’ according to an extremely narrow focus - namly what they want us to think or believe so that they can sell us their products to ‘fix’ where we fall short. A Lot of us are not 111 pounds, so they've given themselves a lot of rope to tangle us up in. These industries have gotten to be expert at this manipulation because there are billions of dollars up for grabs. They create anxiety and self-hatred at an industrial level and then stimulate us with fresh reminders of our insecurities whenever they need to drive profits.
Beauty is subjective. Our experience of what beautiful means or even looks like will always be entirely individual.
At BodyRock, we believe that all bodies are beautiful, and what matters the most to us are the messy bits in between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.
Each of us has the right to move, and movement isn’t just for certain types of bodies that look a certain way. We are part of a growing effort to normalize ‘real’ human bodies. Not to celebrate obesity or anything that is unhealthy, but to open the benefits of fitness up to everyone, and recognize that our fitness journeys don’t just look like the ‘perfect’ illusions on your social media feeds. We are focused on becoming the best version of ourselves possible, strong and confident in our bodies.
A better approach. You are more than just a number.
When the goal shifts from weight loss, to getting fitter, faster and stronger, it humanizes the process of fat loss. If you strength train and follow a basic meal plan, you will lose weight. But when you focus on getting stronger, you become more than just a number on the scale. You start to see and feel and recognize all of the different ways that you are changing and improving. It’s more empowering than just trying to become physically lighter. There is more to dig into, and more meaning to sustain you when things get hard.
Strength training for just 20 minutes 3-5 per week is enough to totally change your life.
Lucky for you we have the Introduction to Strength Training Bootcamp 5 days x 20 minutes per workout, a perfect starter series for absolute beginners.
Maybe you’ve tried to ‘lose weight before’, but have you ever tried to get stronger instead?
Come and train with us for just a week. It's free for the first 7 days. You might just like what it feels like to be stronger and lose weight.
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