The Major Causes of Weight Gain
We eat more calories than our body needs in a day, so the excess gets stored as fat. Pretty obvious, right? But why is it that so many of our friends and family are overweight? Look at the size of the portions we eat today, they are enormous. Go round my Mother-in-law’s and she’s trying to feed me up with huge portions! She means well mind :)
When we consume more food than we are burning, we are in positive energy balance. In essence we store the excess as lard. This would be a good thing, if we were cavemen and knew we were not going to eat for several days, but for those of us who live in western society, this simply isn’t the case – the next meal or snack is just around the corner.
– You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep. If you are dieting and exercising and still not losing weight, it might be time to address any sleep issues you may have. Two Canadian Obesity experts in the Canadian Medical Association Journal report that there is mounting evidence that suggests a link between weight loss and sleep. In fact, the study found that people who go to bed late actually consume 400 to 500 more calories. Aye-karumba!
– Your metabolic rate. As we age, we lose around 10% of our metabolic rate every ten years after the age of 25. This is mostly likely due to the bodies wear and tear and people who have really gone to town with junk food and booze could expect more than a 10% reduction as they get older. Put simply, things stop working as well as they used to. Of course, you can reduce the effect and even crank up your metabolism if you exercise in eat in a certain fashion. Throw in some resistance training and a sprinkle of metcon or interval training and that’s our exercise sorted. Making eating ‘clean’ a habit and some of the damage that may have been caused back in the day will be undone. I
– You have poor eating habits. In my research, I’ve discovered that people in the West are 30lbs heavier today than they were 100 years ago. What’s even more interesting is that our ancestors ate more fat! What they didn’t eat was processed food. Jack Lallane said it best, “If man-made don’t eat it.” You see sugars, starches, and mostly anything with flour is turning us into a society of obesity. In 2009 according to F.A.S.T.Foodfacts.com the fast food industry alone spent 4.2 billion dollars on advertising! No wonder we are fat. Many people have found a meal planner to be useful to help guide them in the right direction, so download yours from the nutrition section if you haven’t already.
– Larger portion sizes. We all know this. I’ll use fast food chains as an example. The size of the soft drinks, and fries has increased from when I was a kid. Most people are simply eating too much. As mentioned in the previous paragraph. Never go large, even if does cost you only a few pence.
– Exercise or the lack thereof. This is killing us as a western society. According to designedtomove.org, for the first time today’s kids are the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. That’s a crazy thought! I’ve got my little girl running already. At the time of writing this she is a year and a half. Give her a few more months and she’ll be doing chin ups! Regular exercise is essential to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight – as is what you eat, how you eat and how much you eat. But when you combine the two it’s so much easier to lose fat and keep it off.
– Learn portion control. I was raised with the mentality of eating everything on my plate. “Eat all your food up! There are people starving in other countries” my Mum would say. The problem was that I just got into the habit of clearing my plate regardless of being full or not. Luckily I was always an active young lad and it served me as fuel, but I know many other people with the same habit who don’t exercise or play sport and they haven’t been so fortunate. Next time, you have a meal try leaving a little bit on the plate. Use it as a challenge and see if you can break the habit. Another method is to stop eating when you are 80% full. The reason for this is that if often takes the brain 20 minutes or so to realise your stomach is full. For those who eat quickly this might be too late, so try slowing down your intake and chat to your friends and family instead of wolfing your grub down!
People tend to use their busy lifestyles as an excuse to gain weight. This is where you really need to plan ahead to avoid any traps that will cause you to make poor nutrition choices. As a famous bodybuilder once said, “Tupperware is a key piece of equipment when training.” We might not want to look like bodybuilders, but he’s on the ball when it comes to planning. Bodybuilders and fitness models are super organised when it comes to their food – even a little OCD about it. I’m not saying that’s what you should be like, but if you’ve been struggling to get to grips with your meals it might be time to sit down and draw up a plan or at least try and stick to one of my meal plans.
With a meal planner like the one in the link, you can prepare your meals for the week, and receive a shopping list for everything that you need for all of your meals. Then use the Tupperware and prepare those meals on Sunday, freeze them, and take them out each morning for the day. No thinking involved, as you already know what you are eating for the day.
Now breakfast can be a tough one to get in, so rather than make a poor choice or not eating at all, I recommend a meal replacement to keep you on track.
Time for me to sign off now, perhaps nothing new in this article today, but it should have at least refreshed your mind and got you thinking about your own diet and exercise again.