A few years ago, I watched a video on Youtube that showed Americans walking around a shopping mall in the 1980s. I can't remember the purpose of the video. I just remember my initial reaction: Holy crap, these people are skinny!
They weren't just thinner than we are now. They seemed so thin that I feared for their health. They seemed anorexic.
But it sank in. This is how people are supposed to look. I had recently had someone call me "a thin guy". I am 5'11 and I weighed 185 at the time. Now, 185 pounds is not thin for a 5'11" man. In fact, there is no excuse for a man to weigh that much at that height unless he is totally ripped and I was not totally ripped.
However, I seemed thin to the commenter because of our human environment. We all weigh so much now. I had always known that I was a "little" over weight with some love handles carrying around. But I stopped and did the BMI at that point. Turned out that I was actually pretty overweight.
The Art Study
Not long after that, I read a report about an art study regarding meal portion sizes. It sounds strange, but meals have been portrayed in paintings and other media all through human history. Last Supper, anyone?
So this study looked at meal portions as portrayed in media past and present. Their discovery: meal portions, in art anyway, were seven times bigger today than in the middle ages. While you might take some exception to the accuracy of this in portraying reality, you probably get the point. We are eating a whole hell of a lot more now than we did then.
Now some increased consumption is justified. First, people did not exactly get all the nutrition they needed back then and it is good that we have more variety and abundance of food. Also, this increased abundance has given us greater height and bigger bodies need more nutrition.
But seven times more food? No. And I think that it is obvious to anyone that we eat way too much, whether they agree with the study or not.
How Did This Happen?.
We live in a post-scarcity world. While you have the usual liberal lunatics running around crying about hunger, the fact is that the hunger problem was technically conquered long ago. There is plenty of food in the world for everyone and we could feed a whole lot more. When people starve today it is almost always due to to war. This is the situation in many places in Africa.
Not only do we have more, we have a greater variety of food thanks to transportation technology. On any given day, I can go to the store and buy fresh fruits and vegetables from all over the globe. It is a wonderful thing, really.
So it is natural that we should eat a little more. But why do we overeat? Why do we eat so damn much?
You can blame it on a moral decline if you want. When was the last time the capital sin of gluttony was taught to a child? The only sins taught today to children are racism and sexism.
You can also blame it on the agricultural industry. They pushed this idea of three meals every day, loaded with carbs, all through the 20th century. Again, probably not necessary. It wouldn't hurt you if the meals were properly proportioned and contained a balance of protein, carbs and fat. But this is not the case.
Go out to a Mexican restaurant and order a chicken chimichanga. When the plate arrives. ask yourself if any living man needs that much food in a day, let alone at a single meal.
What Is the Right Weight for Me?
You can use the BMI algorithm to figure this out. It turns out that a man my height really has no reason to weigh much more than 150 pounds. This shocked me to learn at 185 pounds.
You might be tempted to scoff at your own results but you may not be taking very seriously all the belly fat that you have. Most of us moderns just have tons of belly fat wrapped around our internal organs, threatening us with a variety of metabolic diseases and cancer as well.
Take this with a grain of salt. As a man, you will probably use a combination of diet and exercise to lose weight. If this exercise involves a lot of lifting, as I recommend it do, then you will probably always have a high BMI because all that muscle you gain will weigh a lot more than fat. However, you should still get a lot closer to your appropriate number.
Whatever you do, stop kidding yourself. You need to lose weight. There are some other articles on this website to help you start down that road. Just don't remain in denial. All that fat is making you complacent and lowering your T levels.
Lose weight, get thin, get angry.