When a Danish beauty group conducted a survey of several thousand models working with world-famous agencies, they expected to find a high proportion of women who were at the very edge of healthy slimness. What they found was very different and a lot more worrying. The study from DreamModels, published in 2016, exposed a serious health issue in the world of modeling. Ninety four percent of models were – and still are – underweight. DreamModels calculated the Body Mass Index – or BMI – of 3000 models. They used the public data that is available on each agency’s website, namely the height, bust size, waist measurements, and hips width of each model. Then, working with a body visualizing system, DreamModels managed to estimate the weight of each model.Finally, they combine the weight and the height to calculate their BMI. It turns out that models are not only slim, but they are also unhealthily skinny too. Only 6% of the models had a BMI that ranges between 18.5 and 21. The rest had a BMI below 18.5, which is classified as malnourished by the World Health Organization. As if that weren’t enough, their bodies are used to define the image of beauty that most people aspire to. As long as the media choose to maintain this unhealthy portray of beauty, the skinny epidemic will infest our society. You too might be suffering from it, even if you’re a gym addict.
Eating disorders are surprisingly compelling
With more and more people being open about eating disorders, you’d think that the public has been warned about these and knows how to avoid them. But in reality, eating disorders continue to increase in numbers. Unfortunately they can now appear in young children, even before they hit puberty, as a result of troubling factors. Being accompanied by parents or siblings who are very weight conscious is a significant trigger for these children, who get to experience dieting and weight loss first hand. Additionally, feeling unwanted or less supported at home – as it was the case of Savannah, a young woman who has been struggling with eating disorders for half of her life – can also contribute to the developing of starvation strategies. More often than not this kind of disorder can rapidly evolve into a habit, so that you can be undereating without even recognizing a health issue. The body image is a strong cultural message that, when it’s misused by the media, can cause serious troubles to your everyday life.
Is being thin healthy?
There’s a very common argument that most thin people like to rely on, which is that being thin is healthier than being overweight. In reality, being healthily slim is perfectly fine. Being too thin or too fat is equally wrong and damaging to the body. You may think of yourself as being on the elegant slim side of the scale, but if you are underweight, you may be putting your body under a lot of unnecessary pressure. Indeed, some of the problems that are associated with obese people can also touch skinny individuals. Being too thin doesn’t make you immune to heart disease, and diabetes, especially as being skinny can make it easier to indulge in unhealthy food or skipping the gym. While your body might not be putting on weight, your cholesterol and your blood sugar levels are still rising. Extreme thinness is also known to weaken your immune system, meaning that your body can’t defend itself from infections and illnesses. Anemia, fertility issues, and osteoporosis are only some of the numerous issues that skinny people are likely to struggle with.
Are you still strong?
Admittedly, you may be naturally slim, but still strong. It’s important to understand that having a slim figure doesn’t mean that you are weak. After all, some people are naturally lean without being unhealthy. What makes being skinny unhealthy is the combination of lack of vitamins with lack of exercises. But if you keep up with these elements, you can indeed be slim and strong without experiencing any health issue. The best way to make sure that your body is fit is to test your strength with a simple workout. Try performing reps with a burst of intensity of 20 to 60 seconds and count how many reps you can get during that time. For example, less than 20 reps of one type of exercise such as squat or push press up in 60 seconds is an indication that your body doesn’t have sufficient muscle mass.
Ditch the cardio for a proper training
Gaining muscle weight is an essential requirement to bring your body back to a healthy weight. Indeed, gaining the weight in fat cells – aka by indulging in unhealthy food – will not help you to fight off the skinny epidemic. Being slim is okay as long as you are strong. Slim and weak is the direct path to future health troubles. You may be surprised to know that some people have very little strength even though they still frequent the gym regularly. The main reason for this is that they are doing too much cardio. Cardio is good to keep lean muscles, however too much of it and at a low level does not affect your overall body strength. You need to switch for a workout that will help you to gain muscle weight. What does it matter? Muscles make your body stronger and consequently support your immune system, your heart, and your mental too. Besides, a strong body doesn’t have to be a large and bulky figure. You can still perform weight lifting exercises without bulking out, assuming that you don’t overdo the resistance.
Are you eating clean calories?
There may be another reason why your body is not as strong as it should be yet, even if you are going to the gym. Indeed, if you are not eating clean calories or the appropriate quantity of calories, your body will need to repurpose muscles to create its own energy. It’s important to switch to a healthy diet, which means a diet that combines proteins, vitamins, minerals and healthy carbs too. Additionally, you can make it easier for your body to gain lean mass with the best mass gainers that are designed to support muscle growth. This is especially helpful for men who are trying to bulk out and get rid of their skinny frame. It can be demotivating to train hard without being able to see the results, therefore, using a mass gainer is ideal to increase your intake in healthy carbs, proteins, fat, vitamins, and other nutrients. But they don’t work without the necessary workout, though!
Where do you consume your calories?
Your lifestyle might be the reason why you are not able to put on healthy weight. If you are a heavy smoker, for example, you will naturally have less appetite and consume fewer calories. As a result, you’re likely to have a slim frame. Additionally, staying dangerously slim can be caused by a stressful lifestyle. Indeed, anxiety can cause weight loss as a result of a loss of appetite, or simply consuming the majority of your calories to stress. The body can react in different ways to anxiety. While some people shut down, others find themselves moving a lot more, either through involuntary moving or regular and active pacing. While losing weight is often perceived as a positive transformation, when stress is the cause of your weight loss is the kind of body transformation that you can’t control. It’s no surprise that anxiety and eating disorders often belong together.
The skinny epidemic is the result of a variety of factor, from social pressure to poor lifestyle. It’s a health issue that needs to be taken extremely seriously: You need to build a strong mind and body to construct your health back. Forget the skinny trend, being strong is the new thing.