Informational Articles

Gross New Study Reports How Much Weight You Need to Lose for Others to Notice


After weeks and months of meal-prepping, healthy-recipe pinning, and sweat-soaked workout sessions, it feels pretty damn good when someone says, “Hey, you look great! Have you lost weight?”

But let’s get one thing straight: Even if the “atta girl”s are fun, they shouldn’t factor into your weight-loss motivation, body image, or how much you think you “should” weigh. If you are trying to lose weight, it should be for yourself. And your goal weight—although we aren’t fans of getting hung up on numbers—should be all about making you healthier and happier.

And here’s one more reason not to worry about what other people think: The average woman would have to lose about 14 pounds for her face to look more attractive to others, according to a recent study published inSocial Psychological and Personality Science. Well, that’s gotta be one of the foulest loads of b.s. we’ve ever smelled.

To figure out how peoples’ faces become more or less attractive depending on their weights, researchers at the University of Toronto pulled together a bunch of photos of men’s and women’s faces, all of whom were in their twenties or thirties. The photos were then doctored to create photo sequences in which the person’s weight appeared to gradually change.

Study participants were then asked to randomly access the photos to pinpoint when they (1) noticed a change in weight and (2) found the people’s faces more attractive. The gag-inducing results found that women need to lose about eight pounds for anyone to notice—and 14 for others to find them more attractive. Men would have to lose about 18 to look more attractive. (At least, for once, people aren’t saying women need to lose more than men.)

While the study authors say that fat accumulation in the face is an indicator of overall health and that the study’s results may motivate people to start losing weight, we sure hope that people aren’t buying into this lose-weight-to-look-better line of thinking. Besides the fact that losing weight for others is damaging to any person’s self-worth, more and more research, including one Psychology and Health study, shows that people don’t stick to their workouts for very long when their main motivators are weight loss and looking more attractive.

So screw what everyone else thinks, and if you decide to switch up your plate, gym routine, or anything else, do it for you and your health—not other people’s reactions. It’ll feel so much better.

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