Dropping even a few pounds takes dedication and hard work, so it’s disappointing when people don’t at least acknowledge it with an “OMG, you look amazing!”
Researchers from the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology understand that struggle, so they researched exactly how many pounds have to go away before people notice.
According to the research, “Women and men of average height need to gain or lose about … eight and nine pounds, respectively, for anyone to see it in their face,” study author Nicholas Rule said.
To determine the amount, Rule and postdoctoral fellow Daniel Re looked at facial adiposity — the perception of weight in the face — because it can be an accurate way to calculate a person’s BMI. They asked participants to look at photos of men and women between 20 and 40 with neutral expressions and hair pulled back. Rule and Re then altered each picture to reflect different weights on an increasing scale. The participants then had to look at randomly drawn pairs of faces and choose the heavier photos.
Eventually, they noticed it took a change of about 1.33 on the BMI scale to make it noticeable. But that’s where the interesting part ends. According to Rule, people “need to lose about twice as much for anyone to find them more attractive.”
Attractive according to who? Pretty sure that beauty is all relative and not everyone has the same tastes, so…
The only good part? “The difference between the groups suggests women’s facial attractiveness may be more sensitive to changes in weight,” said Rule. “This just means women attempting to lose weight need to shed slightly fewer pounds than men for people to find them more attractive.”
“When it comes to incentives for weight loss, some people are more motivated to look attractive than to improve their health,” said Re.
While that’s true, the first goal of weight loss should be to make yourself happy and healthy. Forget the rest.