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.

I’ll Be Happy When…

I’ll Be Happy When…

On some level, does a part of you which secretly believes that when you reach a particular goal that life will improve or the burdens of the past will just disappear?

This is the ‘Fairytale’ Syndrome . . .

When we were children, we believed in fairytales with a happy ever after ending.

As we grow up we still hold on to this same belief or fantasy.

We want a happy ever after ending amongst the true reality of life.

Even though we may not consciously believe in this or purposefully put our lives on hold until we reach a happy ever after, we do.

It is like watching a movie when it gets to an exciting bit and you hold your breath, urgently anticipating what is going to happen next.

This is what many people tend to do in their own life.

There seems to be a period of holding your breath or not living life to its fullest in anticipation for the ending or end result.

The focus is on the goal and everything hinges on the end result and many people either:

Reach their goals and find that:

  • Nothing has changed;
  • They are exhausted and they relax, or
  • Return to old habits out of disappointment, exhaustion and grief.

OR

Never reach their goals as the reality of the goal is so unrealistic that they:

  • Can only maintain the rigid lifestyle or program for a limited time;
  • They return to their existing habits feeling like a failure, and
  • Become disillusioned with life and depressed.

This all results in the yo-yo effect which pulls down our:

  • Self-esteem;
  • Confidence;
  • Efficacy;
  • Belief in ourselves, and
  • It begins to alter our identity.

5 Tips to Avoid Fairytale Syndrome

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To avoid the Fairytale Syndrome and yo-yo effect you can follow these five (5) simple, yet effective tips:

Tip #1 – Know Your End Goal and Reduce It

Most of the time we set unrealistic and unachievable goals which leads to disappointment and loss of motivation.

Know what your outcome goal/end result is and reduce it by at least 20%.

If you have a weight loss goal of 20kg – your new weight loss goal is 16kg.

Tip #2 – Set Realistic Goals

By setting unrealistic goals we set ourselves up for failure from the start.

Set a realistic deadline and add 30% e.g. if your deadline is 3 months (90 days)  – your new deadline is (90 + 27 = 117) = almost 4 months.

Tip #3 – Focus on the Journey

Look at the process and stop looking at the end result – LIVE LIFE NOW!!!

Find fun ways to help you achieve your goals.

Things that are going to get you excited about moving closer to your goal.

If you do fun and exciting things, your goals don’t feel like a chore and you may even achieve them ahead of schedule!

Tip #4 – Measure your progress

Look for progress – at least 8 different ways that are not the ways you have previously gauged progress.

Have fun with this too!

Tip #5 – Achievement charts

Create an achievement chart with lots of bright colours, stars, quotes and things that have been achieved.

Even the smallest thing can be an achievement and needs to be celebrated.

This will help when times are tough or you feel as though you have made no progress or feel like falling off the wagon.

It is a real motivator!

By using these guidelines to make small and achievable goals, instead of focusing on the end result, you will see improvements in your body and your mindset.

If you are struggling and feel like you would like guidance moving towards your health and happiness goals, why not get in touch and book an appointment.

Booking an appointment with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you:

  • Live in the now;
  • Have fun with reaching goals;
  • Create an exciting and fun process for true change, and
  • Help you enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the end result. 

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