We think being overweight is the result of eating too much of the wrong things. It is, but that's not the only reason. If it was, why are you still fat after all these diets?
The truth is, weight gain and weight loss involve more than the amount of food or calories you eat. If you don't know the exact causes for your weight problem, you'll never achieve permanent weight loss. But if you determine these causes, make use of this information and eliminate these factors, then you are up to lasting weight loss success and a healthy and enjoyable life.
Did you know that there are at least eight possible causes for your weight problem?
Unhealthy eating habits Lack of physical activity Medication Diseases Genetic disposition Emotions Age Not reading the warning signs
1. Unhealthy eating habits
This most common cause for overweight includes:
eating too many calories (sugar and fat) eating more than we need (too large portions, too many meals/ snacks) eating too fast (triggers overeating because you notice too late that you had enough) irregular meal times and skipping of meals (causes severe hunger attacks which trigger overeating) eating for reasons other than hunger (emotional eating)
2. Lack of physical activity
Inactive people are at a much higher risk of picking up weight than people who are physically active on a regular basis. Physical activity can, for example, be:
sports long walks stair climbing boisterous play with your children taking the bicycle to work
Many drugs stimulate your appetite, lower your use of energy or make you eat more because you feel better. If you are on one of these medications, they might cause your weight gain or contribute to it:
medication treating high blood pressure medication treating inflammatory conditions medication treating mood disorders antiepileptic drugs contraception drugs
Several medical conditions can cause overweight:
thyroid malfunction hormone imbalance Prader-Willi syndrome (causes overeating because you can't feel when you are full) brain tumors growing in the appetite controlling part of the brain
5. Genetic disposition
Our genes influence our appetite. If you are picking up weight easily, it might simply be that you can't perceive well when you have eaten enough. This genetic disposition can increase your risk of becoming overweight, but it does not have to lead to obesity.
Many times our emotions (not hunger) make us eat, for example when we are:
stressed tired sad bored frustrated
As we grow older, we tend to gain fat and lose muscle, and we need less energy. Many don't realize that and keep on eating as they used to. That leads to over-consumption of calories and weight gain.
8. Not reading the warning signs
You don't become fat over night but rather over years. Because it's a slow process, few people notice when they are picking up weight, especially since a little fluctuation of your weight is normal. If you had noticed early that you were gaining weight, and had taken measures immediately to stop the process, you could have prevented getting overweight.
Each of these eight factors could be the cause for your overweight. Or even more likely, it's a combination of several of them. And it's crucial for your success to find out the exact reasons. A plain diet won't help you if your contraception method and lack of activity are also contributing a great deal to the problem. To solve a problem, you first need to define its cause. Once you know what caused your overweight, you are on the best way to successful permanent weight loss.