Why You Gain Weight
There are many reasons why a person gains weight. It can be as simple as overeating and not getting enough exercise to counteract the number of calories that are being consumed, to it being a gene that is passed down generation to generation. To properly understand how a person is going to lose weight, you do have to understand why we gain it. In this section we are going to describe the different reasons why we gain weight.
Too Much Consumption of calories
This is when we just eat more calories than our bodies use each day. When we eat food our body converts the material into sugars. It is actually an evolutionary response our bodies have to store excess energy sources when food was scarce. When food wasn’t readily available, humans were able to use their body fat as a means of sustaining their regular daily activities between other meals. It was easier for a person to get by when the food sources were low, if they had a little extra storage. Even though our early ancestors began the storage of fat in their bodies, they had to work very hard to find or harvest food, so the excess fat was usually burned off. They didn’t have the same problems with obesity that we do today. Today, for the most part, food is readily available for each of us to consume. And, far too often we indulge ourselves in the edible luxuries that we have today. So now today, we are forced to find alternative methods of trying to lose weight that has built up as storage for lasting between meals. Understanding how the body retains fat and how it is burned is our only weapon against gaining weight, as our bodies have not yet had the time to catch up to our rapid development in society, and our ability to produce food whenever we want it.
Here are a few reasons why you gain weight gain
Low Metabolism - Metabolism can be linked to genetics, but it has more to do with how active we are, and the amount of muscle tissue we have compared with fat. Our muscles actively burn off the calories that we consume. They require more energy to work effectively. If we are living an inactive lifestyle, our muscles break down and they don’t burn the calories like they should. Therefore, if our muscles are not breaking down the calories we consumed, it gets converted to fat cells. When we are not active, our metabolism decreases, and as a result less calories are burned for energy and more are stored as fat. A more active person slows the decline of their muscles mass and may even increase the overall muscle mass, depending on activity, and then the metabolism is higher. This makes it easier for a person to lose weight.
How do you increase your metabolism?
- Exercise that helps build muscle, also helps increase metabolism. Any exercise will help.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently. If you have a small, healthy snack in between meals you can actually jumpstart your metabolism.
- Don’t starve yourself when trying to lose weight. If your body has nothing to metabolize, it will slow down completely. Then when you go to eat, your body will have a very difficult time breaking down food without it turning straight into fat.
- One of the best low-impact exercises to do is walking. Try walking for 30 minutes three times a week. It will increase your metabolism considerably.
- Make sure you eat breakfast. If you don’t start your day getting your metabolism going, you could have a hard time doing it when you eat a big lunch or big dinner.
How you eat – Your eating habits can play a huge role in determining your weight. Do you eat smaller, lean servings instead of gorging yourself on your mother’s world-famous spaghetti and meatballs? What about how fast you eat? All of these things have an effect on your ability to gain and lose weight. Here are a few tips on your eating habits that can have a profound effect on your battle to lose weight.
- High-fat, high calorie foods are tough on the body, and it takes a long time to break them down. You are at greater risk if you are eating foods like this. Pastas with cheeses and or cream sauces are an example of high fat and high-calorie.
- Take your time when you eat – for a number of reasons. First, your stomach takes time to tell your brain you are full. You risk overeating when you eat too fast. Second, if you chew your food completely, the enzymes in your saliva aid in the breaking down of complex compounds in your foods, making it easier for your body to keep up. It’s also worth mentioning that the faster you eat, the greater chance you have of building up gas.
- Eat smaller portions more often. We discussed this earlier, and you can boost your metabolism by making it work in smaller session more often. Also it helps when you eat smaller portions, because you don’t risk overeating and forcing your body to keep up with your eating.
Your genetic makeup – Your metabolism may already be determined for you by the genes your parents passed down. But, this is NOT an excuse for not doing what you can to raise your metabolism if you have been passed down a slower one by nature. Just as people with higher metabolism can lower it by reducing activity and having poor eating habits. Many people who are overweight or obese will say, “it’s hereditary.” This can be the case, but your genes are just a small part of the overall picture. They only determine whether or not there is a likelihood of a person having a predisposition for obesity. Exercise – Everyone needs to get exercise. There is no replacement for getting the heart pumping and building up those muscles when it comes to losing weight. But, not enough of us make the time to get it. Exercise doesn’t have to be pumping iron at the gym or even taking a 10-mile bike ride. Take your dog for a 30-minute walk around the park. He will love it, and you will feel better, too. You’ve all heard the benefits of exercise before, but they are worth mentioning again:
- You will feel better. Isn’t that a good start? Exercise rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit.
- Exercise rebuilds muscles and therefore increases your metabolism. Remember muscles are burners of energy and the more muscles the more calories are burned.
- Exercise lowers stress. Studies have shown that even 20 minutes of exercise, three times a week can have a dramatic effect on your stress level.
- Exercise burns calories. When we get further into the book, and learn the process for losing weight over the long haul, you will understand why burning calories is so important. If you burn more calories than you eat, then your body starts burning the fat.
If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, you will gain weight. That is almost as sure as death and taxes. Especially if you continue eating at a rate where you would be packing on the pounds if you did do some exercise. Always remember that exercise can be any physical activity – walking, cycling, swimming, sex – anything where you are raising your heart rate for an extended period of time. For some people, that could even be working in the garden.
Is society the culprit?
You could say that the advent of ‘super-sized’ fast-food meals, and even fast food in general could be a problem for many people. Our lifestyles don’t permit the time it takes to put together a good solid meal for ourselves, or to even get enough exercise. But, is society really to blame? I don’t think so. Everyone has the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle. And when asked, probably every person would say they would prefer to life a healthy lifestyle and live longer, rather than continue on the trend they are on now. As humans, we have been given the opportunity to make choices. Those choices come in many different shapes and sizes. The choice to lead a healthy lifestyle is one of those many forks in the road.
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