Unobvious causes of excess weight and habits that will help you lose weight

Larisa Parfentieva, author of the bestselling book “100 Ways to Change Life,” talks about unobvious things that helped her lose weight by 30 kilograms.

Five years ago, I rode in the Moscow metro and held onto the handrail. Suddenly, a grandmother sitting in front stood up from her seat and said: “Sit down, girl. You are still waiting for the baby. “

Of course, I did not expect any baby. That kid in me was … fat. I did not want to disappoint my grandmother, so I, holding my imaginary child, sat down in her place. All the way I smiled ridiculously, showing my grandmother how happy I am to be a mother … or rather, a carrier of 30 extra pounds. 🙂

This case has become a turning point in life. After this story, I quit my prestigious job in Moscow, returned to my hometown – in Ufa – and began to understand myself. There I went to the publishing house of the MIF, lost 30 kilograms, began to write, spoke at TEDx, and began to help people change. And it all turned my life upside down. I wrote the dileogy, “ 100 Ways to Change Life, ” in which I talk about people who have managed to turn life 180 degrees.

100 ways to change life, larisa parfentieva

I have been studying the history of people’s changes for several years. And this thought became the biggest revelation: more often than not, we do not see the real causes of our problems.

And today I want to share with you my ideas about why people get fat and how to deal with it.

First, let’s define the concepts. We conventionally divide the causes of excess weight into psychological and physiological. For example, physiological we will consider a lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, health problems, violation of the daily regimen and so on.

I am not a doctor, so I will not particularly talk about physiological reasons. After all, we all know that you need to drink enough water, get enough sleep, eat more vegetables and less – sweet and starchy foods. All this is clear and correct.

But it’s much more interesting to look at underestimated psychological reasons. The main reason is one – stress, which leads to overeating caused by various things. I want to share with you the tricks that helped me lose weight, as well as life hacks from my friends and acquaintances.

Get rid of grievances

In the second part of “ 100 Ways to Change Life, ” I wrote about a guy who coped with the fourth stage of cancer of the lymphatic system. The main mechanism that launched the irreversible processes, he calls … resentment.

Resentment generally triggers a lot of unpleasant mechanisms. They become one of the hidden causes of excess weight. I also had a friend who, after forgiving her mother, lost 10 kilograms. When we forgive someone, we release a huge amount of energy and get rid of a lot of stress.

And there is no stress – there are no “overeating”.

Maintain a deep relationship

When I worked on the project “Top Model in Russian” with Ksenia Sobchak, my work consisted of constant relocations: dozens of cities in Russia and around the world.

This went on for more than a year. My relationships with friends were weakened and, of course, there was no personal life.

As a psychologist later told me, the lack of deep relationships with people becomes a stress factor, which can lead to excess weight. As soon as I returned to Ufa and gained a foothold in one place, a strong relationship appeared in my life, anxiety, stress and partly weight disappeared.

Take a closer look at the surroundings

I like to say that obesity is an infectious disease. What do your friends look like? I will give an example from the study. Scientists tried to establish whether the study participants were getting fat if their friends were gaining excess weight. It turned out that this probability increased by 57%, if it was just about friends. When someone close friend was getting fat, the probability that his friend would follow suit rose by 171%.

One of the reasons for your excess weight may be that you simply copy the eating habits of your friends.

Slow food

We live at high speeds. The world dictates such rules, so most of us are quite “fast”. I would even say fussy: we walk fast, eat fast, talk fast. We are constantly in a hurry, because we are being driven by imaginary deadlines, and we are always afraid to miss something.

Once I noticed how much time it takes me to eat Greek salad. It turned out 2 minutes. It could not be called food – it is rather stuffing the stomach. And for the first time I decided to set myself the task – to stretch the salad for 10 minutes. It was difficult, but I did it.

When you eat slowly, you feel full faster and eat less. Try to slow down. If necessary, set a timer. You’ll like it.

Mindfulness while eating

We all know what you need to eat without gadgets and laptops, but for some reason we ignore this rule. At such moments, I always remember the spiritual leader Tit Nath Khan, who says that anything can be a meditation : a walk, washing dishes, talking, eating.

The main thing is to focus on what you are doing, 100%. Apparently, our grandparents, who uttered “When I eat, I am deaf and dumb,” knew real Zen.

Hara Hachi Boo

The Japanese island of Okinawa is considered the “blue zone”: there are a lot of centenarians – those who have lived 110 years or more. The inhabitants of the island utter an old saying before eating: “Hara hachi bu.” It means the following: “Eat until the feeling of hunger begins to disappear.” And this happens when the stomach is 80% full. Simply put, you need to get up from the table slightly hungry.

For a long time I even wanted to get a tattoo on my arm with these words as a reminder. And now I always adhere to this rule – to get up from the table with a feeling of a slight “catch-up”.

Add emotion

We are people and want to experience emotions. We overeat when we lack positive emotions. It seems to me that the solution is to get emotions outside of food. For example, in art: books, films, paintings, photographs.

A friend of mine found solace in the movies: she lost a lot of weight when she started going to the movies twice a week. “Oddly enough, after the films I do not want to eat. It’s as if the body is saturated with different emotions and my nervous system calms down, ”she says. In general, our brain in many cases does not know how to distinguish reality from fiction, so it is quite possible that he experiences the emotions experienced in the movie as real.

So add pleasant emotions to your life.

Calm the inner storm

Us often “storms” because of problems in relations with our halves, and especially potential halves. At such moments, we experience a whole range of experiences: anger, pain, hatred, self-dislike and passion. In short, the suffering of all stripes. Previously, at such moments, I found myself eating a tiramisu or Red Velvet.

Now I have learned to calm myself. It is important to stop, sit in a quiet place and just watch. For example, I imagine myself a ship that fell into a storm. A storm is my emotions. But at the same time, I know for sure that nothing will happen to the ship. You just need to wait out the bad weather.

So do not rush to seize the inner storm. Just enjoy its beauty.

Express yourself

When there is energy inside that cannot find a way out, this is also stress.

When we know that we can do more, but in reality this does not manifest itself, we begin to eat. At an unloved job, like on packs of cigarettes, you need to write: “Caution! Unfulfillment leads to obesity. “

For example, I get fatter when I do not write, because this is my way of expressing myself . I was so keen on the process of writing the dilogy “100 Ways to Change Life,” that I came to the end of the process with minimal weight.

Cool Ray Bradbury said about creativity: “During the trips, I realized that if I don’t write one day, I feel uneasy. Two days – and it starts to shake me. Three – and I’m close to madness. Four – and it makes me feel like a pig with diarrhea. One hour at the typewriter invigorates instantly. I’m on my feet. I’m running in circles as if I’m wound up and loudly demanding clean socks. ”

Alcohol-free

It helped a lot that I completely gave up alcohol. I think this is one of the best decisions in life. Alcohol makes you eat more, takes energy, time, money and spoils the next day. According to my feelings, 5-7 kilograms were left only because I stopped drinking high-calorie alcohol in the evenings. In addition, then, as you know, very (I will say in plain language) “breaks into havchik”.

I am absolutely sure that alcohol is also an attempt to either cope with stress or drown out the inner void. Or both.

Failure therapy

Many of us lose the fight to lose weight because we do not know how to refuse. I don’t know why people turn on the “feed by force” program, but it’s just like a national game. It is important to learn to refuse when they try to shove another portion of sushi or another piece of pizza into you.

It is best to initially develop a strategy for yourself. A good “jammed record” strategy is when you repeat the refusal to the point: “Thank you, but I don’t want it”, “Yes, it’s probably delicious, but I don’t want it”, “It’s great that you take care that I eat, but I dont want”. And so on, until they leave you behind.

Plan “If … then”

Many alcohol addicts are advised to always have an “If … then.” Plan at hand. For example: “If during a walk I see a bar on my side of the street, then I will go to the other side.” I also made myself similar settings: “If I come to a cafe and there is not what I want to eat, then I go to another cafe” or “If I order a salad in a cafe and they offer me dessert, then I say“ no “ “. And no compromises.

It may sound strange, but it’s easier for the brain to navigate when it has a clear checklist.

Overeating Calendar

Often we overeat and do not remember how shitty it happens to us after that. Some of my friends, if they eat up at night, have nightmares. Does this happen to you? At some time, the overeating calendar, which I came up with for myself, helped me. After each case of overeating, I wrote in it: “I ate a fettuccine and soup in a cafe, and then drank coffee with a cake. I felt disgusting. Next time, if you want to eat dessert, wait at least an hour. ”

The overeating calendar showed me that every time I make the same nutritional mistakes. And soon they stopped repeating themselves.

Mini habits

I also like the idea of ​​mini-habits. If you can’t, for example, start doing exercises in the mornings, then start with one small action: start doing one squat, one push-up, one exercise for the abs. Or tell yourself: “I will do morning exercises for 2 minutes.” Start with a little action and then get involved.


What is described above, plus, of course, “physiological” things helped me lose weight by almost 30 kilograms. Briefly list the rules that I adhere to now, then: walk a lot (at least 5 kilometers per day), dance twice a week, drink 2.5 liters of water daily, eat more vegetables, do not eat 4 hours before bedtime; flour and sweet – in moderation. I also went to the endocrinologist, did several different blood tests, as well as ultrasound.

In general, this article is not about weight at all, but about how important it is to enjoy life, to realize oneself, to learn to say no and not to be stressed too much. As the famous joke says, “if you do not know how to relieve stress, do not wear it.”

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