6 Reasons why you are overweight and what you can do about it

eat-too-much

How did I become this overweight?

All over the world, people are becoming more and more overweight. This is not surprising as changes in global habits and attitudes are turning people into overweight versions of their former selves. The good news is that there is hope for people who have packed on too much extra weight. Some lifestyle adjustments could help you to transform into a skinnier and healthier you!

Let’s have a look at some reasons why you could be overweight.

You like eating high-fat and high-energy foods

People in the world today have exchanged their ethnic way of eating for fast foods that are usually high in fats and sugars.

The prices of vegetable oils and sugar have drastically decreased in the past few years and are currently among the cheapest ingredients used in the food industry. These ingredients are widely utilized to reduce the production costs of food. They are therefore frequently used in the preparation of fast foods.

It is has become commonplace to swop nutritious foods for junk foods (filled with sugar and fat). Through this habitual fast food consumption people also eat less fibre which is important for weight control. The result is that they become overweight and malnourished.

At snack time, you pig out!

It is considered healthy to eat more than 3 meals per day, but it is important to remember that if you want to eat more times during the day, you have to eat smaller portions at each meal. The whole idea around eating small meals in between large meals is to spread your energy intake out. That means that you should consume the same amount of energy during the day as you would normally have. Studies have shown that people misinterpret this and end up eating snack foods that are very high in energy. This then adds to the total amount of energy that would have been ingested which in turn adds to weight gain.

The cycle of dieting-overeating has a grip on you

If you set unrealistic goals around dieting and weight loss, in other words if you are too rigid about it, you may end up being stuck in a pattern where you firstly try to eat less in order to lose weight and secondly overeat to compensate for the deficiencies created by poor energy consumption. You then need to lose weight again and the cycle starts over!

couch potatoYou’ve become a proverbial “couch potato”

Reduced activity levels are a leading culprit when it comes to being overweight. May people will much rather enjoy relaxing activities indoors than outdoors and lazing around is no stranger to the general population. Activity levels are directly involved with weight loss. Energy is ultimately stored as fat by the body. The amount of energy you consume minus the amount of energy you use on a daily basis will influence the amount of energy left for storage by the body. Therefore if you use up more energy you will have less to store!

Eating out has become your favourite thing to do

There is another ever rising trend that could easily be to blame for weight gain. People like to eat out more often. And more often means much too often. Restaurants aim to please the palate, meaning that lots of bad fats and sugars are used to make foods as delicious as possible to keep clients coming back for more. Portion sizes are very often also exaggerated to re-enforce the idea that people get their money’s worth on their plates. Eating out is not forbidden, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

You do not realize that what you drink can make you gain weight

What we drink can impact our weight drastically. Many drinks are high in sugar and carbonated drinks can cause bloating. Alcohol is full of energy and some alcoholic beverages also contain large amounts of sugar. Alcohol also has a reputation of promoting the storage of fat in the body. So beware of what you drink!

 

Why is it so dangerous to be overweight?

Being overweight puts you at a higher risk for conditions like diabetes and heart disease. People who are overweight are also more likely to suffer from gallstones, sleep apnoea and gout. Another scary fact is that an increased body mass index is connected to an increase in mortality. If you are overweight, you should take the necessary actions to lose that excess weight, before you reach the danger zone.

 

What can I do to lose weight?

The first step is to realise how dangerous your weight gain can become to your health. You need to change your lifestyle. Keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle change can be good for weight loss and health.

You basically need to adopt healthier eating habits that limit or exclude foods that are high in bad fats and sugars. Opt for healthy snacks that are low in energy (but high in nutrition) between meals and remember to control your portion sizes. Drink water and herbal teas instead of sweetened or carbonated drinks.

This lifestyle change should not be the end of your social life, so you can still enjoy eating out. Just remember that there are healthier options on the menu.

To boost energy expenditure, you need to get those lazy bones off the couch and start to be more active. Begin by doing some light exercise and increase the intensity and duration with time. A brisk walk of about 20 minutes daily should be enough to get you started.

What are you waiting for? Drop that extra weight! Begin the transformation into a healthier, thinner you!

 

References:

  1. Swinburn BA, Caterson I, Seidell JC, James WPT. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of excess weight gain and obesity. Public Health Nutr. February 2004; vol. 7(1A): 123–146.
  2. Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, Dietz WH, Vinicor F, Bales VS et al. Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. JAMA. January 2003; vol. 289(1): 76-79.
  3. Bachman JL, Phelan S, Wing RR, Raynor HA. Eating Frequency Is Higher in Weight Loss Maintainers and Normal-Weight Individuals than in Overweight Individuals. J Acad Nutr Diet. November 2011; vol. 111(11): 1730–1734.
  4. Redinger RN. Fat storage and the biology of energy expenditure. Translational Research. August 2009; vol. 154(2): 52–60.
  5. Sallis JF, Glanz K. Physical Activity and Food Environments: Solutions to the Obesity Epidemic. Milbank Q. March 2009; vol. 87(1): 123-154.

Written by Mariska Ten Dam

Mariska Ten Dam

Mariska ten Dam is a Health Care expert who specializes in Holistic Health. She is a qualified Natural Health Practitioner and a Health and Wellness Writer


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