Many people try to lose weight every year, every month and every day. And yet, more than ever before in history, we are getting heavier. This is no co
Many people try to lose weight every year, every month and every day. And yet, more than ever before in history, we are getting heavier. This is no coincidence.
There are a multitude of factors that keep people from losing weight; you may be aware of some and not so much of others. But why, apart from that, are we so obsessed with weight? There are more factors involved than you think and we, as a society, have many reasons for our obsession with our body and appearance. There are a number of scientific, social and personal causes that explain why you do not lose weight. But what are these causes?
1. Too many calories
For starters, we simply overeat. Our society is, as it were, bloated when it comes to:
- portion size
- fascination with everything digital
- hyper-tasty foods
On top of that, we have increased the marketing for junk food, fast food and soft drinks in an alarming way. All these elements contribute to our weight gain and make it twice as difficult to lose weight. And what do we see simultaneously on television, magazine commercials and online? Skinny, happy people, which can add a psychological element that is extremely difficult to overcome.
While we may get older, many of us have stuck in their high school days when it comes to what we think about our appearance and our bodies. A superficial fascination can lead to eating disorders, a disturbed way of eating or simply an unhealthy relationship with food. But now back to the calories. We now eat an average of 28 kilos more meat than in the 1950s. And that is only meat.
In total, we consume more than 20% more calories than in the 1970s. What is important to keep in mind is that our bodies and our caloric needs have not changed during that time despite eating more than ever. Even children and infants already have this problem. How can we stop consuming so many calories? Well, the very first thing to do: get rid of all liquid calories. Not only is it easy to consume too much of this, they are also very low in nutrients – just a lot of sugar.
Once you have done that, it makes it easier if you opt for a Paleo-like diet. By omitting grains, legumes and dairy products, you also remove the exorphins and the poorly accessible nutrients. Once you’ve done that, you’re left with good fats, good protein, and better carbohydrate sources.
This also eliminates excess sugar, which is a major concern when it comes to the excessive consumption of calories. Sugar is addictive, added to food to make it tasty and completely unnecessary.
A sweet potato, on the other hand, is high in nutrients, low in calories and low in sugar – making it a great alternative to liquid calories and poor food choices.
When it comes to restaurants, order something that is on the menu as a children’s portion or starter. This will reduce the portions to a much more reasonable size. If you really want to order something from the “regular” card, save half for later. And if you’re wondering which choices to make, go for wild-caught fish, or something simple, like a grass-fed steak or organic chicken. And if you want to order a salad, get some high-quality protein and only take extra virgin olive oil as a dressing. These simple changes will certainly have an effect in the long run and you will soon be slimmer than you ever thought possible. That is, if you don’t fall prey to the next point.
2. Too much stress
Stress. We all know it, we all suffer from it and some of us let ourselves be completely taken over by it. Food that yields some sort of chemical reward is a major problem in our world and we are very susceptible to it when we are stressed. If you work in an office, or have a desk job, you know how easy it is to take an extra cup of coffee or a donut when you are stressed, but every time you do this there is another one. And without realizing it, you will soon be five kilos “richer”.
Stress eating is a big problem and the only way to counter it is to fall back on strategies. What works for me is to remind myself that the stress will still be there whether I eat that donut or not. Since I don’t want to add another stress factor (like getting sick and getting fat), this helps me skip the donut no matter how much I feel like it.
I recommend using a similar strategy if you suffer from stress eating, as many of us do. We must remember that stress, the environment and the media do everything they can to make us eat too much and be overly obsessed with being fit at the same time. Not exactly a nice combination!
Three of the biggest culprits when it comes to obesity:
- potato chips
These foods are also very low in nutrients – insofar as they already contain them. It’s easy to see how avoiding these foods, even when we’re extremely stressed, can help us lose weight and, perhaps more importantly, get healthier overall. Since weight loss generally results in a loss of subcutaneous fat and muscle, we should also investigate the underlying problems further. Deep-seated fat is an important point when it comes to disease, and weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean you lose this fat.
3. Sleep deprivation
Either way, we can agree that most of us are way overweight. What are some of the other causes? A very important one nowadays is sleep. Or rather, a lack of sleep.
After a few days of sleep deprivation, we’re mentally used to the changes – but our bodies aren’t. This puts us in a dangerous situation
We sleep too little, sometimes even in an alarming way, and as a result we make poor choices when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle. Moreover, it also leads to a whole series of biochemical and hormonal changes. After a few days of sleep deprivation, we’re mentally used to the changes – but our bodies aren’t. This puts us in a dangerous situation where we think we are rested when in reality we are not. From this point on, it is easy to gain weight and it can now take place subtly, without us noticing.
The factor we may have less control over is leptin resistance. Overweight people are usually insulin resistant, but leptin resistance is a different story, although it is closely related. Since leptin is your “satiety hormone” that helps regulate the amount of fat you store, leptin resistance is not a good thing for those who want to stay slim. And yet many of us are leptin resistant. In this video, Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D, clearly explains what could be causing all this leptin resistance.
In summary, leptin resistance is caused by several factors. Too much sugar is certainly one of them. While eliminating refined products is definitely the best way to quickly get rid of sugar completely, it should also be noted that eating too much fruit within a Paleo diet can cause similar problems.
Admittedly, it should be quite a large amount of fruit. However, we should also take this possibility into account, as I see it more often with clients than you might think.
The official guidelines for sugar consumption indicate 25 to 30 grams of sugar per day for adults. This is less than a can of soda.
The official guidelines for sugar consumption indicate 25 to 30 grams of sugar per day for adults. This is less than a can of soda. You can imagine why you should be the first to cut all those liquid calories from your diet.
Leptin resistance in particular also arises from too much fructose. This means that high-fructose fruits should not be eaten on a regular basis. Occasionally it’s fine, but not every day. The only exception to this are blueberries and blackberries, which contain so many nutrients that it is worth taking for granted that little bit of fructose they contain.
An example of fruit that you should not eat regularly is grapes. Grapes are sometimes called “small sugar packets” for a reason; they have much less to offer you than other fruits.
It would also be good to eat less apples. Apples probably contain the least nutrients of all fruits, while at the same time they contain a lot of sugar. As you can see, obesity and weight problems are not what they seem at first glance. If you simply make better food choices and give it time, you may never have to worry about losing weight again.
Another point: real, significant weight loss does not happen overnight. It takes time and a little effort. If you really fully focus on the essentials in the beginning of a week, you’re well on your way to creating a good reference point for the rest of your life and planning a healthy way to eat.
Finally, a sedentary lifestyle should also be mentioned. If you are not currently exercising or exercising, start. Even a 45 minute daily walk is a step in the right direction. Don’t be lazy – laziness is not just one of the reasons you don’t lose weight, you end up really going under it.
And? Do you understand more about weight loss now than when you started this article? Let me know in the comments.