There are endless reasons why people gain weight. The reasons can range from simply overeating and not getting enough exercise to burn off the calories from the food to as complicated as being passed from one generation to the next genetically. To have a true understanding of how a person will lose weight, you first have to understand why you gain weight.
“Calories We Consume: Don’t Eat More Than You Can Burn”
The simplest reason why we gain weight is that we consume more food, giving us more calories, than we can use in one day. Anytime you eat anything your body converts the food into sugars. This is something our bodies have learned to do over the millions of years the human species has existed. Your body knows that it must store excess ‘energy’ so if food is scarce the body can keep functioning. If, for some reason, food is no longer available the body draws upon the resources of sugar to provide fuel for our bodies. This meant that if a human had to continue to hunt and forage for food their body would be able to perform everything they asked of it.
4 Reasons for Weight Gain:
(1) Low Metabolism
Whether you have a slow, normal or fast metabolism can be attributed partly to genetics. However we can increase our metabolism by taking some simple steps.
When you can’t remember why you exercise just think about this, muscles burn fat and they continue to burn fat after you have finished your exercise. That’s right our muscles are like having a fat burning furnace inside our bodies. When you sit all night in front of the TV or computer your muscles are not burning any fat which also means that your body isn’t burning any calories. The result is that the calories our muscles should be burning, but aren’t because we are sitting around, are now turned into fat by our bodies. This is exactly what we don’t want.
(2) How You Eat
- What does a typical meal look like? Is your plate filled with fatty foods that are high in calories? These foods are difficult for your body to utilize and you put yourself at a greater risk of the FATAL FOUR if this type of food is on you plate. Examples would be deep fried foods, fast food French fries, rich creamy sauces.
- Are you a fast eater? The rate at which you eat your dinner is important. If you eat too fast your brain does not get the signal that you are full until you have over eaten. The easiest method to slow yourself down at a meal is to put your fork down between bites. Take the time to taste your food and enjoy what you are eating before you pick up your fork for more. When you take your time to chew your food that allows the saliva in your mouth longer to break down the food. Give your body every chance it has to break down the food and extract all the nutrients it can.
- Portion size: Eat smaller but more often. We discussed this earlier; you can increase your metabolism by giving it a constant source of fuel to break down. It is also easier on your stomach and digestive system to have smaller amounts of food to break down. Be nice to your body and it will pay you huge dividends.
It is true that genetics play a role in a person’s ability to gain or lose weight but genetics are not the entire story. By taking the right approach you can make sure your body is nourished and healthy and not gain weight despite what your parents and grandparents look like. Your genetics play a role in determining your metabolism and your tendency to gain weight but do not let this stop you from taking the steps you need to live as healthy a life as possible. Remember, this is your life so you are responsible for taking care of yourself.
(4) Lack of Exercise
Yes it is true, we all need to exercise. The benefits of exercise touch all parts of your body and life so make sure to schedule time for a workout. I know that life is hectic but all you need to do is 20 minutes three times a week to begin to help your body. Remember, you don’t need to run a marathon or climb Mt. Everest, all you need to do is elevate your heart rate and keep it elevated for 20 minutes. Start out easy and work up to more strenuous activates. Never over exert and never begin any exercise program without checking with your doctor.
Always remember that exercise is any physical activity, you can walk, ride a bike, swim, or anything that gets you moving. Don’t get hung up on not being able to do a lot at the start. The most important thing is to start and stick with it. Not exercising is a guarantee to gaining weight. If you continue to eat as usual and continue the ‘couch potato’ mentality then you are setting yourself up for a difficult life of illness and disease.