One of the most popular resolutions out there is to lose weight, so I know that some of you are striving to reach some sort of weight loss goal. If you’re looking to live a generally healthier lifestyle, that’s great! But if you’re freaking out over a few pounds that have been annoying you for the past few years, and if you’re giving up your favorite foods to torture yourself with unrealistic diets, you might want to tone it down a little.
Here’s a new reason to stop stressing over those extra few pounds: a new study shows that people who are only slightly overweight will live longer than those people who are at a “normal” weight. The study focused on about three million people and discovered that those whose B.M.I. (body mass index) ranked them as being overweight actually had less of a risk of dying than people who were at a “normal” weight. Experts say this report is the largest and most carefully done of it’s kind, meaning it’s pretty legit.
While this is kind of awesome news for those of us who are constantly feeling like losing the last 10 pounds would change our lives, there are other things you need to take into account when considering your health and weight. This research studied B.M.I.’s, but it didn’t focus on an individual’s cholesterol or blood pressure or other stuff like that. Doctors pointed out to the New York Times that looking only at someone’s B.M.I. is “an imperfect measure of the risk of mortality.”
It’s also important to realize that being more than slightly overweight is still dangerous to your health, so don’t get too comfortable. I definitely wouldn’t advise you to cut out healthy eating all together and start pigging out on cartons of ice cream. This study basically means that it’s not as big of a deal as we thought to carry some extra pounds – in fact, those extra pounds actually seem to help us.
As I’m sure a lot of you know, it’s really easy to get caught up in a weight obsession. When celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton are called “fat” by critics, it can make the rest of us feel like we’ll never look good enough or thin enough. It’s so easy to forget that there’s nothing wrong with being a few pounds overweight – it’s normal and now we can say it may actually be healthy.
So what’s the best plan for your body? Yeah, you should focus on having a generally healthy diet – it’s not good for anyone, no matter how thin they may be, to stuff themselves with fattening foods all day. But you shouldn’t get caught up in a diet that doesn’t allow you to indulge at all. Eat that third cookie if you want it! Have a piece of your friend’s birthday cake! Like we’ve said all along – stop worrying about being “perfect.”
What do you think about this study? Was your resolution about losing weight? Do you ever worry about how you look? Tell us in the comments.