Health & Wellness

Jennifer Aniston, here's why you shouldn't lose those last 5 pounds

When Jennifer Aniston revealed her ideal weight — she likes to be between 110 and 113 pounds — the world’s response was, who doesn’t? Then Aniston added that she’d like to lose 5 more pounds to get to that goal weight. But to maintain Aniston's ageless beauty at 45, it’s better to be not too thin.

AFP / Today
Jennifer Aniston

Aniston confessed to makeup artist Bobbi Brown in an interview with Yahoo Beauty that she allows herself to eat bread on the weekends, and she tries to balance indulgences with exercise and healthy eating. “If I was being super picky, I would love to drop 5 pounds. That is just where I have always been really comfortable, at about 110 to 113 pounds. But it is harder at this age.”

She’s right, weight loss is more difficult as we age — after age 40 our metabolic rate slows by about 5 percent every decade, meaning by age 50 we need to consume about 200 calories less every day just to maintain a desired weight.

But Aniston should remember the famous quote often attributed to French actress Catherine Deneuve: “After a certain age, you have to choose between your fanny and your face.”

So far, Aniston has both. And in an age of cosmetic injectables and fillers, why should we have to choose? But Aniston told Brown she's not planning to inject anything into her face. 

At a reported 5’ 5” inches, weighing 110 pounds would give Aniston a BMI of 18.5, just barely in the normal weight range. Which is great, except that as we age, the fat in our faces loses volume and shifts downward. That means the fresh roundness of our cheeks and the areas around the eyes and mouth starts to lose firmness and hollow out. For a woman over 40, a heavier body mass index is associated with a more youthful appearance, according to a widely cited 2009 study on twins. Thus the "fanny or face" dilemma: A few extra pounds may make an older woman's face look better, even though it may make other body parts heftier than she'd like.

Yes, a few extra pounds may make an older woman's face look better and more youthful, even though she may not want to gain weight in other areas. People who are heavier in weight tend to have fewer wrinkles because the extra pounds plump out lines and wrinkles, says New York City dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad.  

"The skin on our face loses fat, which is the same fat that suspends our cheeks higher," Ostad told TODAY in an email. "As a result of losing this fat, skin can begin to sag and wrinkles and fine lines are more apparent." 

On Kathie Lee and Hoda Wednesday, Hoda gave her take on Jennifer's ideal weight. “No one likes to hear skinny people talk about their weight,” said Hoda. "When a small person talks about weight — ‘I want to drop 2 or 3 pounds’— it just doesn’t feel right.”