You’ve done it. You’ve decided to start a fitness program and you're only a few weeks away from transforming your beer belly into iron abs. Congrats. But how much weight do you need to lose before people notice the new, slender you? Just how many digits do you need to see tumble off the scales before you look more attractive? Science has the answer.
To caveat: if you're looking for peak performance, or you're working towards a fitness goal, you can lose as little or as much need to in order to excel at your sport of choice. But if your weight loss goal is to get noticed by the opposite sex, there's a clear formula in place.
A study published in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science found women can accurately judge your BMI just from the amount of facial fat you’re packing. And the researchers even managed to work out exactly how much overall blubber you have to burn before they’ll see it in your face. Calculators at the ready, gentlemen.
Women will find you more attractive if you lose 2.59 kg/(your height squared). Confused? This simply means that the average man will have to shred 8.2kg to get those double takes from the hotties around you.
And you won’t just look better. “Increased facial fat is associated with a compromised immune system, poor cardiovascular function, frequent respiratory infections, and mortality,” said the study leader Dr Nicholas Rule. Yes, keep off the pounds and you’ll attract women and live longer. It’s a win-win.
Here’s the bad news: According to the research, you’ll need to lose twice as much fat as the average woman to become better looking. The good news? It’s never been easier to shift your excess flab thanks to this ultimate MH guide.
Worried your initial burst of transformation enthusiasm won’t roll into serious calorie-burning commitment? Find out how to motivate yourself to start working out. Remember, once you’ve got the motivation, most of the hard work is done. Unless you want to try this brutal push-up routine that will make your pecs pop.
Surely you can’t eat yourself thin, right? Wrong. So wrong. With the right foods you can easily lose weight at every point in the day. How? Check out our four simple protein-packed meals any man can master or the five foods that are better than a protein shake.
Whatever your experience or equipment, there’s a way to lose your extra baggage. Just starting out? Use our beginner’s training guide. Determined to leave your blubber at the gym? Try our beer-belly blasting circuit. Want to design your own session? Just learn the 5 exercises every man should master and your fitness journey awaits.
The full package
Want to lose weight faster? You’re going to have to call in backup. “Having someone to train with can help you have a 176% greater chance of making an improvement," says online personal trainer Scott Baptie.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health UK