Even a few years ago models found themselves out of jobs if they packed on a few pounds after a rewarding vacation in the Caribbean. Such incidents were not only extremely discriminatory they also sent a powerful yet wrong message to the common people. At the same time when health aid officials were trying to supply enough food to sustain people in troubled areas, there were gorgeous women purging their guts out in porcelain toilet bowls of 5-star restaurants.
What marked the beginning of the plus-sized era?
The cost of weight loss surgery is high. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, people’s typical costs range from $20,000 to $25,000 for procedures to augment their physique. However, with the advent of a new century came a much-needed change in prevailing fashion trends. Elle was one of the first magazines to break the “plus-size” taboo by featuring plus-size models on its covers. The editors made it a point to throw in a nude pic of the plus-size model just to mix things up and little and it surely had an impact that shook the fashion world. This issue of Elle saw a lot of niche followers and support from human rights groups and other contemporary models. Elle opened the gates of the fashion world for the plus-sized models who had forgotten to dream about a successful career. The magazine had sent out an important message to the world, fashion was evolving and maturing to suit the needs of real women who are not ready to spend their lives munching on Graham crackers only.
To bring the “plus” theme to the mainstream, even Vogue launched an online section, especially for plus-sized women. This website features blogs, interviews, and fashion statements by real-life curvy women who serve as a source of encouragement to all the other plus-sized women from around the world.
What impact did the embracing of plus size have on people?
Most real women know the plight of entering an over-priced fashion boutique. Not only are they met with utter disappointment, but the “experts” also do not deter from giving a few very necessary jibes and pieces of advice regarding the better places where these real women can shop. All in all, even a few years ago, one needed skin as thick as their waists to shop at one of the big labels.
Gladly, the gradual acceptance of plus-sized models into the fashion world changed the way most common people perceive fashion labels. Not only has it become less intimidating for larger women to walk into reputed stores, this move actually given fashion a humane persona. More than mannequins and hangers supporting ridiculously small hot couture dresses, fashion gradually became about luxury clothing, comfortable woolens, flattering shrugs, and super skinny but accommodating bottoms, once again.
The plus-sized controversy
The controversy is the lifeblood of fashion. The fashion industry and its veterans cannot thrive without controversy and gossip. However, the advent of the “plus-size” movement saw a number of changes that were both welcomed and frowned upon. To begin with, a reputed stylist walked out at the London Fashion Week 2009 when designer Mark Fast announced his decision to use plus-sized models for this show.
A more recent controversy has evolved around the denomination of the true body sizes. While most models who wear a size 10 or 12 are deemed to be plus-sized by the industry, the average size worn by women around the world is 14. This has caused a furor among feminists and women rights activists as the world of fashion is still shying away from showing the real bodies of women on the ramps and glamour shoots.
Plus size vs. encouragement of unhealthy lifestyle:
There are popular views like that of Jamelia, a singer and Lose Women panelist who states that being overweight is simply unhealthy and should not be endorsed by reputed lifestyle brands and magazines. In fact, a group of scientists from Canada state that featuring obese women in magazine cover encourages people to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Such hypotheses are being regularly challenged by the predominant cases of anorexia and bulimia which have been plaguing the modeling world for years. Years of advertising have taught us that skinny is perfect, but this comes at a cost of a healthy lifestyle and well-balanced meals. So while showing a proverbial middle-finger to the preconceived notions of fashion the voices of the real women are being heard again and many designers are dedicating new lines of clothing for the curvy hot women. Women are regaining their confidence for stepping into the smug stores which earlier only catered to the whims of the young and the skinny.
Most agencies and labels are hiring models who represent the face of the USA. These models sport an average American look. The concept of exotic beauty with translucent skin and ridiculously angled faces are beyond passé. In addition to that, the use of plus-sized models has boosted the morale of many women in the fashion industry and has helped to build their confidence. A very interesting study shows that models with popular agencies like Ford are currently earning a whopping $15000 per day instead of the meager $125 per hour they were making earlier as a result of a wider acceptance range among the veteran designers and fashion labels.
Who are these plus sized models?
Most common women who wear sizes 10 and higher find the plus-sized models more realistic than their anorexic counterparts. The more popular image of supermodels puts forth impractical body standards which are simply impossible to attain for maximum women. This pushes them into the world of depression, bulimia, binge eating, and forceful self-starvation. However, women like Jennie Runk, Crystal Renn, Saffi Karina, Justine LeGault, and Tara Lynn are breaths of fresh air. They are the faces of new hope for thousands of women around the world who feel ridiculed every day for their body weight, thanks to these women, even designers like Ralph Lauren, Marina Rinaldi, Michael Simon, Betsy Johnson, Armani, and Jean-Paul Gaultier have started designing gorgeous clothes for the curvier women.
Few people realize that your body image plays a significant role in weight management.
What is Body Image?
Your body image is related to your cognitive perception of your body. In other words, the way you feel and think about your body. It also involves the emotions and perceptions you have about your body. More often than not, the majority of people see something that does not reflect in the mirror or how other people see them.
A Negative Body Image
A negative body image plays an unfortunate negative role in weight loss. Because of the negative body image some individuals have of their bodies, they resort to unhealthy and often abusive practices to achieve a physical weight loss goal that is often unrealistic and not achievable.
Due to this negative body image perception, people indulge in quick-fix weight loss diets. As mentioned, these methods of weight loss can range from unhealthy diets excluding vital food categories, yo-yo diets, and abusive methods such as starvation.
Poor body image often leads to people making wrong assumptions about life, for example, that a slim body will attract more wealth, or better happiness or the “lived happily ever after” romance. In the end, it all results in a vicious circle of disappointment, weight gain, and further negative perceptions of their bodies.
The Common Root for Eating Disorders
Negative body image is more often than not the root cause for serious eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia. With the majority of patients receiving treatment for eating disorders, other mental health problems are also observed such as depression, anxiety, and low self image.
There are many cases where so-called moderate weight loss programs or constraining eating behaviors resulted in serious eating disorders with an obsessive pre-occupancy with food.
Weight Loss for the Right Reasons
Very few people follow a diet because they want to eat a wholesome well-balanced diet and ensure that they revert back into a healthy weight range for their body type. The majority of people want to lose weight because they do not feel good about themselves.
Although it is important to maintain good eating behaviors, it is important to note that wanting to lose weight for the wrong reasons can lead to depression, and physical ailments, especially when your weight is fluctuating constantly.
Social Media and Society
When we compare our bodies to what social media platforms and other media along with society portray as the ideal body shape and size, it is highly likely that we will start to suffer from a poor body image. Taking into account how the perceived ideal body image has changed over just the past ten years, it is evident that it is certainly a bad example to rely on how your body should look.
Poor Body Image = Weight Problem
The most simple way to fight the weight gain you experience as a result of a poor body image is to consult with your doctor or a trusted friend who is able to be upfront with you and able to help you to align your body image with reality.
More often than not, being overweight or ashamed is not such a major issue as many people would like to make it out to be. With only a few kilograms/pounds overweight it does not mean you are a failure or are worthless or that your life is in danger.
A trusted health practitioner will be able to tell you if your perception of your weight is accurate or not and if you need to make adjustments to your lifestyle in order to lose weight in a healthy manner for the right reasons.
What and how we think about our bodies have a tremendous effect on our weight loss or weight gain abilities. In the event where you know, you are not positive or realistic about your body image, talking to a counselor or support group would be highly recommended. Once you learn to embrace the positive attributes of yourself, you can start to work on a realistic perception of what your body can be.
A poor body image results in weight gain. When you convinced yourself that you will always be overweight it is likely that you will convince yourself there is no point in trying a healthier lifestyle. This becomes a spiraling pool of negative actions such as avoiding some exercise, feeling ashamed of your appearance, starting to avoid people and avoiding going out in public, and having contact with other people who can motivate you to reach your health goals.
It is Not Only A Women’s Thing
Poor body image and weight loss is not only a matter that affects women. In the past year, up to 11% of men older than 15 years followed some kind of diet. More and more men resort to dieting to obtain the “perfect” physique along with bodybuilding, protein supplements, or other image and muscle enhancing drugs such as steroids.
Weight Loss and Happiness
Too many people who try to reach a healthy weight range, assume that they will be happier after losing a certain amount of kilograms. It is highly likely that you will feel healthier for sure, but happier?
Regardless of what the scale says, if you are not happy now, it is unlikely that you will be happy after weight loss. Your body will change, but you will remain the person deep inside your mind.
It is possible that you might have a hard time to cope with the sudden compliments and people discussing your weight loss. There is no guarantee that weight loss will make you happy.
A positive body image will curb the harmful negative symptoms of attempted weight loss. Healthy and long term weight loss certainly does not start at the dinner table or gym. It starts with a positive, realistic mind. First, you have to start accepting yourself in a positive way instead of self-hatred, to ensure weight loss that is lasting in order to make the real changes that lead to a healthy body and mind.
According to some recent studies and the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, everyone should eat a minimum of 25 grams of fiber every day. However, a larger intake of about 40 grams of fiber per day is considered more appropriate. Nutritionists and weight-loss experts suggest eating 30 to 40 grams of fiber every day to lose weight. If you are overweight, you can get back to shape by increasing your dietary fiber intake.
How does fiber intake help you lose weight?
A diet rich in fiber keeps you fuller for a longer period of time. It is because the fiber takes longer to break down and get digested compared to a diet rich in simple carbs. When you are feeling full and satisfied, you don’t reach for unscheduled snacks and cookies. Overall, you tend to eat less and it reflects on your weight that drops as you continue with your high-fiber food. When you aim to achieve 30-40 grams of fiber intake from your food, your food choices improve overall. This has an all-around impact on your health including your weight.
When you try to meet your daily quota of fiber intake, you start eating more whole grains, fruits, and veggies — that is where you find more fiber. For someone targeting weight loss, this is a good thing that instead of counting calories you are stuffing yourself with more veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
What are the other benefits of eating more fiber?
Fiber is an important nutrient for health. It helps reduce cholesterol that in turn prevents heart diseases. Since a fiber-rich food takes longer to break down and digest, it helps diabetic people by slowing down the supply of nutrients to the body. A major part of the digested food becomes glucose and gets into the bloodstream. A diabetic patient, therefore, may get a lot of sugar in a little time if he eats a carb-rich food. But if he eats a more fibrous food, the digestion will slow down and the body will get smaller doses of sugar over an extended period of time. Therefore, foods with more fiber in them are healthier for diabetic people.
Another major benefit of having more fiber in your food is that it keeps the bowel movement in a healthy state. With this kind of food, you will never struggle with constipation. How does this happen? It depends on the kind of fiber you eat.
Types of dietary fibers
When it comes to food, there are 3 types of fibers. These are soluble fibers, insoluble fibers, and fermentable fibers.
Both soluble and insoluble fibers help in digestion but they have different roles. Soluble fibers come from things such as nuts, oats, and seeds. In the digestive tract, the soluble fibers act like a broom that sweeps, cleans, and pushes the food waste down the digestive tracts. Insoluble fibers come from leafy vegetables, cabbage, and brown rice. These fibers promote bowel movement and help the passing of stool. These fibers are non-digestible so they easily get added up to the stool and increasing its bulk.
The fermentable fibers come from foods like garlic and beans. They play a very important role in the overall digestion of foods. They do this by promoting the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. These bacteria act similar to probiotics.
How can you get 30 grams of fiber from your food?
To get 30 grams of fiber, you will need to eat 8 to 9 apples or 12 to 15 cups of broccoli. Since eating so many apples or cups of broccoli every day is not practical, you will have to draw your quota of fibers from different foods that you eat on a daily basis. Rather, you will have to include some of the more fibrous foods in your daily diet.
To conveniently cross the 30-gram fiber quota, you should aim to consume at least 10 grams of fiber in each of the 3 meals you eat every day. For an idea of how much fiber your favorite foods have, let me tell you that a medium-sized pear offers ~6 grams of fiber so does half an avocado. A cup of oatmeal has ~4 grams of fiber and quinoa has ~5 grams. Barley has a huge content of fiber — ~8 grams for every 1/4 cup. Chia seeds offer 10 grams of fiber per 30 grams and chickpeas have ~9 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup.
Other foods that have high amounts of fiber include:
Here is a list of some regular foods that are rich in fibers (Infographic):
Cereals: Eating whole grains compared to refined varieties of cereals always promises to supply more fibers to your body. Avoid added sugar in your cereals. Oat-based muesli and Bran flakes offer up to 10 grams of fiber in a 50-gram portion.
Bananas: A medium-sized banana provides 3 grams of fiber. But eat your banana just ripely, not overripe. An overripe banana is more sugar than anything else.
Apples: Apples are not a big source of fibers but they still supply 2 to 3 grams of fiber from a small apple of 80 grams.
Nuts: Nuts are another source of high-quality fibers. For every 30 grams, they supply 2 grams of soluble fiber.
Wholegrain Bread: White bread does not contain much fiber while wholegrain bread has up to 2 grams of fiber per slice of bread.
Baked Potatoes: Potatoes with skin on has more fiber. A medium-sized baked potato with the skin on has 4 grams of fiber.
Wholemeal Pasta: Whole-wheat spaghetti contains a high 8-gram of fiber from every 75 grams portion.
Pulses: Lentils, peas, and beans are good sources of fiber. 150 grams of baked beans provide 6.8 grams of fiber whereas 100 grams of boiled lentils offer 8 grams of fiber.
Can you overeat fibers?
Yes, it is possible to overeat fibers. This is more likely when you are taking fiber supplements. When you overeat fibers, you will feel it. Bloating, discomfort, nausea, gas, and even constipation are some of the signs that you have eaten more fibers than the dietary guidelines for you.
A healthy intake of dietary fiber is good for your health. If you are overweight, it can help you in your weight loss plan or maintain a healthy weight. We have discussed various items that provide good amounts of fiber. You can include these items in your diet and maintain a good fiber intake.
Garlic’s reputation is well established and has been heralded for its health benefits for centuries. The Greeks, Romans, Native Americans, Japanese, Chinese, and Egyptians have been using it as a tasty cooking spice and health elixir. Recent research also indicates that weight management is another viable reason for adding this seasoning to our diet. Overweight people everywhere should consider garlic’s natural weight loss properties as a part of an overall diet strategy.
Research Studies Reveal Garlic’s Impact on Weight Loss
A study that investigated garlic’s effect on mice that were fed a high-fat diet shows promising results about this popular seasoning’s link to weight management. In one study, researchers gave mice a diet aimed at fattening them up for a period of eight weeks. Then, the scientists fed mice the same high-fat diet with two to five percent garlic-approved additives mixed in over the next seven weeks.
Study findings indicated that the addition of this flavorful seasoning to the mice’s diet decreased body weight with an added benefit of less fat stored. Shape reports that this spice minimized the negative impact of the unhealthy diet on both blood makeup and liver health. Oxford Academic explains garlic’s antiobesity influence as attributable to the activation of AMPK, a boost in thermogenesis, and suppression of genes linked to adipogenesis.
Within the last ten years, America has seen a significant increase in its obesity rates. The two most common causes are diets high in calories and a lack of exercise. And this has led to a series of health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The good news is, you can overcome obesity by consulting with a professional. While most people assume that they should only rely on their primary physician for weight loss advice, everyone’s needs are different. You may require the help of a specialist. Here are a few of the most popular types of doctors that you could see for weight issues.
If you’re concerned about your weight, one of the first types of doctors you should consult with is your general practitioner. They’re most commonly referred to as family physicians. The benefit of consulting with your primary physician is that they understand your history. And this means they can offer insight into what’s causing your weight gain and what changes need to be made.
They can suggest specific exercises, changes that you should make to your diet, and give you a list of the foods that you should avoid altogether. Another huge benefit of starting with a general practitioner is that they can refer you to someone who specializes in the area in which you need help.