Last Updated on June 10, 2020 by MakeThingsReal
- Why Do People Gain Weight?
The most common reason that is given to people getting fat is either that they eat too much, or exercise too little.
There are a lot of factors that come into play in weight gain. Outlined below are some of the ideas that different schools of thought have proposed to explain why people gain weight.
For everyone, their genetic vulnerability notwithstanding, either lowering the food intake or increasing the energy output by exercising, will reduce the energy stored as fat. Eating minimally and exercising more will cause weight loss.
It is no longer news that our modern diet seems to be designed to contain as many calories as possible, that is within the human capacity to consume.
Food that contains a high amount of calories seems to be inherently more attractive than other foods. The reasons for this lies in the facts that probably have to do with survival in several conditions that human beings found themselves in most of the time.
2.) Exercise is relevant
The absence of exercise in our routine causes obesity. However, while we are superb at not getting enough exercise, there are exceptions. There are a lot of people who are running around, or playing sports, including group sports, at an advanced age. It is now socially acceptable for women, in particular, to play sports throughout their lives. Based on this, there is a small minority who are quite active physically, but a greater number of people are less active than before.
For this reason, the television takes the blame and before it, the radio. Nowadays, when people have somewhere to get to, they drive rather than walk, use an elevator rather than climb the stairs.
Generally, people are more passive than active nowadays. In the long run, physical activity has an effect on maintaining a proper weight that is at least as important as eating a proper diet.
3.) Improper eating habits
Bad eating habits that were cultivated while growing up are known to contribute to excessive weight gain over the course of a lifetime.
However, the problem lies in the fact that there is no agreement about what constitutes proper and improper eating habits.
Before now, clearing everything on your plate was considered a good thing, but now, it is seen as bad. You have to stop eating when you are no longer hungry. It is often recommended to dieters that they cultivate the habit of purposely leaving some food uneaten on their plates.
Another reason that contributes significantly to weight gain is too much television.
The amount of time that children spend in watching television has been shown to correlate with their weights; the more they watch, the heavier they get.
Possibly, the effect is a lack of exercise accompanied by constant consumption of food.
5.) Lack of sleep
Studies have shown that people who sleep less eat more. Maybe they have nothing better to do.
There are chemical changes that take place in the brain to compensate for inadequate sleep.
This includes the presence of an appetite center in the brain, which is known to be affected by circumstances including sleep
6.) Certain drugs
Some anti-depressants cause weight gain. Some drugs also lead to the same effect when used.
Poverty correlates with obesity. Since there is little access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the inner cities coupled with the fact that healthy foods are more expensive, in poor communities, a culture of eating fried and processed foods that are fattening, has gone up.
8.) Certain hormones
The regular ‘glandular conditions,’ which are often mentioned by lay people as an explanation for obesity include low thyroid and high cortisone levels.
The effects they have on weight, however, are relatively minor and inconsistent. There are other hormones which are secreted in the stomach that affect appetite. Strategies are being put in place to control weight using these hormones.
It is clear that there are many causes of obesity that overlap each other. As recent evidence suggests that exercise changes the effect of ‘fat genes,’ the inclination for you to exercise itself might be controlled genetically.
- Myths About Weight Loss
There are several bad weight loss advice on the internet, most of which is either unproven or proven not to work. Outlined below some of the biggest lies, myths, and misconceptions about weight loss.
1.) All ‘Calories’ Are Equal
As the calorie is a measure of energy, all calories have the same energy content. However, this does not imply that all calorie sources have the similar effects on your weight.
This is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have so many effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate body weight.
For instance, a protein calorie is not the same as a fat calorie or a carb calorie. Replacing carbs and fat with protein can boost metabolism, reduce appetite and cravings while optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormones.
In addition, calories from whole foods such as fruits, tend to be much more filling than calories from refined foods such as candy.
Therefore, the fact remains that not all calorie sources have the same effects on health and weight.
2.) Losing Weight is a Linear Process
Contrary to popular belief, the act of losing weight is usually not a linear process. While you may lose weight in the space of some days or even weeks, you may gain a little bit some other days.
This is not a cause for concern, as it is normal for body weight to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.
For instance, you may be carrying more food in your digestive system, or your body may be holding onto more water than usual.
This is especially more pronounced in women, as water weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the menstrual cycle. The fact remains that although losing weight can take a long time, the process is not linear, as weight tends to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.
3.) Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight
There are a thousand and one supplements in the market that claim to have dramatic effects, but they are never very effective when studied.
The main reason they work for most people is the placebo effect. People are swooned by the marketing and want the supplements to help them lose weight, so they become more
conscious of what they eat.
Asides that, there are a few supplements that can have a modest effect on weight loss. The best ones may help you lose a few pounds over several months. The fact remains that most weight loss supplements are totally inactive. The best ones can help you lose a few pounds, at most.
4.) ‘Eat Less, Move More’ is Good Advice
Body fat is just stored energy in the form of calories. To lose body fat, more calories need to be leaving your fat cells than entering them. For this reason, it seems only logical that ‘eating less and moving more’ would cause weight loss.
However, this is terrible advice for those that have serious weight issues.
Most people who follow this advice end up gaining more weight. The reason for this is that a major and sustained change in perspective and behavior is needed to lose weight with diet and exercise, not simply telling people to ‘eat less and move more.’
5.) Carbs Make You Fat
It has been proven scientifically that low-carb diets can help with weight loss. In many cases, weight loss occurs even without conscious calorie restriction; as long as the carbs intake is low and protein intake is high, people lose weight.
However, this does not mean that carbs intrinsically cause weight gain.
While refined carbs, such as refined grains and sugar are linked to weight gain, whole foods that are high in carbs are very healthy.
The fact remains that while low-carb diets are very effective for weight loss, carbs are not what causes obesity in the first place.
6.) Eating Breakfast is Necessary to Lose Weight
While it is true that breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than breakfast eaters, controlled trials show that it does not matter for weight loss whether you eat or skip breakfast.
It is also a myth that breakfast boosts metabolism, or that eating multiple, smaller meals makes you burn more calories throughout the day.
The rules are simple: eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Eat breakfast if you want to, but do not expect it to have a major effect on your weight.
7.) Fast Food is Always Fattening: Not all fast food is bad. Due to the rise in health consciousness in the world, many fast food chains have started offering healthier options.
There are even entire chains that have become popular for focusing solely on serving healthy foods.
While these foods may not satisfy the demands of rigid organic eaters, they are still a decent choice if you do not have the time or energy to cook a healthy meal. Fast food does not have to be unhealthy or fattening, as most of them now offer some healthier alternatives.
8.) Weight Loss Diets Work
The weight loss industry wants you to believe that ‘diets’ work.
However, studies have shown that dieting almost never works in the long-term; 85% of people end up gaining weight back within the space of a year.
Also, studies have shown that people who go on a diet are the ones that are most likely to gain weight in the future. Dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain, not loss.
Instead of approaching weight loss with a dieting mindset, make it a goal to change your lifestyle and become a healthier, happier and fitter person.
If you can increase your activity levels, eat healthier and sleep better, then you should lose weight as a natural side effect. Going on a diet and starving yourself probably won’t work in the long-term.
- Things You Never Knew About Losing Weight
1.) Weight Gain is Genetic
When it was first discovered, it was called the ‘fatso’ gene. It turned out that people that had the gene dominantly had the 60% possibility of being more obese than those who do not have the gene. It is suspected that there are a lot of fat genes.
2.) Your Fat Cell Count is Always Predetermined
While some people have twice as many fat cells as others, gaining or losing weight will not change your fat-cell count. However, you are better off with more fat cells than with fewer fat cells that become overstuffed and enlarged.
4.) Stress Fattens You
Stress ignites cravings for carbohydrate-rich snacks and foods which can calm stress hormones. These foods also signal to your body to store up fat. So, make time for stress relief to help keep the weight off.
5.) Your Fate Was Sealed During Your Mom’s Pregnancy
A growing body of science propounds that sugary and fatty foods which are consumed even before you are born can make you fat. Moms-to-be should take note that they can give their kids a head start by eating well before they are born.
6.) Sleep More and Lose More
Recent researchers have reported that sleep deprivation activates a decrease in leptin which helps you feel satiated and triggers an increase in ghrelin which triggers hunger. As a result, we think that sleep may be the cheapest and easiest obesity treatment.
7.) The Weight of Your Spouse Matters
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that if one spouse is obese, the other is 37% more likely to become obese too. Obesity seems to be spread in between spouses.
8.) Pick a Diet, Just Any Diet
This is a tip for you if you seek to lose weight. All weight loss books have four basic rules to healthy eating, and they are:
– Consume carbs in the form of whole grains and fiber.
– Avoid trans and saturated fats.
– Eat lean protein.
– Fill up on fruits and vegetables
- Benefits Of Weight Loss
1.) You Get To Sleep Better
Sleeping probably helps you lose more weight in the first place, but as a result of your weight loss, you will get good quality sleep now. Research shows that losing 5% of your body weight can help you sleep better and longer throughout the night. Also, getting rid of excess fat from your body can also contribute to relieving sleep apnea and snoring.
2.) Your Hormones Will Be Balanced Better
Your hormones play a role in more than just your sprouting sex drive during puberty. The thyroid gland produces and releases two very essential hormones that regulate your metabolism, and can also affect muscle strength. When you get rid of excess fat from your body, your hormones get steady, and as a result, it is easier for you to maintain or even further your weight loss.
3.) You Will Experience An Improvement In Your Sex Drive
According to experts, weight loss has been linked to boosted testosterone levels and an increased libido, and dropping just 10 pounds is enough to stimulate the sex hormones. Also, not missing your workout every morning also increases blood flow to the pelvic area, further boosting your sex drive.
4.) You Will Experience An Increase In Your Sexual Performance Weight loss is associated with a regular cycle of keeping fit, and an increase in physical fitness has, in turn, been associated with greater satisfaction in the bedroom. Therefore, not only do you want to get busy more often, but the actual act itself is more enjoyable for both you and your partner.
5.) You Will Feel Good And Be In a Better Mood
While being committed to the gym may have transformed your body positively, it also enhanced your mental fitness. Working out releases endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain, reducing your perception of pain and deliver a positive feeling in the body similar to that of morphine.
6.) You Will Experience Less Joint Pain
As your joints already experience wear and tear on a daily basis, any extra weight that’s hanging around on your midsection only makes matters worse. Simply put, the less you weigh, the less your skeletal frame and joints have to support, which translates into less joint pain.
7.) You Will Have Clearer and Brighter Skin
You may have started your healthy routine with the sole intent of losing weight, but a bonus to your weight loss journey surfaces is glowing skin. The outburst of a fresh and new complexion can be attributed to the increase in nutrients from all the fruits and vegetables you have been eating, and also to all the sweat that pushes the junk out of your pores, thereby encouraging greater detoxification. Ensure that you wash your face regularly after your workout session, to avoid acne and clogged pores.
8.) You Will Experience Relief From Stress and Anxiety
The things you do to lose weight, which include eating a balanced diet, exercising consistently and getting lots of sleep are also some of the greatest ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
9.) You Will End Up Saving More Money
By cooking more and drinking less, not only are you inching closer to your weight loss goals, but you are also saving money in the bank. There is no rocket science in play here; the less you eat, the less you spend on food.
10.) You Will Attract More Friends
As you lose weight gradually, you can also expect your social circle to increase in number. Because you have already become more active by pursuing greater fitness, you have also put yourself in more social situations. As a result of participating in more than just a Netflix marathon on your couch, you meet more people, and your social calendar grows. Furthermore, the confidence you gain from losing weight also makes you want to be more social and gives you the push to do so.
11.) Your Significant Other Might Lose Weight Too
Have you ever felt either inspired or guilty by your partner’s incessant need to work out and watch what they eat? Well if you have not, then your partner may be the one feeling that push from you simply by bearing witness to your transformation. If you have been successful at losing weight and continue to live a healthier lifestyle, there is a high possibility that your significant other will follow suit.
12.) You Will Have Fewer Colds
Nothing builds up your immune system better than leading a healthy lifestyle. Having a good night’s sleep, fueling your body with fresh fruits and lean proteins, and working out regularly will boost your immunity far better than you can imagine.
13.) You Will Experience An Improved Memory
Losing weight and being more active goes a long way to boost brainpower. Research has shown that your mind gets sharper when the total body weight has been reduced. Therefore, not only will you be happier all the time— remember endorphins?— you will also have a very sharp brainpower.
14.) Your Wardrobe Will Also Begin To Look Better
The peak fringe benefit of losing weight is that you are going to look pretty good, with the curves in the right places. It is even more advantageous, as your wardrobe will reap the benefits of your weight loss, too. Losing weight more often than not gives people the confidence to not only experiment more with style, but want to show off their weight loss with outfits that display the physique they worked so hard to get.
15.) You Will Want to Pass on the Junk Food
It might feel weird at first, but as a result of improving your dietary choices and flexing your willpower consistently, you will find that you do not even crave the junk foods anymore, at least not as often. In turn, you also end up saving more money.
- Fifteen Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Loss
It is unarguable that weight loss and weight maintenance are both major concerns for most of us, but there are also so many rumors and fads about achieving weight loss out there that it has become hard to keep track of what works. We have embarked on series of researchers, and sorted through the rumors and fads, by talking to registered dietitians and doctors and reading the most recent studies to give you reliable answers to the top fifteen frequently asked questions about weight loss. Some of these questions include:
– How do I conquer a craving for food?
– Should I cut carbs out of my diet to lose weight?
– Is it true that eating after 8 p.m. makes you add weight?
– How often should I weigh myself?
We have all the answers right here. Why don’t you read through and satisfy your curiosity?
1.) Eat Slowly to Lose Weight
- Diet programs often say you should eat more slowly. Does this help you to lose weight?
- It is not clear from studies whether the practice of eating slowly helps people eat less food. That notwithstanding, it is worth a try, to slow down and be observant enough to know when the food has satiated you. This is more important, especially if you are a fast eater. However, as with any strategy, if it does not help, you are free to abandon it.
2.) How Many Calories Do I Consume In A Day?
- How do I figure out how many calories I should be consuming in a day?
- If you are healthy and you exercise moderately about two or three days a week, you can figure out your calorie intake by multiplying your ideal body weight (IBW) by 14. However, if you are trying to lose excess fats, your IBW is your goal weight, and if you want to maintain your current weight, your IBW is your current weight.
For instance, if you weigh 135 pounds and you want to maintain that, you need about 1,890, that is 135 x 14 calories each day. This is a very rough calculation. If you want to get a more accurate assessment, have your metabolic rate tested by a fitness professional.
3.) Stop Yo-Yo Dieting
- Why is it harder to lose weight each time you gain it back?
- It is harder to lose weight each time you gain it back because no matter how you lose weight, whether it is done through dieting, exercise, or a combination of both, you will inevitably lose some muscles, and that slows down your basal metabolic rate. While strength training with weights throughout your weight loss period can help preserve a lot of muscles, it does not guarantee that it will keep all of it. Then, when you regain the weight, you will most likely put on more fat than muscle, which reduces your percentage of lean body mass, leaving you with a slower metabolism than you had before the weight loss.
It is the well-studied yo-yo effect, and the only solution to it is to maintain your new weight with as much determination and diligence as it took to lose the weight in the first place. In fact, some experts now propound that keeping your weight consistent even if you have added a few extra pounds, may be more important to preserve your long-term health than slimming down. Chronic yo-yo dieting throughout your lifetime can cause severe damage to your heart.
4.) Conquer Food Cravings
- Whenever I change my diet, I am consumed by cravings. How do I make them stop?
- Any dietary change that cuts out your supply of either calories or familiar foods will inevitably leave you vulnerable to cravings. This usually happens often for whatever that is ‘off limits.’ It is just human nature. However, there are two things you can do:
– First, when you decide to satisfy a craving, take time to enjoy the food and do not feel guilty about it. For foods that you cannot stop eating once you get started, try having them only in situations where the portion is controlled. For instance, eat them at a restaurant or buy single-serving items, rather than a whole package. Most weight maintainers say that they avoid buying highly tempting foods but that if they do have such foods around, they keep them out of sight and therefore, out of mind.
5.) Keep the Weight Off after Summer
- I can lose weight in the summer, but I regain it in the fall. Help!
- To get back on track, try to think about how you lost the weight in the first place. Whatever worked for you then will probably work for you in a maintenance phase.
If you used meal replacements, try them again; you can make use of either portion-controlled shakes, or frozen meals for just one meal a day instead of two, as is ideal for weight loss.
If counting calories helped you lose weight the first time, get out your food diary and calculator.
The more you can make your diet strategy second nature, the better your chances of maintaining your weight loss for life. In a recent study published in Nursing Science Quarterly, women who were most successful at weight maintenance carefully monitored their food choices exercised regularly and had a strong support network.
For instance, participants who had made use of a weight loss group to lose pounds kept attending meetings and serving as mentors to other attendees even after they had reached their goals.
6.) Cutting Carbs Can Be Unhealthy
- I have read that cutting carbs out of my diet is unhealthy, but all my friends are losing weight by doing it. Why shouldn’t I?
- You will be able to maintain your weight loss better if you do not have to permanently get rid of, or restrict a single food group. Diets that have little carbs contents are designed for short stretches because your body just cannot function without carbohydrates for very long. Diets that have this as their weight loss technique are attractive because they promise quick results. However, studies have shown that after about 12 months, they will provide no greater weight loss benefit than a typical reduced-calorie, low-fat diet. A slow and steady weight loss is much easier to maintain for life.
7.) Cutting Calories But Not Losing Weight
- I always consume fewer than 1,500 calories a day, and I still can’t lose weight. Help!
- Collect a well-outlined food diary for at least a week. Most of us undervalue the number of calories we consume, so it is possible that you are eating more than you think. If the calorie count is correct, then the wrong exercise program could be to blame. If you are not strength training while you are dieting, you may be losing lean tissue, and that reduces your metabolic rate.
It is also most likely that your body has adjusted to your lower calorie intake. To get free from it, you need to change your workout by exercising longer or more intensely. While reducing the number of calories you consume could also work, it is not advisable to consume less than 1,500 calories a day because it will be tough to fulfill all your nutrient needs.
8.) Exercise Improves Weight Loss
- I keep hearing how important exercise is for weight control, but when I see the number of calories that exercise burns, I feel discouraged. Is it worth it?
- It can be disheartening when you look at a chart which indicates that an hour of walking at a rate of about 3.5 miles per hour burns only about 300 calories, while just 30 minutes of aerobics burns only about 250. However, we recommend that you look at the cumulative effects and how those burned calories add up over time.
For instance, if you walked for only an hour about five times a week and ate the same as you do now, you could lose about 20 pounds in a year’s time without dieting. Also, exercise relieves you of stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which can lead to excess consumption of food.
9.) Eating at Night Could Make You Gain Weight
- Is it true that eating after 8 p.m. makes you add more weight?
- It is very possible. The fact remains that you need more calories when you are active, and fewer when you are sedentary.
Therefore, if you are consuming the majority of your calories while you are sitting in front of the TV, you will inadvertently store up most of them as fat.
However, what matters most when it comes to losing weight is the total amount of calories you take in and burn off
throughout the day, not just within a limited time frame.
If munching on snacks after 8 pm helps you to step down your overall calorie intake, keep doing it, but do not forget to keep track of the whole day’s calorie consumption level as well.
10.) Cheat Days and Weight Loss
- I hear a lot about ‘cheat days,’ which is when I can eat whatever I like. Does that help with the loss in weight?
- Deprivation is a powerful thing. When you are deprived of a sure thing, you want it even more.
Deprivation comes to play mainly in your diets, and that is where the cheat day comes in. It is a psychological trick to satisfy your cravings for chips, pizza, donuts, and other non-diet foods so that you won’t feel deprived.
If that satisfaction succeeds in keeping you on your diet, then, it can help you to lose weight. However, bear in mind that on your cheat days, you will be consuming more amount of calories, perhaps about maybe 1,000 – 2,000 calories more; this can slow down weight loss.
In addition, the cheat day could backfire; succumbing to your cravings may have you giving up on a diet and going back to your old ways of eating.
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