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Heather Bauer, RD, CDN

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Who Says Genetically-Overweight People Can't Get Thin?

Posted: 01/12/2012 10:20 am

Are you fighting genetics?

Think about it: Most women start highlighting their hair as soon as puberty rears its awkward, pimply little head. Men buy red sports cars and hair plugs as soon as the 20something-year-olds at the bar stop looking their way.

My point is, rarely are we ever content with what the genetic fairy leaves under our pillow. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Your given gene pool and the obstacles that you face don't have to map out your weight loss future.

Recently, the New York Times published an article basically blaming weight regain on genetics. This article became popular water cooler discussion, claiming that genetics predetermine your diet destination, and I feel compelled to tell you "NO!"

How can one be expected to feel motivated to lose weight if they think it's all going to come piling back? Your weight loss success is not PRE-anything.

Yes, a person with a family history of obesity is going to have to work harder at staying slim. But the brunette that wants to be blonde will also have to work harder because of her genetics. It doesn't make either goal impossible. Don't just settle on being overweight because someone tells you that you are destined to gain it all back. Adjust your diet and adjust your calories according to the curve ball life throws your way.

Dieting strategies will become your best friend. Everyone has a downfall when it comes to food, but as a dietician and author my job is to provide you with ways that you can overcome them. For instance, did you recently become a mother? You may suffer from "Little Devils," which causes you to overeat when feeding your children and then sitting down to a second meal with your spouse. Is your new boss a raging you-know-what and ruining your life? Maybe you're not sleeping at night and eating instead. I call this the "Late Night Shuffle." These are just a few life examples that can come up, but there are tons of strategies to overcome these dieting devils, which are explained in my new book "Bread is the Devil."

Beautiful women -- Elizabeth Taylor, Sandra Bullock, Jacqueline Onassis, to name a few -- have shown us that life happens. Death, divorce, children and all of the above. The moral of my
story? Both genetics AND situational events play a huge part in our dieting destination, but you don't have to settle for that endpoint.

Take control, because no one else will do it for you.

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