Bigger People Sweat More, Even If They Aren’t Fat

Some people sweat more than others. Go for a run with a group of people on a warm day, and the differences become obvious. But what determines these variations?  Answers have traditionally focused on factors like body fat percentage (more fat insulates you and makes you overheat sooner) and aerobic fitness (the fitter you are the less you sweat).

Source: What Determines How Much You Sweat?

28 people is not enough to draw a conclusion from, but the article basically dismisses anything we’ve considered to be truisms to date about fat people sweating more.  But it’s been a well-known fact of ecology for ages now that animals tend to be larger (and have smaller ears, tails, etc) in higher latitudes whereas the closer you get to the equator, the smaller creatures get (Bergmann’s rule).  I certainly sweat a lot more when the temperature was higher.

For Young Men, Eating Disorders Aren’t Always So Obvious

When Nate Nahmias was 16, he decided that he wanted to get fit.

A math- and science-oriented kid, he applied his analytical know-how to his workout regimen and diet. He meticulously planned each lift and run, and ensured every single calorie he consumed was accounted for. But he had a hard time keeping track of it all himself, so he asked his mother to set up an appointment with a dietitian. “I thought that maybe the dietitian would have some tools to help me stay on track with what I wanted,” Nahmias, now 25, tells Yahoo Health. “I thought she would applaud me for all of my hard work and strict diet.

Source: For Young Men, Eating Disorders Aren’t Always So Obvious

I have a very clear distaste for the thinking that things are distinct to a particular gender.

I’ve certainly known proactive guys with body issues who got into weights to attain the physique they idealize.  I figure that some likely would meet the criteria of having an eating disorder, but the behaviour got addressed as they came to learn about nutrition.  For me, before nutrition it was the fact I’d “reward” myself and eat back all the gains I’d made.  Similar goals, it’s about finding what works best for ourselves in order to make progress.

You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

If you say you want to lose weight, you’ll probably measure progress by stepping on a scale. But in truth, what you’re trying to lose is fat, and the number on the scale may not reflect that. There are many ways to measure your body fat percentage, but they all come with different levels of (in)accuracy.

Source: You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

Stay away from impedance measurement – the reliability is simply too low to be valuable at any level (but specifically for the more inexpensive models found in gyms). There’s a reason we still teach skinfold measurement in university classes: while it’s not perfect, it’s accurate enough for non-elite athletes and the average person.

Can I Be Overweight and Still Healthy?

I’m an overweight man who has struggled to lose weight my entire life. My doctor tells me that my BMI is in the “overweight category.” To be honest, I’m happy with my body. I don’t have any medical issues and I try to live healthily as much as possible. Is it possible to be overweight and still healthy?

Source: Can I Be Overweight and Still Healthy?

BMI makes my blood boil…  It’s just a basic tool, it has relatively little value.  But it keeps coming up…

It’s also damaging, because those who have a lean figure use it to rationalize why they don’t look after themselves.  Body fat percentage is not the total indicator of health, as co-worker with high blood pressure has found out.

How Getting a Six Pack Changes Your Life (And How It Doesn’t)

Ahhh, the elusive six pack. For many, it’s the holy grail of fitness. But does your life really change after you’ve achieved one? Let’s take a look at the ways that getting a six pack changes your life and when it’s really just fool’s gold.

Source: How Getting a Six Pack Changes Your Life (And How It Doesn’t)

While the focus is on the midsection, and how minimizing body fat is key to making it look better, people (and the article) don’t notice that getting leaner shows up in other areas on the body.  Shoulders, arms, legs, and face.  It’s the face that people will definitely see – things get more pronounced, such as cheek bones or dimples.

But as the article points out – unless you’re constantly shirtless, few will see the finer details.  The public does notice.  Some will comment, lots will gossip.  It’s not likely to win the person you were hoping for.

Also, be careful you don’t take things too far.

Study: Add Public Transportation to Your Weight Loss Plans

The beneficial effects of physical activity on obesity and related health outcomes are generally well understood.  In high and middle income countries however, lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary, and physical inactivity has become the fourth leading risk factor for premature mortality. Declining rates of functional active travel have contributed to this population-level decrease in physical activity, and ecological evidence suggests that rising levels of obesity are more pronounced in settings with greater declines in active travel. Active commuting to work has been strongly recommended by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a feasible way of incorporating greater levels of physical activity into daily life. Data from the 2011 census show that in England and Wales 23.7 million individuals regularly commute to a workplace—more than half of the 41.1 million adults of working age covered by the census. With 67% modal share, private motorised transport is by far the most common commuting mode reported, followed by public transport (18%), walking (11%), and cycling (3%). Policies designed to effect a population-level modal shift to more active modes of work commuting therefore present major opportunities for public health improvement.

Source: Associations between active commuting, body fat, and body mass index: population based, cross sectional study in the United Kingdom

The study concluded that people who used modes of transportation other than a car had significantly lower BMI and body fat percentage than those who drove. Men weighed ~7 lbs less, while women weighed ~5.5 lbs less.  This won’t replace going to the gym, but you’ll be able to get in some extra steps during the day.  Walking is the superfood of fitness

“There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym“.  I thought I read this in Douglas Coupland’s “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”, but the internet says it’s a Bill Nye (The Science Guy) quote.