Thinking you are fat makes you fat

Thinking you are fat makes you fat

In our society striving to be thin, and keeping up with the unrealistically thin bodies of celebrities, causes many to perceive themselves as ‘fat’ when they are not.

Now we have proof that thinking you ‘are fat’ WILL MAKE YOU FAT!

A study by Cuypers and colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that 78% of girls who ‘felt fat’ in their teen years actually became overweight or obese in adult life.

Most importantly, it was noted that waist circumferences that classified them as obese, not BMIs.

“Perceiving themselves as fat even though they are not may actually cause normal weight children to become overweight as adults,” says Koenraad Cuypers, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Some of the reasons for the link between thinking and being fat in later life may start with behavioural changes found in teens who think they are fat.

Some of the behavioural changes may continue into adulthood and include:

Disordered Eating Patterns

As a teenager, disordered eating patterns such as:

  • Skipping breakfast;
  • Skipping other meals;
  • Restricting food intake, and 
  • Dieting etc…, 

negatively affect metabolism, stress, hormone production and brain function as you grow into an adult. 

Stress

Stress, anxiety and obsession about:

  • Weight;
  • Dieting;
  • Food, and 
  • Exercise, 

produce stress hormones that affect metabolism, hormone production, brain function and fat retention (particularly abdominal). 

Dieting

Going on and off restrictive diets cause stress to the brain and body and changes the function of all aspects of the brain and body.

“Thinking fat” and then “getting fat” is not limited to teenagers.

 

According to the article, “Similar studies have previously been conducted in normal weight adult men and women.

These studies have also shown an increase in weight over time in those who perceived themselves as too fat.” 

Society and the Struggle For the Ideal Body

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If you type “ideal body” into a google search there are many articles about what the ideal body should look like and even “programs” to reach the “ideal body”.

When you look at the magazines in the rack when you are buying your groceries you are bombarded with glossy, “perfect” and photoshopped women and men. 

When you scroll through your social media you are constantly bombarded with images of people with filters and poses to make them look a specific way.

You will notice when a celebrity, or someone with a lot of followers posts a picture of themselves to their feed, people comment on their body – positively and negatively. 

Society has a major impact on the way we perceive ourselves and this can lead to many health issues including:

  • Extreme dieting;
  • Over-exercising;
  • Eating disorders, or
  • Disordered eating such as Binge Eating and Food Addiction. 

The social pressure present in your life, can not only lead to physical health issues but can also lead to poor:

  • Self-esteem;
  • Self-image;
  • Body-acceptance;
  • Self-confidence;
  • Self-worth;
  • Self-belief, and
  • Much more. 

Be a Role Model for Teens

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It is essential to provide a buffer between society beliefs and the media and our teens.

Parents, teachers and other key people, in teens lives, need to become healthy body role models.

How often do you find yourself, as an adult, looking in the mirror and saying “these jeans make my butt look big,” or asking someone “does this outfit make me look fat?”

As teenagers go through adolescence they mimic the behaviour of the adults around them. 

Most importantly though, is acknowledging role models for their positive internal qualities such as kindness, sharing, courageous, forgiving etc.

The best gift you can give your children is the gift of teaching them how to treat others with respect, kindness and humility.

Love Yourself and Your Body

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Change your Language

It starts and ends with you!

Small actions can make a big difference.

If you wouldn’t say something to your best friend, why are you saying it to yourself?

Every time you talk to yourself and look at yourself in the mirror, you have the choice to lift yourself down or lift yourself up.

The more you embrace being positive accepting and confident about who you are and your body NOW, the more energy and happiness levels will naturally increase. 

Balance is the Key

Balance the not so healthy foods with healthy food.

If you are eating at least 80% healthy food every day you should reach a healthy balance as you change eating habits.

For example, if you have a creamy pasta bake, add 3-4 vegetables such as carrot, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, pumpkin etc.. 

Keep Moving

Look for opportunities to be active.

Cliché as it sounds, it does work:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator;
  • Park further away at the shopping centre;
  • Go outside with the kids and play;
  • Go Swimming, and
  • Do whatever is enjoyable for you to get your body moving. 

Feel good about just being you

Listen to yourself, your body and use your intuition to continue to learn about yourself and grow.

Along your journey be positive, kind, caring and understanding.

Allowing yourself to accept yourself empowers you to:

  • Acknowledge who you are;
  • Celebrate yourself, your achievements and milestones;
  • Change for yourself, without comparison or judgement, and
  • To be the person you want to be. 

If you are struggling with weight issues and/or Disordered Eating, Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you get to the underlying issues of your health problems.

We specialise in weight management, Food Addiction and Disordered Eating such as Emotional Eating, Stress Eating, Binge Eating, Night-time Eating, Dieting and More.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you build the life that you want and become the person you to be through a process of education, skill development, healing and achievement.

Dieting Causes Weight Gain

Dieting Causes Weight Gain

Are you a victim of marketing hype and social pressure?

For so long, you may have been led to believe that dieting will help you to lose weight, be healthier and happier.

The research paints a very different picture!

Dieters who do lose weight end up with unwanted weight gain within five (5) years!

Those who diet end up:

  • Gaining more weight than they lost;
  • Having an unhealthier attitude towards food;
  • At risk of developing Eating Disorders or Disordered Eating Behaviours;
  • With a reduced ability to recognise natural hunger;
  • Developing a poorer body-image, and
  • At risk of Depression. 

If this sounds like you, don’t be disheartened – there is hope!

If you realise that dieting causes weight gain, you can reverse it, you can lose weight just by stopping dieting!

If you follow the NO DIET plan, eventually, you will find balance and a sustainable eating plan to suit your body.

This is not a quick fix; nor does it mean that you can eat everything and anything you want, whenever you want! 

Being Ready

You need to be ready to learn about, listen to, and respect your body.

You need to be ready to give yourself, your body and food the time it deserves so you can mindfully focus on:

  • Finding balance;
  • Understanding your fullness and hunger levels;
  • Finding foods that give you energy and health;
  • Enjoying food – planning, cooking, eating;
  • Being ready to let go of foods that zap your energy or make you feel sick, and
  • Finding a sustainable eating plan for the rest of your life.

5 Steps to Losing Weight by Giving Up Dieting

Here are five (5) tips to help you in your journey towards a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that will help you to lose weight without dieting.

Tip #1 – Focus on Your Health

Health is more important than weight loss.

Therefore, understand what health means to you and pursue goals that help you become stronger physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

Focus more attention on what will make you happy and fulfilled in your life, and help you live fully.

Tip #2 – Develop a Positive Relationship with Food

Nutritional balance is the most important aspect of food and eating.

Ridding your life of rigid food rules so you can learn how to eat a balanced, variety of foods that will nourish your brain and body is a crucial step.

Organising and planning food and meals will help you to eat healthy, balanced meals, regularly.

Tip #3 – Non-Diet Professional Support 

Breaking the negative cycles of dieting can be difficult to do on your own.

Therefore, it is important to seek the help of professionals to help give you develop new skills and tools, to enable you to live a healthy, flexible and fun lifestyle.

Tip #4 – Like-Minded and Supportive People 

You need to surround yourself with people who are like-minded and support a balanced approach to life, food, eating and health.

Some people in your life may be on either side of the continuum: unhealthy and sabotaging or healthy but rigid and too focused on food, exercise and eating.

You can’t change other people but you can choose how much influence they have over you and how much time you spend with them. 

Tip #5 – Develop a Lifestyle

Let go of quick fixes and rigid rules!

Quick fixes will not ever deliver you a life of happiness and health.

Taking things slower and developing new skills, habits, thoughts and beliefs will provide you with a lifestyle that you have always wanted for yourself.

A lifestyle is a journey towards happiness for a lifetime of wellbeing, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Focus on long-term sustainability. 

Overcome Stress Related Weight Gain

Overcome Stress Related Weight Gain

A single woman in her mid-twenties.

She works as an accountant in a well-respected firm and puts in long hours at her job.

Between work and her previous university study, Melissa hasn’t had much time for exercise and healthy eating the last few years.

Her doctor mentioned concerns over her blood pressure and she’s been trying to lose weight as her BMI (body mass index) classes her as obese.

Despite having a diet and exercise plan, she finds it very hard to stick to and is feeling increasingly uncomfortable with her body.

The stress of her work combined with the long hours makes it hard for her to cook and exercise.

Melissa finds herself grabbing takeaway on the way home as it is quicker and easier.

She knows it is not healthy but she just can’t seem to find her way out of it.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Stress can lead to Obesity, and Obesity is caused and influenced by a number of genetic and environmental factors.

When you experience stress your body releases Cortisol which is a steroid hormone to help your body:

  • Respond to danger;
  • Increase your metabolism of glucose;
  • Control blood pressure, and
  • Reduce inflammation.

Ongoing, Chronic or long-term Stress increases the chance of having consistent elevated cortisol levels which lead to:

  • Increased appetite;
  • Fat and Sugar cravings, and
  • Stress snacking.

Chronic stress and long-term stress then lead to weight gain and Disordered Eating Behaviours such as:

  • Overeating;
  • Emotional Eating,
  • Binge Eating, and
  • Comfort Eating.

5 Tips to Finding a Better Balance

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There is no such thing as stress elimination.

However, you can put a couple of things in place that can make all the difference.

Here are five (5) simple life and stress management tips which can help you cope better and improve health, life balance and relationships.

Tip #1 – Get Moving

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It is common for exercise to be one of the first things to be dropped when life gets too busy, fatigue and lack of motivation exist.

By not exercising you are not burning calories and you are allowing the stress hormones to overtake your system and naturally your fat stores are increasing.

When you do not exercise, your muscle mass decreases and your fat increases naturally.

Moving every 20 minutes or 1 hour will help to improve your stress, concentration and health.

  • Fill up your water bottle;
  • Do some stretches, and
  • Get up and go and see a colleague rather than phoning them.

Tip #2 – Downtime

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It is important to have some downtime.

Relaxation, hobbies, having fun, socialising, etc. are really important to finding a good balance.

Some people find that to release their stress they need to journal or write; others find that meditation works, other people need to be social.

Whatever you need to find fun and release the stress busting hormones.

It is recommended that you partake in some activity at least every day or twice a week minimum.

Tip #3 – Boundaries

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Being honest with yourself, and with others can be one of the hardest things to do.

If you want to control your Stress, this is one of the biggest keys.

Know when you cannot give any more and assertively say so.

Try and think of who might be able to help, a better timeframe or deadline by which you could do the task, negotiate the issue/task, find the resources to help someone else do it.

If you don’t give beyond your capacity, you will reduce your Stress and you will be able to give more to the people who you really want to give to.

Tip #4 – Breathe!

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Stress causes us to shallow breath and hold our breath.

We want to deep breath to help us let go of negative stress hormones and allow our brain to replace relax hormones.

To help with relaxation and letting go of stress, take several breaths into lower lungs or belly.

After the breath has filled your lower lungs you can then fill your upper lungs and chest.

Do it slowly to the count of 5, hold for 2 seconds and then release to the count of 5.

On the out breath, tell yourself to relax.

Repeat at least 5 times.

Deep breathing can be done anywhere, anytime.

Tip #5 – Listen to Music

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Music is a powerful stimulant for mood change.

Music changes brain wave frequency and the release of hormones.

Find music that relaxes you, music that you really want to move to and something in between.

By playing music while you work, move or travelling to and from work, you can unconsciously be de-stressing.

Trying to change can be difficult, without the right information and help.

If you are struggling with Stress Management, Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help.

We provide support, guidance and tools to break free from negative cycles and help you build a life filled with:

  • Balance;
  • Happiness, and
  • Purpose.