Even Thinking You Were 'Born Fat' Will Make You Gain Weight

unhappy scaleLet's be clear. When it comes to body shapes, there IS such a thing as winning the genetic lottery. (We're looking at you, supermodels.) But don't think that people are simply born fat or thin. Because doing that will actually make you pack on the pounds. What?!! Yep, and that's probably not your intention, right?

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Scientists can't completely agree on whether or not our DNA shapes our dress size. Some evidence says yes. Other studies say fat is not hereditary.

But guess what?

While the debate rages on, people are ALREADY being influenced by the idea that we're born fat or thin. If you buy into the idea that it's out of your control, then you're more likely to have a higher BMI, make poor food choices, and feel unhappier than people who are like, "F*** it. I'm going to get in shape."

We get this fascinating bit of insight from a study published in a journal called Health Education and Behavior. The authors of the piece studied the health habits of over 4,000 men and nearly 5,000 women.

What they found: As people get older, they're more likely to believe their weight is predetermined. And that belief sets off a cascade of bad habits.

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For instance, they were less likely to have fruits and veggies in their home or read food labels. Because who cares what they eat? It won't make a difference. (They think.)

They were less likely to exercise. Because, "What good is that gonna do?"

... And they ate out more and gravitated toward more frozen or prepared foods when they shopped. Because ... see the above.

Of course, sometimes people are overweight due to a medical reason. Like hypothyroidism. Or depression. And many medications can also lead to weight gain. But most experts believe the main cause of obesity is overeating.

Like we said, that could be disproved as more obesity research gets underway. But in the meantime, we suggest thinking positive -- and believing you DO have the power to get in shape.

What does that mean? NOT thinking, "Ugh, now I have to go on a diet." Or, "You mean I have to go to Zumba? I HATE Zumba!"

It means focusing on the positive -- what healthy foods you can eat that you DO like. How you CAN burn some calories in a fun way. And how much healthier (and happier) you'll feel in your own skin.

You don't need science's permission. Just your own.

 

Image © saje/iStock

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