I lied. Let me apologize. I said goals, that’s a bait. If you think “fat loss is a goal” then that’s the first mindset I aim to change for good in this piece.
The problem with goals? They lose their value once achieved. That’s a bummer right? It’s human nature to put more value in things not in our possession.
A good thing is that fat loss is not a goal, it is a lifestyle and you have to provide your body with nutrition and physical activity as long as you exist. Unfortunately modern lifestyle is keeping us busy by ignoring the body. And feeding the mind with ego, status and other societal conformity non-sense that takes a toll on wellness.
Let’s look at some prevailing mindsets that can influence fat loss efforts and also look at possible fixes starting with the belief that being fat is a disease.
Mindset 1: Overweight and obesity is a disease
Obesity is not a disease. It’s not caused by viruses or bacteria and it does not spread. It is a complex condition influenced
- rarely by genetics (family history)
- mostly by lifestyle (food, job related stress, relationship tensions) and
- partly by environment (lack of healthy food)
Often Fat gain is the result of poor metabolism which is a consequence of poor nutrition. Also weight is not an indication of health. One can be overweight or obese and still be in good health.
Have you heard of those healthy people called sumo wrestlers?
Change this mindset by: reading.
Read about the human body, the digestive system, food and nutrition. Learn how they work together to maintain health. Ask questions. Less doubt is more clarity, this leads to informed decision making.
A lack of awareness and haste often provokes one to make poor decisions.
Mindset 2: I need a Quick fix.
A few methods people try only to realize a quick fix won’t cut it.
- Fad diets – built on the basis of eating less (calorie restriction)
What do these crazy diets propose?
Eating less carbs. Choosing certain foods which have a higher density of nutrients over other foods creates unbalance. The result, vitamin deficiency.
- Weight loss pills – (dangerous, side effects can kill)
If every pill worked there would be no illness and disease on the planet.
It is common sense that pills bring with it side effects. Be it a pill for headache or a pill for reducing heart beat.
Weight loss pills alter metabolism, the body’s natural ability to convert glucose from food to energy needed for the cells’ functioning. A poor metabolism is the reason fat accumulates in the first place.
Trying to alter metabolism with chemicals is asking for trouble.
- Juice detox – (another fad and myth that promotes an unbalanced diet)
Juice doesn’t detox, liver does. How do you keep the liver in optimal health? By providing the body with the required nutrition.
Loading your body with vitamins from juicing vegetables and fruits has 2 consequences,
a. Excess vitamins that puts the kidney under stress.
b. It will leave you hungry in the absence of carbs (no feeling of fullness).
Read my blog on juice and myths where I go in depth disclosing bitter facts.
- Equipment that jiggle fat, induces sweat or promise targeted fat loss
I call them Fat mass-turbators. If losing fat was that simple, people strapped to work chairs that vibrate in 11 dimensions would be a common sight.
Spend money on healthy food instead of machines designed to make one look foolish.
- Exercise – Joint stress & pain, short breath, low stamina, injury.
When carrying oneself around is in itself a challenge and a stress on joints, does it make sense to exercise and risk injury?
And you know you will be eating more after those exercises?
Don’t fool yourself with motivational content propagated by the fitness industry (Brands, social media influencers and your beloved celebrities). It is unfortunate that youngsters fall for these fads desperate to look thin.
Get your weight down to a normal level and then think about exercising.
Change this mindset by: Setting a realistic goal and having patience.
How long did it take to put on fat? That’s how long you should take to lose fat. In other words, fat loss needs time if it has to be natural and sustainable, it cannot be fixed in haste. Accept this fact before starting your fat loss journey.
Luckily, you can start seeing results in about 6 to 12 months if done slow and steady with the right food.
Asking questions challenges our intentions and brings clarity. This enables us to plan our goals. But our mind being what it is, occasionally pose the not so right questions, For example, what if I go for a surgery to have my fat sucked out?
Mindset 3: Can I fix my weight with Medical Procedures.
At some point, thoughts arise about fixing fat the easy way, for example tinkering the body?
Medical procedures that literally sucks the fat out, bariatric surgeries that involve removing a part of the stomach, and using gastric bands and sleeves to reduce the size of the stomach. Sounds inhuman?
It’s a relief that bariatric procedures are not for everyone. It’s recommended during life threatening conditions in morbid cases. But there are some less invasive cosmetic procedures people are falling for in a lust to look good.
Here’s the Side effects of these medical procedures: Weight loss procedures can cause nutritional deficiencies, bleeding, infection, stomach leaks, dumping syndrome, malabsorption, hernia, and death.
Change this mindset by: quitting the thought of going under the knife.
Do not fall for those cheesy Ads that promote such day care surgeries. Minimally invasive they may be but often one needs to follow up such procedures with regular medication (for a lifetime?) You end up with side effects that are not worth the risk.
Speaking of medical conditions, many people are of the opinion that genetics or hormonal imbalance might be a hurdle in their fat loss efforts. They are not wrong, but why did the imbalance happen in the first place?
Mindset 4: My Genetics and Hormones are stopping me.
Genetic cases are rare as seen in studies and not a hurdle for most people.
Have you been overweight/obese throughout your life?
A “No” is a sign of poor nutrition. A “yes” indicates an underlying lifestyle issue that might exist in the family. Whatever the case, I believe it’s possible to improve one’s health with nutrition and lose fat naturally.
Genetics can however dictate where the fat accumulates and how one might look. For example some women have excess fat in the thighs and or glutes, some only have excess fat in the belly. Men could be pot bellied or have fat mass in the abdomen.
Hormone imbalance is the result of poor nutrition (vitamin deficiency) which affects metabolism and that leads to overeating and fat gain. This becomes a never-ending cycle.
Factors like stress, age related hormone changes, medication, exposure to chemicals and pollutants can cause hormone imbalance.
Some hormone related conditions include Cushing’s syndrome, PCOS, hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency, leptin resistance.
Change this mindset by: acknowledging the fact that good nutrition can help manage hormone problems.
While stress, medication and exposure to chemicals are well within our control, A good nutrition can help manage age related changes and pre-existing hormone conditions that run in the family.
And then, there is pressure from family and friends about the way you look. You crave for their acceptance and choose to beat yourself, to prove you are worthy of respect.
Mindset 5: My self worth depends on my body shape.
Self worth has nothing to do with the shape and size of a person. You should be appreciated for your moral value.
Psychologists invented the self-words to explain concepts related to mindset. Certain people have taken advantage of this. And created a business that focuses on physical looks rather than a person’s value.
A few things personal development theory tells you
“tell a person’s character from the way one dresses”
“first impression is the best impression”?
How could one tell about a person in a single impression?
You will need at least 7 impressions and yet get me wrong.
Comparing yourself to others will get you nowhere and there is no need to prove yourself.
Change this mindset by: acknowledging your worth is a measure of talent and your attitude towards people around you.
Quit the company of those who see size and shape as a requirement for your acceptance. Such people negatively affect your mental well-being and can be demotivating.
Mindset 6: I need motivation to get started with my fat loss journey.
Some people are self-starting. Some need a push-start. Motivation can come in handy for the push-start type of person.
The important question to ask is why are you losing fat? If you put health above everything else, you have your motivation.
Fat loss might seem like an uphill task, at first. It’s a slow and steady journey, along with patience. Once you realize it, the results that follow will be your motivation.
Change this mindset by: acknowledging the fact that your body is the only place for you to live in. And that’s your motivation.
Promise to not compare yourself with others and never to look at those before and after pictures. Never follow other people’s diet plans even if they’re friends or family.
What if, you could eat your favorite food without restriction and still lose fat?
Isn’t that a good motivation?
Mindset 7: I have to change my diet and eat food I don’t like
The opinion that one must follow a strict diet plan along with a back breaking exercise routine to lose fat is far from the truth.
This is partly coming from the nutrition and fitness industry, fad diets and what not. And mostly from your mindset that simple fix can’t work.
Fixing fat with math? Hail numbers. Apparently this is the only way to measure one’s fat loss progress. Putting numbers on every food item and keeping track of calorie count sounds like a well planned scientific method.
Answer this, Do you want to peacefully eat your favorite healthy meal or take pictures of the plate and do food tax at the dining table?
Change this mindset by: acknowledging the fact that nutrition is the only natural and sustainable way to lose fat and gain health. And you don’t have to give up on your favorite food.
How do you make your meal healthy without changing your diet?
Identify unhealthy ingredients and substitute it with nutritious alternatives.
This is not change, it’s simple exclusion.
To put it simply, make a pizza without refined and processed ingredients and
I am sure it will taste great without any magic.
Mindset 8: I need a Magic bullet
What’s life without magic? We are accustomed to the idea that if something turns out extraordinary, there must be some magic involved.
No wonder, a magic pill is much sought after when it comes to treating ailments.
If such magic, that promises to melt fat, ends up in your pill box, throw it away. Such weight loss pills don’t work and they are a health risk besides wasted money.
Change this mindset by: acknowledging the fact that there are no shortcuts to health. Fool your mind with magic but not the body. It needs nutrition.
Same goes for the belief in superfoods; highest amount of this vitamin and that mineral, this is best for the heart and that one for the kidney?
Every food has its place and every food nature produces is super. Why tag it?
A magic called health happens when a diverse source of wholesome food fills your plate.
To close, let me quickly recap the popular mindsets. I assure you, being overweight or obese is not a disease that spreads and it does not need a quick fix. A quick fix never fixes anything. Take your time and be patient while nutrition does its magic. Fixing fat with medical procedures should be a last resort under life threatening situations.
Genetic and hormone conditions are rare. If not curable, good nutrition can help manage these conditions from getting worse. Size and shape is no indication for health and never a metric for acceptance.
The human body is the greatest gadget ever created, and to own one is by itself a motivation. Magic ingredients and superfoods are hypes to propagate fads.
Don’t change your diet, eat what you love. Exclude unhealthy ingredients that compromises health. This is building a good relationship with food.
Mindset zero: If you find purpose or fulfillment in achieving goals, make “fat loss” your never ending goal and do it with a healthy lifestyle.
10 minutes is a lot of time and thanks for spending your precious time with me.
I hope it was worth it. Please follow, share and subscribe to my blog.
Well, that was from the mindset point of view, interested to read further about fat loss from a social and anatomical perspective? Here.
I will see you in another post.