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Obese/morbidly obese posting tiny "meals" on social media

HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,967 Member
I've seen this over and over with several people I have known who are obese or morbidly obese - they will regularly post photos of themselves and a "tiny" meal, often asking others to share what their meals looked like.


For example, a friend just posted a picture of a yogurt - one single serving yogurt. "This is my lunch today - what's yours? Let's see them!" This is not the first time I've seen her do this - in fact, it's pretty regular.

Another friend does/did the same type of thing.

Both are of average height (5'6"- 5'9" ish), and in the 350-600 pound category.

They are not actively working on losing weight, where there might be some changes they are making and they're wanting to put it out there, so that's not the reason (I can totally understand sharing if you're making some changes as social support helps).

I'm just curious if there is a generalized reason for what triggers this kind of post/behavior in these circumstances (extremely overweight, not changing anything, unable to hide their size)?

Other than some distant family members, there aren't a lot of people that large in my circle, so maybe it's just the couple people I see who do fall into that category....Just curious on what motivates that kind of post.


  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,967 Member
    edited December 2021
    I could see the "normal?" and the judgement pieces both part of it - I just found it particularly perplexing when, what clearly is not a normal meal for this person, was what they posted about.

    I occasionally share food/meal photos, generally if it's something that came out particularly tasty. Once I posted a meal I had made (weighed, measured the whole thing) and had people guess the calories by looking at the plate. Almost no one got it right, and most underestimated the calories by 200-300. For one meal. I've tracked/weighed/measured on and off for many years, and while I'm pretty good at estimating what I'm actually eating, if I take too long off from tracking, "calorie creep" still proves to be a thing when I get back to it.

    Off topic, but my brain went there LOL....I think because I'm wondering if the see that yogurt at x calories, and if they make a connection between that and their other meals...or "I 'only' ate a yogurt for lunch, so dinner can be x."

    Not sure, just speculating on what I know I sometimes find is happening when the scale starts to creep up on me (like it has the past couple months :# )
  • threewins
    threewins Posts: 1,455 Member
    "Why???" because they want to. I could go on any social media platform and see posts I don't understand. Memes, jokes, inside jokes, I'm bored posts, arguing over inane topics on twitter, Tiktoks that make no sense (and no sense why people Hearted it), arguing over politics etc etc etc. What I Ate posts are in your category of posts you don't understand.

    They probably want to feel connected by posting that What I Ate Today post, quite possibly on Instagram where there are about 1/4 of a million posts.
  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 453 Member
    I think nearly every social media post has one purpose...to get attention.

    No matter the size of a person, I would guess the motivation in cases such as this example are to get "likes", "you-go-girl"s, "great job"s, etc.

    Exactly 👍😁
  • threewins
    threewins Posts: 1,455 Member
    edited January 2022
  • Hiawassee88
    Hiawassee88 Posts: 35,754 Member
    Posting meals on MFP is a net WIN. It's one of my favorite threads on here. I appreciate all of their hard work and ideas in a judgment free zone. The food police are not coming to your house asking for your stats. Good lighting and good food fixes everything.
  • ciaoder
    ciaoder Posts: 119 Member
    If it’s just one photo a day and not a food diary of photos.. could be that it’s really her lunch?

    Dinner could be a whole pizza .. but maybe she is proud she did good for lunch? Maybe the commentary on good food choices encourages her …

    My 3 cents :)

    This might be an accurate read on what’s happening…maybe not. Either way it’s problematic in that the people who are posting these tiny meal pictures are latching onto extreme ideas instead of an informed and reasonable approach to weight loss.
  • beautyandababe
    beautyandababe Posts: 26 Member
    edited April 2022
    A lot of overweight people at work eat small lunches of yogurt and fruit and I was trying to figure this out myself.

    Here is what I have been thinking:
    A lot of yogurt these days is very sweet and mostly carbs. It seems like these same people eat a lot of simple carbohydrates and not many vegetables or protein in their lunches. So say a common meal would be a bagel with fruit and strawberry yogurt. They also are the same people who will readily take free food at work without thinking about it, and I find a lot of people don't really take into account how much the little splurges here and there affect their calories - or even just how high in calories a donut or cookie is. In addition, maybe they have really big dinners or eat lots of snacks when they get home from work. You never know what people eat outside of work (or in this case outside of instagram posts). They might go out for drinks or for dinner a lot. They may cook more high-fat, high-calorie, processed foods at home. They may have a liking for potato chips or chocolate while watching TV at night. They may also try so hard to eat so little most of the time that they end up binging the calories back at some point in the week and overcompensating for their restriction.

    In the opposite way, I also see some of the skinny girls at work eating donuts or other high-calorie foods. You would think, oh they are just naturally skinny - but this is not always true. The one girl even said herself she hardly eats, she doesn't have much of an appetite.

    I also noticed when you watch episodes of Super Size vs Super Skinny, a lot of the "naturally thin" people are as skinny as they are just because they don't care to eat. Not because they have some naturally gifted metabolism. They may eat unhealthy food such as processed cheese sandwiches or fast food every now and then but for the most part they just don't eat ENOUGH CALORIES in general, not so much what they are eating. There was only one episode that I've seen so far where the Super Skinny person on the episode was that way because of being super health-conscious. All the others just drank a lot of coffee instead of eating, were super busy, and/or just didn't care to eat.

    Anyways, that's just what I've noticed on the matter through personal anecdotes. I am interested in hearing others' experiences/ideas as well.