Healthy Byte: Body Size Perception

Originally Posted HERE

Full Research Article HERE

A new study from Macquarie University has found that people’s perception of their own and other people’s body weight can change in as little as two minutes.

“After two minutes of being exposed to images of thinner versions of themselves or others, we saw that the neural mechanisms controlling participants’ perceptions actually adapted to see thin images as normal,” lead author Associate Professor Kevin Brooks explained.

“Original sized body images now looked fatter to them.”

The opposite was also true: exposure to fatter body types made participants see original body sizes as skinny.

The researchers also found that while there were different brain mechanisms controlling a person’s perception of their own  and the body size of other people, the two mechanisms can also affect each other.

“This means that being exposed to images of skinny people doesn’t just make you feel bad about your own body size, which has been known for a while, it actually affects the perceptual mechanisms in your brain and makes you think you are bigger or smaller than you really are,” said Dr Ian Stephen, another author of the study.

“Duration and frequency of exposure definitely play a role, but the fact that the brain adapts after such a short exposure time suggests we are incredibly susceptible to being manipulated by images of different sized bodies.”

The researchers say that the results add another piece of the puzzle to our current understanding of  involving body image disturbance, such as anorexia nervosa and muscle dysmorphia, and could potentially be used in the development of treatments for such conditions.

“There is only one way for information to be received by our brains: through the perceptual and neural mechanisms fed by our senses. By unpacking the details of the  involved in body size perception we are hoping to discover more about how the brain deals with this information as a whole, so that we can understand how conditions involving  image disturbance arise,” Associate Professor Brooks concluded.

Healthy Byte: What Should I Really Weigh?

I see this question pop up quite frequently in the MFP forums & I thought this article did a particular nice job so here you go! 🙂

(Photo Courtesy of Peter Dazeley / Getty Images)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 69 percent of the population is overweight or obese in the U.S. While it’s easy to point fingers at this problem, figuring out what you should weigh — for a healthy heart, and reduced risk of stroke, diabetes, and osteoarthritis — isn’t itself that straightforward. “The ideal body-weight calculations that the medical community uses is unrealistic for a lot of people for all these different reasons,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How muscular a person is, bone density, where they carry weight, and genetics should all be figured into estimates of their ideal weight. But the most common measurement, Body Mass Index or BMI, doesn’t take any of this into account. While BMI is really easy to measure (just go to the government’s online calculator and plug in your height and weight), it doesn’t directly measure body fat or take account of bone and muscle.

“A lot of athletes just based on weight versus height versus age may show up in the obese category, but clearly they’re not obese,” says Nolan Cohn. So, is your BMI accurate? We put together an informal test to give a sense of how well that number matches reality for you.

1. Measure your BMI and note where you are on the scale.

  • If you’re “underweight,” start with a -1.
  • If you’re “normal”, start with a 0.
  • If you’ve “overweight” start with a +1.
  • If you’re obese (and not a serious athlete*), you should probably stop here and see your doctor.

2. Now, measure your hip-to-waist ratio.

Some experts actually put more stock into hip-to-waist ratio than BMI. This is because people who carry their weight in the middle are more likely to face adverse health problems, particularly cardiovascular issues.

To find your hip-to-waist ratio: Divide the circumference of the smallest part of your waist (usually above the belly button) by the largest area of your hips (probably over your butt).

  • If your ratio is less than 0.9, keep your score the same.
  • If it’s at 1.0 or higher, add 1 to your score.

3. Take your genes into account.

Arguing that someone is just naturally large tends to be met with disbelief, but there is no denying that genetics impact body composition. Yes, there are many people who carry more fat than they should for optimal health, but there are also people who are built to be larger. Nolan Cohn says she has a female client who was about 250 pounds who slimmed down to 170.

Based on this woman’s height, standard calculations would put her ideal weight around 130. “If her doctor didn’t know where she was, he’d tell here that she’s overweight now,“ says Nolan Cohn. However, this woman looks and feels great at her current weight and her blood work shows she is healthy. She is an example of someone who is structured differently than the average person.

  • Do you come from a big, healthy family? If so, subtract 1 from your score.
  • Are you much bigger than most of your family, or the same size but they have a fair amount of health problems? If either of these sound like you, add 1 to your score.
  • If you are skinny but come from a healthy, skinny family, add 1 to your score.

*4. How athletic are you?

The approximate healthy weight range for a 5’10” man spans from about 129 pounds (if he has a slim build) up to around 183 pounds (if he has a large build). However, a competitive bodybuilder will usually weigh around 210 pounds at this same height but may reach 270 pounds. He would be obese by BMI standards because it couldn’t account for the fact that he is carrying so much muscle and so little fat.

Sumo wrestlers, who weigh upwards of 400 pounds, often live long, healthy lives, according to published research. It’s a similar story for linebackers, many of whom weigh over 300 pounds. Not only are they active, much of their weight is muscle rather than fat. Although their BMI would show these men are obese or even morbidly obese, they can still be medically healthy.

  • Do you lift weights ever day or have some serious muscle? Subtract 1 from your score
  • Run a lot? Keep it the same.
  • Couch potato? Add 1.

5. Your Results

This test should be a practice that helps you understand the limitations of BMI and many factors that go into finding a healthy weight. In other words, do not make major health decisions based on this score. What the test should reveal is if you need to make life changes, and see your doctor in the process: If your final score is in the positive and you’re overweight (or near overweight) according to the BMI scale, you’re probably carrying more than is good for you — possibly a dangerous amount. If it’s negative and you’re underweight or near it, you should also be concerned as being underweight can also have severe health effects.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Day 1040

Day 1040 2

I think it is fair to say that many of us healthy-life fangirls / boys have a tendency to toss around acronyms like BMI, BMR & TDEE and popular sound bites like reverse dieting, all things in moderation, and balance. For anyone who has been my MFP peep for any length of time knows that I am a huge cheerleader of the 80/20 RuleIt’s one thing to understand a theory or approach but I’ve personally noticed that there seem to be a disconnect in actually put it into real life application. Kind of like an attorney learning about the law in law school but to be able to apply that law to real life situation takes a different set of skills.

So I thought it would be helpful to share ‘a day in the life’ of what 80/20 eating regimen actually looks like. Please note that I’ve personalize a variation of 80/20 Rule. My eating habits just effortlessly gravitate more towards 90/10 then 80/20. The key here is no matter the ratio – whether it’s 80/20, 90/10, or 75/25, the build-in ‘off-plan’ eating takes the pressure of trying to be perfect all the time. Eating perfection (100% on plan 100% of the time) is a myth; it’s unrealistic & unsustainable goal.

Again, I think this is a good time to make the disclaimer that I am not a licensed dietitian or have any formal nutrition education. However, due to my own food sensitivities & BBFTB approach, I do invest a vast amount of time in researching what will keep me feeling satisfied the longest at the least amount of calories. Also please keep in mind that:

  • I am limited in what I can consume (food sensitivities). So once I find something that doesn’t have adverse effects I tend to stick with it.
  • I adore routines, schedules, plans, & goals. My go-to standard meals are my comfort foods.
  • And this really shouldn’t need to be mentioned but is always good to remind peeps that everyone is different! This is what has worked for me. And it may very well not work for anyone else. But I am hopeful by sharing details will spark an idea for someone who maybe struggling with the nutrition portion in maint or was looking for a new maint approach.

Alright, now onward with what my week-in-the-life of eating 90/10 looks like.

MONDAY – FRIDAY

(My 90% Eating on Plan)

Meal Item Food Group
BRKFST        
  • Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • Peanut Butter
  • Grape Jelly (just enough to make the English muffin not so dry)
  • 2 Mandarin Oranges Fruit Cups (drained the water – no sugar added)
  • Tea
  • Water
Complex Carb

Healthy Fat, Protein

SEE PIC

Fruit

TIP: First thing I do in the morning is drink as much of 16 oz of water I can while prepping lunches for me & the kiddos. I read somewhere that drinking water helps kickstart the metabolism & to be quite frank I don’t know how much truth is in this. However I have noticed on the mornings where I wake up absolutely famished the water helps temper that hunger until I can get to work and have a proper breakfast. So even if this routine has no metabolic boosting effects, it helps me be less hungry which is always a good thing.
Breakfast 1

Just a smidget of grape jelly to counter the dryness a toasted English muffin can be

Breakfast

Proper Breakfast: Complex carbs, Protein, Fruit (considering I never use to have breakfast at all this is a huge accomplishment) LOL

LUNCH:     
  • Low Calorie Whole Grain Bread
  • Cucumber slices
  • Spinach
  • Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Rainbow Chard
  • 2 Slices of Turkey
  • 1 Slice of Ultra Thin Provolone
  • Lite Miracle Whip w/ Lite Italian House Dressing instead of mayo
  • 1 Mandarin Oranges Fruit Cups (drained)
  • Water
Complex Carb
Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Lean Protein

Dairy

Fruit

TIP: I have found that I visually need to be satisfied before I actually ‘feel’ satisfied aka Jedi Mind Trick.  [LINK to Earlier post – 40 lbs?] I’d venture that I probably physically consume a higher quantity of food then when I was overweight. However, because it’s higher quality of foods instead of Doritos, a sugary yogurt, & a sugary granola bar, overall I am consuming less calories but not necessarily less food – if that makes any sense.
Lunch

Perfect nutritionally balanced lunch: Complex Carbs, Lean Protein, Dairy, Veggies, & Fruit. You can see how visually it’s a “huge” sandwich but believe it or not the entire sandwich is under 250 calories.

DINNER:                                     
  • Diced Cucumbers  
  • Chopped Spinach
  • **Chopped Red or Green Leaf Lettuce (part left raw)
  • **Chopped Rainbow Chard (part left raw)  
  • **Shredded Carrots
  • **Green Peppers  
  • **Small amount of Onions (FODMAP)

[** Indicates I lightly stir fry these in EVOO in heavy spices for flavor]

  • Protein of Choice: 2.5 oz of Salmon with no more than 4oz of hard protein (ie. chicken, pork, beef – always via baked, grilled or slow cooker) for a total of 6 – 6.5 oz of protein
  • Fat Free Ranch
  • Tea
  • Water
Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Veg

Protein, Healthy Fats

Lean Protein 90% of time

TIP: Along the line of eating more food but consuming less calories, my dinner is a good example that ¾ of it is ‘filled’ with vegetables. So instead of using white rice, pasta, macaroni & cheese as ‘fillers,’ I use vegetables. Also instead of drowning it in ketchup or some other high sugar sauce I learned to season, season, & more season for flavor because let’s face it veggies can be bland.
Dinner 1

Proteins: 2.5 oz of Salmon & 4oz of Meatloaf

Dinner 2

Diced Cucumbers for a little crunch

Dinner 11

Baby Spinach Leaves – Roughly Chopped

Dinner 6

Leaf Lettuce wrapped in Rainbow Chard Leaf – Rolled tight for easy chopping

Dinner 7

A portion of the chopped leafy greens goes into the stir fry The rest gets tossed into the bowl raw for a bigger texture variation

Dinner 4

Stir Fry Base: Garlic, Onions, Green Peppers, Shredded Carrots, & Rainbow Chard Stems

Dinner 9

Stir Fry w/Leafy Greens

Dinner 8

Raw leafy greens & Protein mix

Dinner 14

Lightly Dressed Va-La! An obnoxious bowl of food under 300 calories!

SATURDAY

(My 10% Eating Off Plan)

SAMPLE

BRUNCH:

[Varies based on Leftovers Available but I always try to squeeze in an obnoxious amount of veggies no matter what it maybe]

  • Diced Cucumbers
  • Chopped Spinach
  • Chopped Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Chopped Rainbow Chard
  • Shredded Carrots
  • 2.5 oz Salmon
  • Spicy Marinara Sauce
  • Low Cal Mozzarella Cheese

All ingredients above on leftover pizza and toasted

  • 2 Mandarin Oranges Fruit Cups (drained)
  • Tea
  • Water
TIP: Even though the pizza itself is for the most part nutrition-poor, I try to bump it up with veggies & lean protein so that I’m not hungry an hour later. This also helps me to indulge completely guilt free.

SUNDAY

(My 10% Eating Off Plan)

BRUNCH:

(Current favorite Sun brunch meal)

  • Sweet Potato Waffle w/ PB&J instead of Syrup or Butter
  • 3 Scrambled Eggs (2:1 EW:WE Ratio Sometimes 4 scrambled eggs at 3:1 Ratio)
  • Protein: Some sort breakfast meat ie. sausage patties or leftover chicken or pork (2-4 oz depending on what it is)
  • Tea
  • Water
WEEKEND DINNER VARIATION
DINNER:
  • PB&J on Low Cal Bread or English Muffin (depending on mood)
  • Snack of Choice (Current Favorite is Chex Mix)
  • Tea
  • Water
OR

(Depending how hungry I am)

  • Diced Cucumbers  
  • Chopped Spinach
  • **Chopped Red or Green Leaf Lettuce (part left raw)
  • **Chopped Rainbow Chard (part left raw)  
  • **Shredded Carrots
  • **Green Peppers  
  • **Small amount of Onions (FODMAP)

[** Indicates I lightly stir fry these in EVOO in heavy spices for flavor]

  • 2.5 oz of Salmon or Scrambled Eggs 2:1 Ratio
  • Fat Free Ranch
  • Tea
  • Water

OVERALL 90/10 TIPs

  • Boring is Good: Yes, yes, I eat very plain, very boring but I like routines so this suits me.
  • Heavy to Light: I front load my heavy carb items (breads, fruits) towards the beginning of the day & by dinner time I consume very little carbs (during the week).
  • No Water Conservation Here: I try to have 3 (16 oz) cups of water by 12 noon (lunch time) – this has helped tremendously on my stomach (bloating) issues & energy levels (weekday only – not very good about it on the weekend because I’d rather have tea hehe)
  • 100 % Tracking: I fanatically, religiously, & obsessively weigh / measure / track the following:
    • protein (too much hard protein can give me GI issues so I’ve really had to reign this one in).
    • carbs (My body process carbs poorly. When my weight fluxes towards the high end of my range, 99.9% of the time it is because my carbs were a little out of whack).
    • snacks (When I’m hankering for a snack I never say to myself, “MMMMM let me gnaw on this large piece of rainbow chard leaf!” {HAHAHA I wish right?} No, it is almost always a hankering for the less nutritional stuff like Chex Mix, or Cheez-It™ Crunch’D™ Hot & Spicy, or milk chocolate covered pretzels).
      • I very rarely will purposely deny myself of my hankerings because that just leads to binging
      • I measure out a portion of the snack – sometimes I will have a portion of both the Chex Mix & Cheez-It then another portion of Chex Mix – That’s A-OK
      • I snack with some form of liquids either tea or water and enjoy the crap out of the treat(s)! LOL
  • Pseudo Tracking: aka eyeballing it track the following:
    • sauces/spreads (Perhaps the sneakiest & most well hidden calorie bombs) I don’t tend to drown my food in sauces any more so I don’t go through the trouble of being too precise. And there is just SO much PB I can put on a English Muffin due to it’s small size). LOL
    • fruit Mine comes in a pre-measured cup so this one is easy (due to the sugar – although it’s natural sugar, I try to watch my intake because I am acne prone).
  • Freebies: Veggies are FREE REIGN! 🙂 WOOHOO!
  • Red is Okay: Although MFP likes to emphasize my overages in jarring red font, I don’t sweat being over my calorie allotment any more. Even when grossly over (ie. 1000+ calories – can be achieved easily with a few slices of deep dish hahaha) because A-I’m entitled, B- it’s not a regular occurrence, every few weeks or months. Again, this is NOT something I purposely suppress my wants – no. I’ve found many times that I’d just rather have my standard meal, my personal ‘comfort food.’ This choice – not mandate mentality makes a tremendous difference in my ability to stay eating on-plan most of the time. It is a choice and not something I have to do. This is also the primary reason why my food diary remains private. If someone glances at my food intake on the weekends or on Family Pizza Night without looking at the big picture from the rest of the week or month, the natural human inclination is to jump to conclusions that would not be an accurate reflection of reality. So, instead of subjecting myself to potential unsolicited unpleasantries I much rather opt to just remove that temptation for well meaning people who doesn’t fully understand the highly individualistic nature of our own methods and approaches to healthy living. (see 3rd bullet of disclaimer).
  • Eat-Fest: To be able to recognize & acknowledge when I am simply too hungry (for whatever reason) to indulge in nutrition-poor and/or highly processed foods like pizza or Chinese takeout has been a monumental leap forward to curbing the after dinner snacking. A sample ‘eat-fest’ goes something like:

Eat 4 slices of deep dish pizza – still hungry; eat leftover cheesy bacon bread – still hungry; eat any leftover pizza – still hungry, snack – still hungry; snack again.

By this point I feel weighed down (like after Thanksgiving dinner of old x3), sluggish, bloated, fatigue, and yet still not fully satisfied. And then there’s the first 24-48 hours after such a eat-fest to contend with.

  • The Day After … or Two: For the first 24-48 hours after the eat-fest I will constantly crave more carbs. The crap in the vending machine I nonchalantly pass by 3-4 times a day, everyday will all of a sudden call my name.

Vending Machine: “psssst hey baby, I know you want this Whatchamacallit. Doesn’t it look yummy?”

Tempted Me: “ahh .. oh … ooooo Whatchamacallit!”

Gate-Keeper Me: “No. F – off! That Whatchamacallit is going to lead me to those Oreos. The Oreos will lead me to those peanut M&Ms. The peanut M&Ms will lead me to the Cool Ranch Doritos. And then I’m back to where I started. So NOOOO F-the-hell off!”

This is the one of the few times where I consciously deny my cravings because I know it’s not derived naturally; that it’s chemically induced & fueled. The processed food addiction factor is very real – at least for me, which further extend the eat-fest misery.

Be a Detective: I’ve been able to curb the after dinner snacking quite successfully because I’ve discovered that most of the cravings were remnant of an eat-fest. So in order to truly stop this pattern of eating behavior once & for all, I had to really live 90/10 – and not just use it as a cool tagline. It’s actually quite silly and required nothing more than a change in my own perspective. I had to embrace that I’m not ‘missing out’ on anything when I delay the indulgence. The delay itself doesn’t somehow make it less of a treat. Once I’ve come to really accepted this, the rest fell into place quite effortlessly.

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Forty Pounds to Freedom (Cliff Notes Version)

WAY BACK WHEN:

EPSON MFP image

2000

This was my stats for about 3 years after the birth of my second child. In my mind, this was what moms are suppose to look like, be like. There were no time for anything else but to live & eat this way.

156 lbs BMI: 32.6 [Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater]

Your BMR is: 1319 Calories/Day

Your TDEE is: 1517 Calories/Day

Eating Habits: (actual consumption 3000+)

White or fried rice every day – twice a day (lu & dinner); Pizza & Pasta 2-3 days a week; Chips, Chip & Dip for snack 5 days out of the week; Fast Food: Burgers, Nachos, Burritos, Subs – White bread; High sugary drinks – Starbucks 5-6 times a week – Sometimes twice a day Drink of choice: White Chocolate Mocha – Grande (16 oz), Whole Milk w/Whip Cream (500 calories each), Soda, Lemonade  made w/4 CUPS of sugar in every batch = 3,092 calories per pitcher) 2-3 (8oz) cups everyday is about 386.5 calories each; Lots of fried foods; Beef almost exclusively; Food generally was drowned in gravy or some sort of sauce or condiment ie. ketchup; no veggies; no fruits, no water)

Ate Out: 3-4 times a week

Meal Frequency: Lunch & Dinner only (85% Refined Carbs 5% High Fat Protein 10%Sugar/Fat)

Habit: Ate until I couldn’t move >50% of the time

Activity Level: Zero consistent exercise or physical activity – tried to walk once a or twice a week pushing the kiddos in a stroller in the park … usually last 2-3 weeks then ‘life’ got in the way.

THEN:

EPSON MFP image

2004

My ‘baby weight’ for about the next 12 years after the birth of my second child. LOL I had tried a series of yo-yo quick fixes to losing weight. Anything from popping diet pills to joining the weight loss group at the gym. Nothing stuck because I wanted immediate results but didn’t want to be bothered with the nitty gritty details like nutrition or consistency or patience – working full time & mother of two, who had time for THAT?! In my mind, this was the price of being a working mother and I had all but made peace with it.

133 lbs BMI: 27.8 [Overweight = 25–29.9]

Your BMR is: 1154 Calories/Day

Your TDEE is: 1327 Calories/Day

Eating Habits: (actual consumption 2000+)

White rice every day for dinner only; Pizza & Pasta 2 days a week; Fast Food: ‘healthier options’ tacos, Burrito bowls, Subs wheat bread; Pork & breaded fish fillets; Limited condiments to ketchup (tomato based = veggie = healthy); snacked every night (ice cream, chocolate) after dinner because I was overall eating ‘healthier’; no veggies; no fruits, some water)

Ate Out: 2-3 times a week

Meal Frequency: Lunch sometimes & HUGE Dinner always (65% Refined Carbs 20% High Fat Protein 15% Sugar/Fat)

Habit: Ate until I was stuffed >50% of the time

Activity Level: No regular exercise or physical activity other than taking kiddos to the park & pushing them on swings about once a week.

NOW:

2015 8-11 Now

2015

I had surrendered completely to being overweight. After all I wasn’t obese – I can fit into rides at the amusement park. I can play with the kids without being out of breath. I was the average mom size. Even though I couldn’t bare to look at myself in the mirror for any length of time, avoided the camera like the plague, and dreaded clothes shopping, I ate mostly whatever I wanted with total disregard to portion size. It was my miserable-happiness. All was copacetic until I got a new job.

The new employer incentivized employees to get their annual physicals by reducing employee monthly health insurance contribution – for a family of four that was a hefty discount so off I went! My first annual physical since leaving the Army some 14 yrs prior. And boy did I get the shock of my life! My LDL was 115 (should be under 100) and my blood glucose was 101 (70-99 is norm). I was technically pre-diabetic. What a horrifying thought. Having been through training to sell diabetic medication, I saw first hand the complications of type 2 diabetes can do. Amputation, blindness, kidney, nerve, the list goes on and that scared me so bad that I downloaded MFP the very same day of the results and was bound & determined that I was going to give 110% effort in preventing the preventable. My goal was to get healthy!

95 lbs BMI: 19.9 [Normal weight = 18.5–24.9]

Your BMR is: 967 Calories/Day

Your TDEE is: 1498 Calories/Day

Eating Habits: (actual consumption 1100 – 1400)

Pizza no more than once a week; Chicken, Pork, & salmon – nothing breaded; Condiments: Fat free ranch, Fat free miracle whip, House Italian with lots of spices like cayenne pepper, paprika, chilli powder, & garlic for bold flavors; After dinner snack: if I’m hankering for a snack I opt for a toasted whole wheat english muffin w/ PB&J; Veggies with lunch & dinner; Whole Wheat everything; Fruits with breakfast & lunch; Green tea (w/fat free milk & sugar) & water only – No more than 10 calories a day from what I drink is my personal rule) Once or twice a year I have a Short (8 oz) White Chocolate Mocha Skinny (nonfat milk), No whipped cream. 175 calories and because it is a treat I really enjoy savoring it.

Eat Out: 1-2 times a month

Meal Frequency: Small Brkfst (just not a breakfast person), Solid Lunch, Good Size Dinner (75% veggies 24% Lean Protein 1% Condiments)

Habit: Eat until I am no longer hungry >90% of the time

Activity Level: Exercise 6 Days a Week: 30 minutes Cardio & 15-20 minutes Strength Trng

HB Sig