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How can you feel better about your body?

Stashed in: #health, Respect, Confidence, Be yourself., Fitspo, @bakadesuyo, Standing, Walking, Cognitive Bias

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Now that summer is upon us, everyone wants to know a good quick way to get more body confidence! Good thing Bakadesuyo is here for us.

It's all about perception:

Changes in body image are mediated by body perceptions as opposed to actual body indices.

Yes, which is why I think people who try to lose weight without working out are unlikely to succeed. Just disliking your own body and wanting there to be less of it is a pretty negative frame of mind. Exercise gives you an opportunity to enjoy the experience of seeing your body do something positive and hopefully fun.

And exercise could be hiking or even walking, right?

Lately I've been surprised how much good can come from standing and walking.

I think a lot of the confusion around our bodies and their appearance stems from confusion between three different things:

1) Weight.

2) Body composition.

3) Health.

People tend to conflate the three and that's often not valid.

-Eat 5000 calories a day of good food and you can be healthy yet overweight.

-You can have a lot of muscle, little fat (excellent body composition) and be vitamin deficient (unhealthy.)

-You can dehydrate yourself, rejoice that the scale says you dropped 10lbs (weight loss) but not look any better (body composition.)

It's important for people to know their true goal and align their eating/exercising toward that.

The other thing I would mention in regard to improving body composition (which is what most people really strive for) is to realize that 1) the single most important thing is creating a sustained caloric deficit, 2) while exercise is important, the most effective way to do this is by eating less, not by working out more. Humans can usually out-eat any deficit created by exercise quite quickly. It's largely a function of math (engineers and those with math backgrounds should grasp this concept very quickly) -- how many hours per day are you realistically going to exercise, how much will that really burn, and how quickly can you undo that with a box of donuts? Most people do not have more than an hour a day to exercise and the calories they burn in that hour (Google it) can usually be replaced by a bagel or two. On the other hand, capping intake is (if executed properly) almost foolproof.

Rereading this two years later I'm struck by how insightful it is.

And how much more important it is to strive for health than a weight goal.