How many of you have ever tried to lose weight? Studies show about ½ of us Americans will try to, have tried to or currently are trying to lose weight. I know I have. My question for you is “Why?” Why are you obsessed with scale? Are you an athlete or in an industry where you have to weight a specific weight and currently you’re heavier than that? If so, then “yes” you need to lose weight. Are you obese? Obesity as several others and I define it, doesn’t have as much to do with your weight as it does your body fat %. A body fat percentage of 32% or greater for women and 25% or greater for men is considered obese. You can be 150 lbs. and be obese or 300 lbs. and be obese. Either way, we should focus on the reducing of the body fat percentage and not the weight. The fact is we all come in different sizes and shapes and you MUST love your body. Now that being said, if you are obese then we need to get you healthy, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lose weight.
HAES (Health At Every Size) is based on research suggesting those classified as obese can improve overall health and reduce risk of chronic disease by lowering body fat %, eating more nutritious meals and increasing physical activity independent of weight (Ikeda et al. 2005; Kennedy, Lavie & Blair 2018). This reiterates that for long-term success you should focus on exercise you enjoy (just do it!), eating more veggies, lean proteins, fruits, quality carbs and healthy fats (again assuming you have no major health issues).
Too many of us are chasing this “ideal” look and it’s just not realistic. Again, if you’re not happy, do something about it. If you are obese, do something about it. Remember though, muscle is 3x’s smaller than fat and the excess fat is what’s really “weighing” you down, so focus on moving more, eating better and loving who you are and you’re going to be closer to living a healthy long life.
Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.