Are you overweight? It may not be your fault!

How can this be true you, I hear you ask. Ever since I can remember people have said “If you want to lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more”. Well, this does ring true for some people but for others it’s not so true. Read on..
The brain is such a masterful beast but unfortunately it hasn’t caught up to the twenty first century. It works in it’s most primitive form to keep us alive but by doing that in the world we live in today. It has the result of many people failing to lose weight indefinitely and as a result keep the majority of the population overweight.
The stark reality is that most people that go on a diet and lose weight have a tendency to put it all back within a year and in some cases more. The problem here is that going on a diet is not the answer, many diets focus on quick weight losses and don’t have long term healthy habits in mind. Our bodies don’t like change, it likes to keep the status quo, the immediate response the body has when there is a dramatic change in our bodies is to get back to it’s former self as soon as possible, which is why quick weight loss diets don’t have long term benefits where our weight is concerned.
There are two hormones that play a massive role in determining our weight, they are leptin and ghrelin.
Here’s a brief explanation:
The leptin hormone was discovered in 1994 and has brought to light new ideas about losing weight and obese people.
Leptin is a hormone that is a result of fat deposits making it a long term regulator. The theory is when you begin to lose weight leptin decreases in your body having the effect of making you feel hungry. Studies have shown that if you lose 15% of your body weight leptin decreases by 65% which has the effect of making you feel hungry.
On the other hand ghrelin is produced in the stomach when it’s empty, so basically, it’s high before you eat and lower after you eat which makes it a short term regulator.
Now that we know the medical terms how do these hormones make it that much more difficult for us to lose weight then? The first thing that many diets advocate is to cut down on calories(eat less), this results in our stomachs being less full and therefore cause ghrelin levels to go up which in turn makes us feel hungry. If you persist and overcome the urge to eat, over time you will lose weight(fat deposits go down). What happens when you fat deposits go down, leptin decreases and makes you feel hungrier.
Whoa! No wonder it’s so difficult to lose weight, there are hurdles placed in our path every step of the way, we overcome one and then the next one hits us right between the eyes.  
What can you do about this? Well the first thing is don’t use these studies as an excuse to stay where you are. It’s about building a healthy mindset and putting  healthy habits in place. The mind is habitual and likes nothing more that to create and stick to habits. If you put in place healthy habits a healthy lifestyle awaits you.
I’ve listed some simple solutions that will help you along your path

  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat regularly
  • Eat more fibre rich foods
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat fish oil
  • Don’t eat after 7pm
The moral of this article is that losing weight ‘long term’ is a complex issue that involves several body mechanisms, the conclusion being that fast weight loss is not the answer, long term healthy lifestyle changes are needed to live your life fat free.
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I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any comments, questions or experiences you would like share feel free to leave a comment.