Women Need to Lose Less Weight Than Men to Appear More Attractive

It’s a question for the ages—we all know that a healthy body weight makes for a more attractive person, but with all that we do throughout the day and the challenges to peak physical training that most of us experience, what is the ideal weight that a man or woman needs to lose, on average, to appear more attractive to others? The answer might help to reduce your expectations and the demands you place on yourself when it comes to weight loss.

What researchers at the University of Toronto discovered was that attractiveness isn’t so much seen in pounds/kilograms, but in the body mass index. Specifically, facial adiposity triggers the attractiveness judgment in most people—a thin, healthy face is a sign of a healthy body weight, a healthy body mass index, heightened immunity, better cardiovascular function, and more.

The study examined 40 faces as rated by respondents between 20 and 40 years of age. What researchers found was that a change in BMI of approximately 2.93 lbs/m2 is the secret number where increased attractiveness is perceived. By using BMI, people of all shapes and sizes can still apply the formula to themselves.

On average, for an overweight person of normal height, the weight loss requirements for women to appear more attractive were at 13.9 pounds and, for men, 18.1 pounds. Weight gain of 8 pounds or more is easily seen in the shape of the face, and losing twice this amount results in a marked perception of greater attractiveness. Remember, however, each body is different, and the calculations should be done on your own BMI instead of a general number.

It can be encouraging, however, to know that while you may be 30 or more pounds overweight, you won’t need to lose all of that before people find you more attractive. Setting small goals and making small changes to your lifestyle are the best ways to achieve a permanent change.


The Pleasant Hills Apothecary Team

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