Tag Archives: obesity

Is being Skinny always healthy ?

Health topic of the week

London fashion week 2015 has started which ‘skinny’ models everywhere ! However these models may looks good with their clothes ON but are they really healthy? I have been a model with a leading London agency for 3 years and have taken part in London fashion week and seeing these girls in their underwear has highlighted to me over and over that you may be skinny but it doesn’t mean your healthy -or your fit!

I also see so many models at the gym (if they go that is!) just running or going on the cross trainer and doing no weights- running without doing any weights is surprisingly a BAD decision … So what does this leave their bodies like?

They have what we call “Low Fat, Low Muscle Body Composition”

A person with this body makeup will look anywhere from average size to thin to skeletal. Maybe he or she appears thin with clothes on, but is jiggly underneath, or “skinny fat”. While they may be happy with their weight, they may be unhappy with their appearance.
An extreme case would be someone who appears overly thin; think the supermodels I mentioned above. This person probably doesn’t exercise or maybe focuses on only cardio (which burns calories but can actually burns muscle as well, thus over time lowering metabolism).
Problems occur when people try to be skinny instead of fit. Their diet may be average to unhealthy, but they don’t eat many calories – and yes I see this a lot! I see girls eating one burger and a sandwich or pasta in a day and that’s it!

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A person can also be skinny fat if they naturally have a fast metabolism, so do not feel the need to eat well or exercise because they are slim and appear to be healthy. If someone doesn’t have muscle, in the long term they are more likely to develop insulin resistance and are at risk of developing diabetes.

Startling statistics show that people with diabetes who are skinny fat have a higher mortality rate than obese diabetics!!

The problem with ‘skinny fat’ is that when people are thin, they think they are healthy and don’t realise they have a problem, and often have unhealthy fat around their organs .

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So what could you do if you’re in this situation? 

For a healthier body composition, this body type should focus on adding strength training so that they will increase their muscle tone, while eating healthier foods with enough calories to support their exercise routine.

Remember to bare in mind though how you eat and train will determine how your body will be composed, so it’s essential for each individual to assess their needs based on what the end result should be.

It’s also important to remember that genetics play a part in body composition, too. If you’re genetically predisposed to a certain shape, no exercise will change that…just like no exercise will make you taller or shorter.

Your skeletal and muscular makeup is unique to you, so focus on being the best YOU.

Is the ‘obesity epidemic’ backfiring?

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I believe our obsession with the obesity epidemic is backfiring on us.

We think about food too much. We think about our body image too much.

Don’t believe me? Think of when you’re watching tv…the adverts…programmes…
In between programmes such as embarrassing fat bodies, supersize v superskinny, embarrassing bodies, the latest diet or exercise documentary there are promotional adverts for McDonald’s, subway or another food store! And then you’re watching yet another food programme- come dine with me, master-chef, the great British bake off etc- and there are more promotional adverts including the Jenny Craig weight loss programme, special k, or weight watchers, which are in between the adverts for the pizza that can be delivered to your doorstep or the £1 whopper burger.

Not to mention social media; Instagram is now being dubbed as a food diary as people mainly use it to share their pictures they have taken of their food online.

I believe that virtually all of us have eating disorders. There is too much significance on the moral, psychological and sociological issues about the way people eat and what they weigh.

Men included here. Yes, men you can’t lie about worrying about your body image or how healthy you are and comparing yourself to your mates or magazines etc. Or even the older men and their beer bell’s! It’s a fact, male eating disorders (and these are the recorded and diagnosed ones – many go un-recorded) are on the rise. This includes bulimia and anorexia. Furthermore, there has been a notable rise in teenage boys and the abuse of steroids and laxatives. Men say its nonsense!- it’s a female issue. But I’ve witnessed, being a model and going to the gym a lot, it is not. Men suffer from body image issues as well.

And what about our perception of fat and thin people?

The general view is fat= a sloth, lazy, gluttony, no self respect, no self worth, no self esteem, stupidity….where has this come from!? I know very clever fat people and ones who actually have high self esteem!
We assume fat people are miserable. And to make matters worse we moan about the space they take up on trains, buses, aeroplanes, the cost of the NHS for them. That’s a hell of a lot to assume and judge about someone who carries some extra weight! A lot of negative.
And its just as bad for thin people. Thin= weak, feeble, joyless, we associate them with vanity, even bitterness, those poor skeletal creatures, “they think they look great but look awful”.

Society makes assumptions that size is equal to virtue. A trim, fit physique = healthy and attractive and Admirable.
These moral qualities are dimensions which we associate with a trim figure. Qualities that are enviable – self esteem, drive, power, self possession, determination- even career success!

Meeting up with a friend who you haven’t seen for a long time and you notice they have put on a considerable amount of weight: the majority of us would assume they are unhappy- have they lost their job? Or their marriage broken down? – or something else significant which has caused them to gain weight – but we assume that it would be something bad – not good – and that they are unhappy.

But who are the biggest victims? OURSELVES. We believe this, we follow this, follow the diets, the media, the cheap fast and junk food available. The ridiculous amount of mental energy we use debating whether we should have another slice of pizza, another biscuit, berating ourselves for it and vowing to start the ‘liquid’ diet tomorrow!

I find it heartbreaking how many people hate themselves over gaining a few pounds. It destroys our relationship with food, eating- anything in life as we are constantly thinking about it. But in the end fretting about it makes us consume more as food and weight is always on our minds.

This is why i think the obsession with obesity and diet is backfiring. If we were more oblivious about our relationship with food and how much we weigh we would not think about it as much- and we would keep us slim!

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I hope you enjoy reading about my opinion on this topic. Please feel free to comment, however i have more entries to come where i will discuss more about what we can do to help the crisis we are in with health and obesity in the UK.

DO NOT DIET! It will make you fat…..

  • The media literally shoves it in our face everyday, what with the obesity ‘scares’ , nutritional information on all our food (and even menu;s now!), magazines, TV, newspapers..everywhere!

You might be interested in this Dispatches programme from channel 4 which shows the TRUTH behind Weight Watchers – basically it is all a con and money making company. Please be careful if you eat their products, they are bad for you, you body, you health! they are making money from you body – not just weight watchers, there are many out there! including the ones in your magazines.

  • I honestly do believe that the rise in obesity is in direct parallel to the rise of the diet industry .

The physical reactions to dieting that are mentioned in the dispatches programme – and any research if you look it up- (changes in levels of cortisol, leptin and grehlin that encourage weight gain) and then the psychological effects of food restriction (makes you want to eat more) and you get a recipe for uncontrolled eating and easy fat storage. The solution is now becoming part of the CAUSE. 

And lets not forget the rise in eating disorders in men and women. Not just the well know anorexia nervosa but also Orthorexia-  an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating (most of my friends in the modelling world have this). Binge eating disorder and also addiction to exercise to ‘burn off ‘ food! Again this is made worse because the government is bombarding us with diets – to supposedly help the obesity epidemic!

  • DO YOU WANT TO LOOSE WEIGHT?! – my advice…and many psychiatrists, doctors, reseach etc will support me – do not follow a ‘diet’. Instead eat healthy and exercise when you can. 

What’s healthy?!…..here are some tips, and they will help you! (Taken from http://www.intuitiveeating.org/content/what-intuitive-eating)

Reject the Diet Mentality

Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

2. Honor Your Hunger

Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.

3. Make Peace with Food

Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.

4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

5. Respect Your Fullness

Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.

8. Respect Your Body

Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.

10 Honor Your Health

Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.