I have obesity in my genes. I have to go on a diet to lose weight. You lose weight with stress… It’s one of the most common myths about weight loss that psychiatrist Elisabeth Lange describes in her book “Do not mess with diets”. What other myths are believed by people who want a slim figure?

We like to think shortcuts. We are constantly looking for excuses in our lives because it allows us to avoid liability or make a decision. It is difficult for us to admit that we are responsible for what we look like. Therefore, we cling to various myths and stereotypes. Remember, knowledge is not information. Before you start to believe that you are fat because you have bad genes, make sure it really is true. Below are some of the most popular myths about weight loss that I often hear in my office.

Myth 1: I have obesity in my genes

Our genes are only around 30% responsible for what we look like. These are only certain predispositions that do not determine whether we are gaining weight. 70% of this is determined by our lifestyle and habits. So it’s not the genes; we influence our figure ourselves… But remember that we don’t only take genes over from our parents, but also the eating habits, the eating style, the way we deal with emotions and problems. In our consciousness there is an unconscious scheme that we often duplicate. If your mom did not feed herself well, she did not care for herself, she did not cook healthy regular meals, there is a high probability that you will do exactly the same. But the good news is that at the moment you realize it, you can immediately change it.

Myth 2: You have to go on a diet to lose weight

The diet precipitates the body from the balance of the “state of homeostasis”. When this happens, your body releases metabolism on average by about 40% to survive. Diet – especially short-lived, restrictive – means to threaten our life. This is an evolutionary mechanism. Once, the food was not as readily available as today. Therefore, people often oscillated between the states of hunger and saturation. In times of prosperity, the body has accumulated fat, for the hard times of hunger. This is stored in the mobile memory. Therefore, diet means your body receives the information: “Caution! They are going through hard times – you have to save as much as you can!” And this is the answer to the question: “Why after a period of spectacular weight loss, the weight stops dead, even though you still eat only lettuce leaves?” At the end of starvation your body begins to claim the missing ingredients and thus you return to your starting weight with a few extra pounds, because your wise body is making extra supplies for the future.

Myth 3: Stress Slimming

Stress causes abnormal digestion of food in your body, and digestive disorders are in turn a huge stress for your body. Stress hormone – cortisol, which in stressful times is produced almost constantly, promotes the growth of adipose tissue. Why? First, as many as two thirds of the population, a stressful situation causes increased appetite. This is because at times of severe stress the body increases energy demand, the brain needs carbohydrates and it is a natural and biological situation. Second, when the brain recognizes that something is going wrong, it launches an emergency mode – one of its manifestations is redirecting the energy that the body has to the muscles and the brain. Where to get it? The simplest solution is to get an “energy loan” in the intestine – as a result, digestive processes are slowed down and less blood is directed to the intestines, and they produce less mucus themselves. In addition, stress often causes hunger. Many people get emotional. Sometimes their influence can slow down their appetite, but when emotions fall they make up the shortcomings with double strength and, in effect, they gain weight.

Myth 4: Skinny people are happier, slim means successful

Psychologists often publish research showing that our appearance affects how we are treated. Yes, it affects us, but it only explains a small percentage of variance. On the other hand, we generalize and then the problem starts. I know many women are slim, beautiful and unhappy. True happiness does not depend on the number of kilograms, and from our approach to life, personality traits, talents, passion and self-realization.

Myth 5: weight loss is expensive

Diet is a chilly topic that always sells well. The list of things you can earn is long: expensive, personalised diets, ready diets, supplements, weight loss catering, books, and dietitian visits, expensive products bought in world cuisines, super food, exotic spices and the like. However, to lose weight, just eat simple and healthy products. Groats, grain, fruits and vegetables, silage, pods … The list is really long. We often spend a lot more money on unhealthy food and snacks than we think.

Myth 6: Last meal at 18

This is the most false conviction among people. It all depends on what time we go to sleep. Last meal should be eaten for two or three hours before bedtime. So if you go to bed at 23:00, there is a good chance you are looking at the refrigerator around 9pm. In addition, between 18:00 and breakfast the next day there is a very long pause. Such interruptions in nutrient supply slow down metabolism and cause fatigue.

Myth 7: I will lose weight if I start…

… Practicing healthy eating, I will make my plans reality, let myself be passionate, I will find love, I will change my job, I will get better dressed, because everything is still wrong … And now? It does not make sense … Only when I lose weight I will be able to start living! You are not able to accomplish your plans, so you are not living in the end. You put yourself aside, your plans, and your life, forever. And this way – at your own request – you are depriving yourself of the right to happiness. You set the conditions to do it, and life is running out! It’s still going on!

This attitude is often the result of self-responsibility, decision-making, choices and consequences. Until I lose weight – I do not have to. This is so convenient, because if you lose weight, maybe the excuse will disappear with the extra weight, and it will reveal something you do not want to see now; your loneliness, dissatisfaction with work, bad nutrition and all that misfortune, which is not a result of being overweight at all. Remember, obesity and overweight are not a problem but are a symptom.

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