How to Annoy Someone Who Has Lost Weight/ Is Losing Weight

1. Single them out and oversaturate them with positive reinforcement whenever they make even the most basic of healthy choices. Treat them like a toddler that is finally learning how to poop on their own. 

Positive Reinforcement Please

2. Act like they are ruining all the fun when they make healthy choices while eating out.

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3. When it comes to offering baked goods, refuse to take “No” for an answer. 

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4. If they decide to unleash their Inner Fat Kid for once, ask them, “Aren’t you supposed to be on a diet?”.

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5. If you ever suspect even the slightest amount of weight gain, act like the Skinny Police and make a comment. 

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6. Ask them what their starting weight was, how many pounds they have lost or what they currently weigh. Act like since they are losing weight, you have the right to know.

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7. Provide your opinion on how much you think they should weigh or how much more they should lose.

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8. If and when they reach a healthy weight, imply that they aren’t allowed to talk about struggling with their weight anymore. 

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9. Express your concern about them getting too thin when they are at a healthy weight or even overweight. 

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10. Remind them that most people just gain the weight back, and imply they shouldn’t believe in themselves because they will probably be one of them. 

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Dieting and The Deprivation Mindset

I think one of the most prevalent pitfalls in many approaches to healthy living is the deprivation mindset. What I mean by this is a diet that is revolved around what you can’t have. Personally, I don’t believe in cutting anything out of your diet 100% unless you are allergic to it.

When I try to cut foods that I love out of my diet, I just end up wanting it more. Eventually, when my willpower is exhausted, I end up feasting on it and having an increased appreciation for that food for a few days. When I simply focus on eating healthier, I naturally end up eating unhealthier foods less often without having to consciously say no to it.

I think dieting with a deprivation mindset can create a forbidden fruit effect on what we are cutting out. Trying to cut delicious foods out makes it all the more enticing. Every time we see it, we are reminded how we can’t have it and we want it… and we all know what happened in the Garden of Eden…

My Alternative to Deprivation Dieting

I’ve noticed that what I think about is kind of like gravity. If I think about cookies (or not eating cookies) then I find myself pulled towards eating cookies more. When I think about eating fruits and veggies, the more I feel drawn towards eating fruits and veggies. So basically, not eating cookies when you are frequently thinking about not eating cookies is kind of like fighting gravity.

Shift your focus to the solutions rather than the problem. Focus on what you should have more rather than what you should have less. Focus on eating healthier foods more often. Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Focus on eating more natural foods. Focus on drinking more water.

If you are having a hard time shifting your focus, try changing the information you are exposing yourself to. Don’t keep junk food in the house, buy it when you really want it in a single serving. Watch less TV shows since those are filled with junk food commercials and product placements. Watch Youtube videos or read articles about healthy foods/behaviors. Every time you see something (or something you associate with something) in your environment it is like it is telling your brain “Reminder: I exist!”. So when it comes to foods you aren’t supposed to be eating, this can be problematic.

Also Read:

Embracing Your Inner Fat Kid

Health is about Balance

The Basics of Blending

Blending is a great way to eat healthy food without doing a lot of work. I can usually make a smoothie at breakfast faster than it takes for my coffee to brew. There are plenty of options when it comes to blending and really you can put almost anything in one and consume in liquid form. Blending is also really fun for drinking alcohol in a way that you can pretend is healthy, I’ll leave you to your own devices for that…

*The measurements I give are estimated. I don’t actually measure my food.

Basic Fruit Smoothie Formula: 4 oz. Citrus juice + 6 oz. greek yogurt + assortment of fruits + spinach (you can’t taste it)

  • I usually use orange juice, but I occasionally use grapefruit juice or almond milk.
  • I typically use frozen fruit (not the sweetened kind, just plain frozen fruit) because it is less expensive and fits better for smoothies.
  • You can swap spinach with any type of dark green, but spinach has the most neutral flavor based on my experience. You also don’t need to add it, but it gives a boost of nutrients without making it taste off.
  • Greek yogurt is great for giving a boost of protein, but I occasionally leave it out if I want something lighter…

Mixed Berry Smoothie:

  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • 6 oz. of plain non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 oz. of frozen raspberry
  • 2 oz. frozen blueberry
  • 4 oz. frozen strawberry
  • 2/3 cup of spinach

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie:

  • 8 oz. almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter (avoid the processed kind of PB if you are trying to be healthy)

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie:

  • 4 oz. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of spinach (or until green enough)
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 50 g of dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces… or you can just get chocolate chips

Body Fat Percentage (BF%)

While Body Mass Index (BMI) is the traditional method for assessing health through weight, it can be unreliable because it doesn’t take into account body type or composition. A less used but more reliable method is Body Fat Percentage (BF%). It measures what percent of your body is composed of fat. It does not take into account other factors such as muscle mass, bone density and lifestyle choices. As we age our BF% increases as muscle mass decreases.

Essential Fat: This is the minimum percentage required for basic functioning and survival. We need a certain amount of fat for our bodies to function. We need it for insulation as well as protection of internal organs. For women this is thought to be around 10-13% and men it is around 2-5%.  This is often what bodybuilders will aim for on competition day. This range is very risky, unsustainable and not recommended for a healthy lifestyle.

Athletes: Women between 14-20% and men between 6-13% will fall into this category. This level is really only healthy if you have a higher amount of muscle mass (such as competitive athletes). This range is especially questionable for women, since some women will stop menstruating at these levels.

Fitness: This is considered the ideal range for fitness. Women fall into this category from 21-24% and men from 14-17%. This does not mean everyone in this category is actually fit or that people above this are not. This is generally the optimal range, but other factors need to be taken into account.

Acceptable: A BF of 25-31% for women and 18-24% for men is considered acceptable. This is what most people in the United States would consider a normal healthy weight. Many people who eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly will fall into this category.

Obese: A BF of 32%+ in women and 25%+ in men is considered obese. People in this range are at increased risk for chronic diseases.  Most American adults would fall into this category.

*Keep in mind this is different than obese according to BMI. The obesity rate according to these standards would be higher than BMI standards.

 

How to Determine Your Body Fat Percentage

  • Skin Fold Caliper: These cost around $5 and are a reliable way for measurement if done properly. You pinch your skin and pull the fat away from the muscle. Learning how to do this properly may take some practice, but is very useful if you learn how to do it right. You can calculate your skin fold measurements here.
  • Tape Measure: You can take measurements of yourself then input them into an online calculator. This isn’t the most reliable method, but it is quick and easy. One of the major factors that could come into play is your body shape (also measuring inaccurately/ not quite in the right place).
  • Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA): This measures the electrical current in your body combined with your height and weight. It makes an estimation of your BF% based on this. This is not the most accurate method because hydration can impact the result, but you can do it at home and it may feel less awkward than using a skin fold caliper. If you use this method, make sure you measure at a consistent time to keep the hydration levels similar (first thing in the morning is a good bet).
  • Hydrostatic Weighing: This has a high degree of accuracy for measuring BF%. It also requires going out of your way to pay $100+ to get dunked in a tank of water. For most people, this isn’t a very practical option.
  • DEXA Scan: This is considered the best measurement. It includes other factors in addition to BF%. However, it costs about $250 so it is only worth it if getting a precise reading is important to you.
  • The Mirror Method:  If you are able to look at yourself objectively, you will probably be able to make a decent estimation of your BF% in the mirror. If you only care about being in a healthy range and liking the way you look, then this is probably a good option for you. This is especially the case if like me, you have a tendency to obsess when numbers get involved. You can do this by comparing yourself to various visual guides and the characteristics described of each range (links below). That said, looking at ourselves objectively isn’t always easy. I recommend combining this with at least one of the other methods.

There is a good chance that the gym you belong to offers body fat measurements. This may be a cost effective way to be assessed by an expert (or at least someone who knows what they are doing). Some gyms may offer this with an overall fitness assessment.

Setting Goals

Body fat percentage is especially useful in tracking progress when you are at or around a healthy weight. You can track this along with progress in performance. Body fat percentage may be more difficult to accurately measure without a professional if you are significantly overweight, since there are less noticeable changes in definition.

When it comes down to it, the ideal BF% (once you are in a healthy range) is more a matter of personal preference. While you can be relatively healthy while overweight, the BMI and BF% guidelines were set as they are for a reason. Most women will probably want to aim between 20-25% and men between 15-20%.

Strength training plays an important role in finding a good balance. This is especially the case if you are losing weight, since you want to make sure what is lost is actually fat. Muscle is also denser and burns more calories than fat, so increasing muscle mass will give your metabolism a nice boost. Not to mention, it makes you look toned and being physically strong feels kind of bad ass.

Learn More:

Body Fat Pictures and Percentages (highly recommend)

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: How Lean Should You Be

5 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage

Body Fat Pictures of Men & Women (highly recommend)

Body Fat Images for Comparison

Everything You Need to Know About Body Fat Percentage

National Body Fat Percentage Average

Can you be fat and fit?

Can you be both fat and fit? On one hand we have plenty of statistics linking excess weight with multitude of chronic illnesses. On the other hand there are plenty of examples of  overweight people who are in good physical condition.

Physical and mental health is an interplay between various behavioral factors, genetics, social and environmental factors. Excess body fat is just one risk factor.

What does fat do?

Body fat insulates your body to help regulate core body temperature. It surrounds the body and organs to protect them from sudden movement and act as a protective cushion. It is a source of energy when your body is depleted of glucose. It helps maintain healthy skin and hair.

Why is excess fat bad?

There comes a point where increased body fat provides no function and only adds physical stress on the body. It is dead weight. It also over insulates the body (which is why fat people sweat more) and inhibits movement. It presses up against your organs causing stress. It is also associated with a lot of other behavior factors that increase the risk of disease.

What do they mean by fat?

Most studies involving obesity measure with BMI. BMI is a measurement of your weight in relation to your height. Body fat percentage is a more reliable measurement of health. Even within BF%, there are still other factors such as muscle mass and bone density which play a role. While there is a correlation between BMI and BF%, there is not a direct link. A lot of fit guys in particular are technically overweight because of their high muscle mass.  A lot of people with healthy BMIs that don’t exercise have unhealthy BF% along with having  weaker bones and less than ideal muscle mass.

What did they find?

What many of these studies indicate is that people can simultaneously be “metabolically healthy” and “overweight”. When they say “metabolically healthy” they mean they didn’t have unhealthy numbers for enough of the set of factors they quantified to be considered “metabolically unhealthy”. Basically they have not developed disease… yet. Metabolically healthy overweight people have lower risk for disease than metabolically unhealthy people who are not overweight. Metabolically healthy non-overweight have a lower risk for disease than metabolically healthy overweight people.

Metabolically Healthy vs Fit.

Being metabolically healthy is not the same thing as being fit. If health received grades, to be metabolically health you would need a C, satisfactory and passing but not necessarily ideal. To qualify as being fit you need to have more like a B+. I still think people with more than ideal body fat can still be fit, but they would most likely be healthier if they lowered their body fat to an ideal level in a healthy manner.

While excess body fat is a risk factor, it is only one form of physical stress on your body. If a person has a higher BF% but exercises regularly and eats clean foods (just more than needed) then they probably will be somewhat healthy. Certainly healthier than a skinny person that eats processed crap and doesn’t exercise.

Conclusion:

Ultimately the message is the same. Being fit is dependent on a number of factors and it isn’t  black and white. Regular strength and cardiovascular exercise is good. Eating a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients is good.  Your body is constantly working to achieve homeostasis (balance) and is pretty good at tolerating the crap we put it up to. The more stress we put it under either by having to much or too little of something, the harder it has to work to maintain homeostasis and the faster it burns out (illness/ death). Some people are genetically designed to better handle certain forms of stress so will react differently than the average person.

Ultimately each individual has a choice. While excess body fat is a stress on your body and a risk factor for disease, it is not an indication of their health as a whole.  If they are okay with taking some risk, then that is their own choice. If they just want to do enough to be at a low risk for disease, that is their choice. I think if a person is participating in destructive behaviors, then trying to help them is probably a good thing. But they need to make the decision on their own. I personally strive for optimal health, I want to be the best version of myself both inside and out. I like having the higher levels of endorphins and energy. I enjoy looking fit, it makes me feel good. But that is my decision. Not being fit, less fit  or taking different risks than you does not make them less worthy of a person. While it is important for people to be informed about the facts and occasionally given a little push in a different direction, ultimately everyone deserves respect. Everyone should be accepted and treated well regardless of the way they live their life.

Read more here.