“I can’t do it”, “I’ll start tomorrow”, “I don’t need to visit the doctor”… Do any of these statements sound familiar? Many of us tell ourselves lies when it comes to our health to try to convince ourselves we don’t need to make much effort. However, not being honest with yourself could jeopardise your health and stop you from reaching optimum wellbeing. Here are 5 common health lies to stop telling yourself.

Health lie 1: “I can eat whatever I like”

Many people claim that they can eat whatever they like, believing that only overweight, inactive people need to watch what they eat. However, this is a massive untruth. Not only do many exercisers overindulge following exercise, causing them to cling on to those extra pounds but, even for those who don’t gain weight easily, plying your body with junk food can still cause damage to your health.

According to research by a University of California team, sugar is as damaging for your body as both alcohol and cigarettes, while research results published in the Public Health Nutrition journal reveal that regular consumers of fast food are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression. While staying active and being at a healthy weight can lower your risk of conditions such as heart disease, to help you stay in optimum health it is still advisable to eat well and make sure you don’t miss out on vital nutrients.

Health lie 2: “I can’t do it”

Many of us put off starting a healthy living regime by convincing ourselves we’re deficient in some way. You’re not young enough to run a marathon, not fit enough to complete that exercise class, not self-disciplined enough to stick to a diet, not strong-willed enough to break that bad habit… Why should you even bother trying?

Well, if you approach everything with that attitude, you may as well not! Rather than telling yourself you’re not good enough, remind yourself of all the things you have achieved in the past. You have no doubt achieved difficult things before and you have every chance of succeeding again at this, and your chances are greatly improved by having a positive attitude.

Health lie 3: “I’m at my ideal weight”

According to a British Government survey, we’re all fatter than we think. The survey found that both men and women underestimate their weight and also that of their children, with the average lady mistakenly knocking 5lbs off her actual weight.

Although experts believe this may partly be because perceptions of weight have been distorted due to obesity becoming a norm, it is also believed this could be a deliberate delusion to convince ourselves we’re not too far off our ideal weight. Rather than lying to yourself about your weight, give your health a boost by identifying and aiming for your healthy weight.

Health lie 4: “I’m just a moderate drinker”

According to a study from the Department of Health in Britain, where participants were asked to estimate how much they drank each week before keeping a diary of alcohol consumption for two weeks, many of us underestimate the amount we drink by quite a significant amount.

The research showed that 80 per cent of those who drank too much thought of themselves as, at most, moderate drinkers. However, most up them consumed up to 40 per cent more alcohol than they thought, putting themselves at risk of many health problems including obesity, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer.

Health lie 5: “It’s in my genes”

Many of us blame our weight on genetics, which is a good way to dismiss all responsibility towards it. After all, why bother starting a diet or exercise plan when it’s in your genes to have a big bum or muffin top? However, while it may be comforting to tell ourselves this lie, the “genetics” excuse is just that – an excuse..

While your genes can determine where and how easily fat is stored, you are not powerless to shift those pounds. In fact, research suggests that regular exercise outweighs the effects of “fat genes”. So, whether your family have ingrained unhealthy eating habits into you from a young age or you feel you are genetically fat, you can still combat this with a healthy eating and exercise plan.