The Difference Between Being Fat and Overweight

I was recently asked what the difference between being fat and being overweight is. Below is a picture I got from Pinterest, there are many like it. Notice the woman on the right looks skinny and fit, while the woman on the left looks like she may be carrying a few extra pounds. This is the same woman at the exact same weight.

Let’s assume this woman is an even 5 feet tall. At 5 feet 130 pounds her Body Mass Index (BMI) would be 25.4. BMI uses your height and your weight to assign your body a numerical value. Any value from 25 to 30 is considered overweight. Above 30 is obese while below 25 is the normal range and eventually the underweight range. If you are the woman in the picture below, assuming a height at 5 feet, you would be considered overweight in both pictures according to your BMI.

The difference is BMI doesn’t take into account how your weight is distributed. Muscle is more dense that fat, meaning a pound of muscle takes up less space that a pound of fat. If you are carrying 5 pounds of fat then it will have a noticeable difference in the way you look while 5 pounds of muscle may be barely noticeable. That is how it is possible for both of the pictures below to be the same person at the same weight. But even though they are both considered to be overweight, the body time on the right would not be considered fat. This is because of the muscle difference. This is common among people who lift weights. People who lift weights may be very healthy, fit, and skinny, but will often be considered overweight due to all of their lean muscle mass.




Quote of the Week – 24 Apr

“Persistence can change failure into an extraordinary achievement” – Marv Levy

For those of you following the quote of the week series on 2 Weeks to Health, you will notice that there are a lot of posts about failure and persistence. This is because I can’t stress enough that if you want to meet your health goals, you will have setbacks and failures, you will have days where you want to quit, but the key to success is being able to persist through failures. Even if you are failure free, health goals should be lifestyle based and should persist throughout your entire life. Never let your guard down with your health. Be persistent with your workouts and healthy diet, and you will find that you will achieve goal after goal.

How E-Mailing Yourself Can Keep You Motivated

Staying motivated is often the hardest part of a fitness routine. After about 3 months, most people will abandon their goals and call it quits. To help yourself stay motivated, try emailing the future you with motivation, goal milestones, or your daily goals. To do this you can use The form you can fill out looks like the one below. You can choose to send your message to your email on any future date, whether it’s later today or in a few years.


Try making a workout plan on the weekend when you have more time and email yourself every morning with the daily plan. Also, whenever you have a milestone such as lose 10 pounds, email yourself on the day you wanted to reach your milestone to force yourself to pause and reflect on your goals. Also, add motivational videos or quotes to these emails. Nothing is better than getting done with a long day of work and then all of a sudden your daily workout, a motivational quote, and your overarching goals pop into your inbox, giving you the motivation and resources you need to get to the gym.

Author: Scott Van Hoy, click here to view his profile

How Knowledge is Power in Nutrition – Things Worth Sharing

In this diabetes centered TED talk by Dr. Wendy Pogozelski you will learn how even the experts in the medical field sometimes disagree. When it comes to nutrition, knowledge is power and it’s important to learn and know what works best for you. If you want to learn more about diabetes or learn about your overall glycemic load (how many carbs you can eat), then this talk is worth watching.

Quote of the Week – 17 Apr

“Age is no barrier, it’s a limitation you put on your mind” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Telling yourself you are too old to do something is a lie. You’re never too old to make a life change. If you have a health goal, go for it and don’t use your age as an excuse. I’ve seen people over 100 years old run marathons and both power-lifters and triathletes in their 90s, yet sadly it’s usually people in their mid-lives that I see using their age as an excuse to change their eating habits or to lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, you can teach an old dog a new trick, so don’t mentally limit yourself because you believe you’re too old to do something.

The DASH Diet: How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

What if I told you there is a dietary approach to stop hypertension, and that by watching what you eat you can potentially get off your high blood pressure medication? The DASH diet, or the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, is exactly that. By following just a few dietary habits, you can put yourself on a path to lowering your blood pressure.

  1. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat 4-5 servings of both fruits and vegetables per day and 6-8 servings of whole grains. Eating 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy products is also encouraged on the DASH diet.
  2. Limit your sodium consumption to no more than 2300 mg per day. The average American will consume over 3500 mg of sodium per day. Bringing your sodium consumption down to 2300 mg (or even better, down to 1500 mg) per day will help lower your blood pressure. Always check the nutrition labels on your food. Foods that are perceived as healthy may have excessive sodium.
  3. Limit sweets to 5 servings per week. We all love desserts, but it’s good to limit the amount you eat to no more than one serving per day, but the less you eat the better you will feel.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day. Just like sweets, the less alcohol you drink the better off you will be to some extent. There are a few benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation which you can read about here.

I will often see people who are eating otherwise very healthy diets eating way too much sodium. Sometimes perceived healthy foods have far more sodium than we realize. For example, a chicken caesar wrap at a restaurant may have as much as 3500 mg of sodium, three times what you should be eating for an entire day. But if you manage to get your sodium down and you eat plenty of whole foods, then your blood pressure will begin to drop. To read more about the DASH diet, you can visit

Quote of the Week – 10 Apr

“It’s not whether or not you get knocked down, it’s whether or not you get back up” – Vince Lombardi

Failure is always an option. You will always have up and downs during your training, and your mentality and your perseverance will determine whether or not you can turn that failure into success. Getting knocked down is part of the process, but the only option you should put on the table when you get knocked down is to get back up and keep going. Sometimes it will feel like you are taking 1 step forward and 10 steps back. This is when you shouldn’t be afraid to keep taking that 1 step despite the outcome. No matter how long it takes or how many times you find yourself on the ground, keep getting back up, and never stop moving forward.

Your Health Goals Will Fail if You Don’t Take This to Heart

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

In a famous quote by Lao Tzu, Tzu hits on the progression of self-improvement or self-diminishment. To change your destiny, whether for good or for bad, you must hit every link in the chain starting with your thoughts. A broken link will result in a failed outcome, so you must commit to this progression if you want to set health-related goals.


Any self-motivated change first begins by internally recognizing the need to change. I am not going to assume you have discovered this on your own yet. What I will assume is that you have given at least some thought toward making goals that benefit your health. Think about your current ideas for a goal and ask yourself two questions, why do I need to change, and how do I plan on doing it? The ‘why’ is important because it is what will keep you motivated. If you lose track of the ‘why’, then the chances are soon your thoughts about improving your health will begin to fade, and they will no longer be transferred into action. The ‘how’ is just as important ask ‘why’. You need to create a plan of action for how you plan on achieving your goals. Rehearse your plan in your head. Visualize yourself going to the gym every morning, eating healthy, and losing weight. This truly is a mental game, and it all begins with thinking about the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.


Once you have thought through your motivation, goals, and plan, talk about them. Tell your friends and family what you’re planning on doing, and keep them updated along the way. Create a blog to keep yourself accountable, or if you want to stay a bit more private, spend about 5 minutes each day writing down what you did that day to reach your goals. I can’t stress enough that you need to write everything down in a journal or on a vision board. Every day you should read over the goals you want to reach and your plan to get there. Place it on the fridge or somewhere you look at every day. Continuously talk and write about your health goal to keep it fresh in your mind and to keep forward momentum.


As you talk and write about your goals, execute your plan every day. You’ve been talking about it and writing about it, so now you just have to do it. Your plan is set, you are motivated, and your goal seems very attainable. Now you just need to transfer what is on paper to the real world. If you told your spouse you’re going to go to the gym 3 days a week, do it. If you wrote down a list of healthy meals to eat this week, then get into the kitchen and make them. Action is by far the easiest link in the chain to break, but if you prioritize your goals and keep talking about your goals, then everything should fall into place.


Your thoughts have now become words, and words have become actions. Now as long as you keep up your actions, good habits will begin to form. Waking up early to go to the gym will just become a part of your weekday after awhile, or soon you won’t even care about not eating dessert if that happens to be your goal. How long will it take for a habit to form? Studies have shown it will take anywhere from about 2 to 8 months. This is why so many goals fail in the first couple months! People will try to start healthy habits, and soon their actions will diminish, breaking the link between action and habit. To truly live a healthier life, you need to form good habits and carry them with you into future years. Just keep in mind that it will be difficult and time-consuming to form them, but if you keep talking about your goals and putting them into action, eventually you won’t have to think twice about your actions.


As good habits form, your character grows. Your mental and moral qualities will begin to reflect the hard work you put in to form your healthy habits. Have you ever heard someone talk about their weight loss journey or someone’s training to run their first marathon? Once they reach their goals they always have a large smile on their face and move on to their next challenge, no matter how difficult it may be. They not only did something great for their health, but they are mentally stronger and will never relinquish the good habits they have formed. The result is truly a lifestyle change.


Your destiny can be described as the events that will happen to you in the future. If you are born a prince, it is your destiny to be king because you know it will happen when you grow older. By changing your character, you can shape your own destiny by changing future outcomes. These changes from your goal could be strictly health related such as living longer but can extend much further than that. By taking ownership of your body and thinking about a goal that can benefit your health, so many doors and opportunities will open for you if you put your goal into words, create action, form habits, mold character, and shape destiny. Don’t break the chain.

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile


Quote of the Week – 3 Apr

“What’s the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” – John Green

You have 1 life. This life on average will last 27,000 days. Your childhood and adolescence takes up 6000 of these days, you sleep another 6500. Your time eating and preparing food, using the restroom, and other necessities remove another 2000 days. What you are left with is 12,500 days of time that you can use for work and play. If you spend just one hour per day, every day, exercising and working out, this only removes about 800 days from that pool during your adulthood. If you want to take it day by day, 1 hour of working out per day is only 4% of your total day. Time is limited, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take that much of your time to do something remarkable for your health.

Bonus Days: Something else to keep in mind, by exercising for those extra 800 days, compared to someone who is obese, your life expectancy increases by on average about 8-10 years. That’s about an extra 2000 days after you subtract sleep and necessities. The return on the time investment is more than worth it!