In the news: can your genetics make you skinny?

In the news this week: research showing that some people are passed on good genetics which make weight loss easier. Is this true, or just further news to demotivate you from living a healthier & more active lifestyle?

From my weekly newsletter (you can be a part of the community by joining at the bottom of this page)

If you are reading this on your smartphone on your way to work on a crowded tube, or at your desk at work then you have probably seen the news:

"Skinny genes the secret to being slim"

I wanted to get this email out quickly as there is a lot of power to these types of headlines.  If you have tried many times to improve your health and lose weight, then these articles can reinforce your experiences; you believe that you are 'unlucky' and that you will never achieve your results.

There was one major point in the article that I wanted to cover:

'Lucky set of genes'
There sure is a genetic component to body fat, just as there is to height, skin colour and IQ.  Call them lucky.  Or celebrate the diversity.

Body fat is something that is far more in your control, unlike changing your height once you have fully matured.

Yes, some people get a 'better hand of cards' dealt to them in the game of life.  But in this instance that doesn't mean that you can't win a game of poker with a bad set of cards.  A skilled poker player can win the jackpot without ever having a strong hand.

I came across a great analogy when researching this article that illustrates this point:

"Genetics load the gun.  Your lifestyle is pulling the trigger."

Some people will get away with eating a poorer diet or not having to exercise as hard.  These are the guys who get lucky with every hand they get.

Some of us will have to work harder and more diligently to lose weight.  But that's something that has to be accepted.  In addition, the modern lifestyle means that the trigger can be pulled far more easily; sedentary jobs, an abundance of highly satisfying/high-calorie foods, poor sleep patterns and higher stress levels all make it easier than ever to have lower health & fitness and incresed body fat.  

Here's the thought to carry today: you may be carrying a loaded gun.  But are you going to pull that trigger at every chance you get?

What to do?

The article says it all:

'Health experts say whatever your shape or genetic make-up, the age-old advice of a healthy level of exercise and good diet still stands.'

If your goal is to lose weight, then you have to make sure you are in a sustainable calorie deficit over.  You have to be eating fewer calories than you burn on a regular basis.  You have to incorporate more movement into your daily routine.  Add some exercise in that breaks a sweat and that you enjoy, and now we are talking

And as I always preach.  Learn to love the process instead of hating every minute of it.  Take your time.   Remind yourself that good health doesn't mean being 'skinny' or 'lean'.  Accept that there will be ups and downs going forward.

There are plenty of people who carry more body fat and are healthy, just as there are many people who are skinny and not healthy.  

With the right mindset, enough time and diligent practice you can achieve your goals.

On a final note.  Be aware of the effects these types of articles can have on your mindset.  Do they reinforce your belief that you cannot achieve your goals because they are outside of your control?  

And in the words of Jeremy Clarkson:

"On that bombshell, I'll see you next week"Matt

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