7

votes

WHY do we want to lose weight?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 23, 2013 at 3:51 AM

Recently there has been some discussion that perhaps paleo is being misused by people who just want to lose weight, for no good reason. So I would like to know, from those of you who are pursuing weight loss: WHY are you doing it? Is it a mindless, endless desire to always be skinnier? Or is there a good reason? Is there a good PALEO reason?

I'll go first. Honestly, I kind of opened this question to force myself to answer this as well.

(1) There is a certain weight at which clothes just fit me better. Call it the arbitrary capriciousness of the clothing industry, but it's the world I live in. At a certain size, I don't have to have my pants tailored for length, and my button down shirts don't stretch so tightly across my chest that they are unseemly.

(2) I'm approaching menopause. Knowing that there is a natural weight gain that often accompanies this time in life, I'd like to be at my best going in.

(3) It's always possible that I could get pregnant (again). My pregnancies are healthier when I start at a lower weight. My particular hormone makeup causes me to gain weight quickly when pregnant, and I often end up over 200 lb with knee trouble by the time I give birth.

(4) BMI. There, I said it. I'm 10 lb from NOT being considered "overweight." Is it an arbitrary number? Perhaps. But there is no reason to assume I'm an exception. I'm small-boned and not particularly muscular.

(5) I want my husband to think I'm sexy. It's midlife, baby, and I've got to keep up my game. I think this is probably my most "paleo" reason, lol.

Am I willing to sacrifice my health and well being for 10 more lbs? No, of course not. But I'm willing to tweak and play around a little to figure out this crazy thing called my body.

Anyone else want to play? Or critique my reasons? Game on. :)

EDIT: Wanted to add that there's another fun calculator called the BAI or Body Adiposity Index. According to it I'm within healthy range. So should that be good enough for me?
http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/body-adiposity-index-calculator.aspx

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on March 25, 2013
at 11:19 PM

I got skinny fat and became pear shaped largely because back then, my idea of weight training was Nautilus machines, not free weights. After falling off the wagon and gaining weight, I found that losing the weight the second time around did not automatically come with getting skinny fat. By going hard with free weights as well as cardio, I found that I did not become skinny fat. You body will want to keep the muscle if it is using it. You will be less likely to waste away into skinny fat territory even with cardio if you make sure you are also lifting heavy

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:04 PM

(Though I still *wish* I had a Hollywood bod...it's hard to buck a lifetime of media input entirely!)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:02 PM

But the realization was good for me. I relaxed a bit, and while I still want a little less weight and a little more tone, I'm not chasing something unrealistic for who and what I am. So, yay. :)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:01 PM

When I first started I was after visible abs, which I realized later is a really odd standard for a middle-aged woman to chase after. That made me really think about what I was doing and why. Yes, I wanted to be super healthy and look awesome naked -- but realIzed that my idea of super healthy was based on a body fat percentage better suited to young men, and which wasn't necessarily healthy for a woman. And my idea of what looks good naked is based on magazines and Hollywood, not what I look like already, which isn't bad, but because of Hollywood, I *perceive* as inadequate. Boo!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:11 PM

Haha, I love this - "look good naked and BE good naked"!!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:10 PM

Did you find that you need to get skinny fat first, THEN add the muscle back on? I'm definitely adding muscle right now, but I feel like it's in addition to the fat. I'm tempted to lay off the lifting (accept lower numbers) and go back VLC for about 6 months. Then go back to muscle building.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:07 PM

Thanks for being honest! I definitely feel like I'm always trying to tease out how much of my motivation is THIS, versus health and fitness.

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on March 23, 2013
at 09:24 PM

This actually happened to me a year ago, so I am writing from personal experience :) I found that I had stayed VLC for a little too long. Indeed, I dropped the weight. However, I couldn't gain muscle. I was smaller but still soft and smooth-looking, skinny-fat with some jiggly areas. My remedy was to do olympic lifts and also drop my fat intake (a little bit, not a low-fat diet) so that I could burn body fat instead of dietary fat. I also upped my carbs to around 100g per day instead of under 50g. I put on muscle and hardened those jiggly areas. it takes some experimenting

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 08:08 PM

Wrong answer. We'll see how you act in a week.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 23, 2013
at 07:56 PM

This "point in the journey" is where I am right now. I've been stalled (100% paleo) for 2.5 years at the same weight. It's a bit high in my mind (5'5", 160 lb, 38 yrs old, female, size 10 clothes). But I'm strong, I'm healthy. I do Rx at crossfit. I walk 3 hours a week. Under this layer of fat I'm rock solid. Do I keep pushing it? Or accept that my body wants to hold on to this fat (maybe in case of famine?). I recently tossed my scale, and I'm a little freaked out. I keep putting on that certain pair of jeans to make sure they still fit! Trying to figure out my motivation...

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 23, 2013
at 07:50 PM

I like this idea of "power to weight ratio." Because it can go both ways - less weight, or more power. Or both.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on March 23, 2013
at 07:17 PM

Roth, saying completely disgusting and bigotted things and then saying, "It's just a joke, you guise. Geez," doesn't fly. If you're getting your psycoanalyst tips off 2-ply papaer in the bathroom, it doesn't belong here.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:53 PM

I was being facetious, Travis. Please eat more omega 3-containing foods to turn that grouchy frown upside down. :D

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:10 PM

Roth, your antagonistic trolling stops right now.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 23, 2013
at 04:48 PM

I think that's a little over the top harsh, Roth. Someone's personal preferences on attractiveness are indicative of brain function and mental stability? Two perspectives on that. I think a person who likes seeing bones rather than fat on people has something wrong with them, as bony is a sign of ill health just as much as fat. Armchair psychology is a silly business. I'm not a chubby chaser, but given the choice between underweight and overweight, I'll take the overweight every time. I don't think that indicates lack of childhood hugs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:36 PM

+1 This girl knows what's up.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:08 PM

Right, at first you want to look good in your clothes, then you want to look good with no clothes on!

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 23, 2013
at 01:41 PM

Fat = physically unattractive unless you're a chubby chaser, in which case I question your brain function and mental stability. I think some men are drawn to big women and some women are drawn to big men because they weren't hugged enough as babies and so they crave the comfort and bosom of someone "larger." Think about it, big women have big tits and big men also have big tits.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 23, 2013
at 11:02 AM

Yeah, I know - it's borderline. :) I'm not trying to blog here. I'm truly curious what motivates people, and if we are doing a good job of examining out motivations in light of paleo.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 23, 2013
at 10:23 AM

Also, lower (healthy) body fat means greater insulin sensitivity that leads to less hunger, more steady energy, lower inflammation so overall less risk of cardiovascular issues, etc.

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on March 23, 2013
at 06:28 AM

This seems more like an essay than a question.

  • 32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

    asked by

    (5802)
  • Views
    1.5K
  • Last Activity
    1404D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

14 Answers

8
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on March 23, 2013
at 03:38 PM

I'm shallow. The girls I like are fit, and I don't have the confidence to approach them unless I'm fit, too.

5
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:26 PM

I think when most people say they want to "lose weight," they mean that unsightly jiggly fat. However, the notion of losing weight can be a slippery slope. If you are 300 pounds, of course you can say that you want to lose weight. However, after a while, the weight loss will slow. And, if you are lifting heavy, that number will start going up due to the increase of lean mass. This scares some people. They think, "What am I doing wrong??? I'm not losing weight anymore!" and they then proceed to fall off the wagon in discouragement. There comes a point in the journey that the scale should no longer be used. At this point, gaining weight does not mean gaining fat. It is lean mass, and this should be welcome. Especially from the paleo perspective, lower fat and greater lean mass means that a person is better equipped to hunt and survive.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:36 PM

+1 This girl knows what's up.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 23, 2013
at 07:56 PM

This "point in the journey" is where I am right now. I've been stalled (100% paleo) for 2.5 years at the same weight. It's a bit high in my mind (5'5", 160 lb, 38 yrs old, female, size 10 clothes). But I'm strong, I'm healthy. I do Rx at crossfit. I walk 3 hours a week. Under this layer of fat I'm rock solid. Do I keep pushing it? Or accept that my body wants to hold on to this fat (maybe in case of famine?). I recently tossed my scale, and I'm a little freaked out. I keep putting on that certain pair of jeans to make sure they still fit! Trying to figure out my motivation...

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on March 23, 2013
at 09:24 PM

This actually happened to me a year ago, so I am writing from personal experience :) I found that I had stayed VLC for a little too long. Indeed, I dropped the weight. However, I couldn't gain muscle. I was smaller but still soft and smooth-looking, skinny-fat with some jiggly areas. My remedy was to do olympic lifts and also drop my fat intake (a little bit, not a low-fat diet) so that I could burn body fat instead of dietary fat. I also upped my carbs to around 100g per day instead of under 50g. I put on muscle and hardened those jiggly areas. it takes some experimenting

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:10 PM

Did you find that you need to get skinny fat first, THEN add the muscle back on? I'm definitely adding muscle right now, but I feel like it's in addition to the fat. I'm tempted to lay off the lifting (accept lower numbers) and go back VLC for about 6 months. Then go back to muscle building.

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on March 25, 2013
at 11:19 PM

I got skinny fat and became pear shaped largely because back then, my idea of weight training was Nautilus machines, not free weights. After falling off the wagon and gaining weight, I found that losing the weight the second time around did not automatically come with getting skinny fat. By going hard with free weights as well as cardio, I found that I did not become skinny fat. You body will want to keep the muscle if it is using it. You will be less likely to waste away into skinny fat territory even with cardio if you make sure you are also lifting heavy

5
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on March 23, 2013
at 01:29 PM

I think people very rarely ever actually want to just "lose weight," even if they think they do. What people want is to lose body fat and preserve or gain lean body mass. We want to do this for 1 of 3 possible reasons: (1) to improve athleticism, (2) to improve aesthetics, or (3) a combination of the two. Ideally, you want to both look fit and be fit...to look good naked and be good naked.

Losing weight generally by just cutting calories is a dead end road, because if you don't build up your metabolism by developing a lean body, you'll cut calories forever until your nearly dead. You'll be "skinny," but you won't ever be happy. I think we all want to be happy and I think having a body you're proud of that performs well is a huge part of that.

In short, no one should and rarely does ever want to lose weight. They want to look good and perform well, which 9 times out of 10 means getting to a reasonably low body fat and acquiring a reasonable amount of muscle mass. That is, to get lean.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 23, 2013
at 03:08 PM

Right, at first you want to look good in your clothes, then you want to look good with no clothes on!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:11 PM

Haha, I love this - "look good naked and BE good naked"!!

3
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on March 23, 2013
at 09:26 AM

When I started Paleo, I weighed over 300lbs. I had blood sugar problems, sleep apnea, and chronic infections. I have lost enough weight not to have those problems, and when I did, I stopped weighing myself, and now I am just trying to be in the best shape I can. Losing weight was the starting point for me, but doing so allowed me to learn what else was important to me. Everyone starts some where. I won't lie, when people come on and are making a big deal about 5-10 lbs, I can be a bit crotchety, but everyone needs to start somewhere for some reason.

2
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on March 23, 2013
at 05:02 PM

(1) Better power to weight ratio. I'm in the military, but I think most people who work out would benefit from this.

(2) The leaner, and more muscular, you are the more attractive you are. Attractive people tend to get hired and promoted faster than their non-attractive counterparts.

(3) I generally feel better about myself and can focus my energy on something positive and constructive in terms of school, work etc.

2
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on March 23, 2013
at 02:29 PM

I'm coming from the opposite end of the spectrum. I never really needed to lose weight but wanted to lose fat and build muscle. I think there are plenty of people here that also come from this direction. I guess you could say that most people, no matter what their weight, want to minimize fat and maximize lean body mass (healthily, of course).

2
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 23, 2013
at 12:28 PM

I don't want to lose weight. I want to lose fat.

Right now I'm trying to add bulk and weight (muscle).

There was a time I was standing in the scale and watched the weight drop, I even focused on the dropping number. I got frustrated as the number stalled for months. But I was noticing my clothes getting looser still. It was then I gave up praying for a number.

2
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 23, 2013
at 10:02 AM

I think it is pretty obvious. Putting on muscle weight and dropping body fat until you get to single digit % makes you look and feel awesome! The point is not just drop weight but improve body composition.

That would be for aesthetic purposes which I guess most people is after. But of course it will have other benefits like improved overall health, as long as you get to it natural and with proper nutrition and exercise plan.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 23, 2013
at 10:23 AM

Also, lower (healthy) body fat means greater insulin sensitivity that leads to less hunger, more steady energy, lower inflammation so overall less risk of cardiovascular issues, etc.

1
Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:30 AM

I'm an American woman, so I have an unnatural and possIbly unhealthy obsession with looking like the unattainable, Photoshopped version of female presented by our culture. Sadly.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:07 PM

Thanks for being honest! I definitely feel like I'm always trying to tease out how much of my motivation is THIS, versus health and fitness.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:04 PM

(Though I still *wish* I had a Hollywood bod...it's hard to buck a lifetime of media input entirely!)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:01 PM

When I first started I was after visible abs, which I realized later is a really odd standard for a middle-aged woman to chase after. That made me really think about what I was doing and why. Yes, I wanted to be super healthy and look awesome naked -- but realIzed that my idea of super healthy was based on a body fat percentage better suited to young men, and which wasn't necessarily healthy for a woman. And my idea of what looks good naked is based on magazines and Hollywood, not what I look like already, which isn't bad, but because of Hollywood, I *perceive* as inadequate. Boo!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:02 PM

But the realization was good for me. I relaxed a bit, and while I still want a little less weight and a little more tone, I'm not chasing something unrealistic for who and what I am. So, yay. :)

1
370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:33 AM

To feel good about my looks and not feel like the fat friend. =D

1
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 23, 2013
at 07:31 PM

I'm not currently trying to lose weight. I have only ever been over my "normal weight" once in my life, after taking some prescriptions with a side effect of weight gain. I honestly wasn't concerned about my appearance (still had no problem with the dudes) or health (I was still eating the same things and all my labs were in the same ballpark area).

I just wanted to feel like ME again. And the ME I am used to weighs 130-140 pounds and is a size 6 or 8. I just felt like someone else, from looking in the mirror to how I felt when I moved or bent over. It was just a really weird feeling, it just felt abnormal, and I hated it.

Now I'm back to my usual weight and size. I am probably considered skinny-fat by many here, ya know, without washboard abs and all, but I so don't care. I like the way I look, I like the way I feel, and I'm happy with it.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 23, 2013
at 01:37 PM

Controlling T2 diabetes. Dietary modification to reduce blood sugar kicked it off, but the systemic problem I needed to fix was my obesity.

1
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 23, 2013
at 01:30 PM

You shouldn't want to lose weight, you should want to keep/gain muscle and lose abdominal fat.

0
4f828fd11d2d1d595a1653baa5e3e77b

on March 24, 2013
at 12:08 AM

1) I want to look better. 2) I'm headed to college in a few months, and it'd be great to get there with room to gain 5 lbs. Plus, I know I'm most likely to gain as I age in general, so I'd like to begin thin. 3) I want to be able to do pull ups and chin ups.. I am strong, but an extra 10-15 lbs makes those things impossible for me.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!