Common Causes of Weight Gain
Written by Thin Thin
The Most Common Cause
Let's begin with the most common reason why our body grows bigger when we don't want it to.
All too often people have the misconception that gaining is due to eating too much food. However, that's simply not entirely true. Let's widen the gap by keeping these things in mind:
Not all foods are created equal in energy (kcal, caloric) values.
If a large packet of fast food fries were consumed by an individual, they would need to consume over 37 cups of chopped celery to mirror the caloric values of the fries. They would need to consume about 38 cups of sliced cucumber OR about 30 small carrots (not the baby carrots - the traditional, long carrots) in order to mirror the energy values.
While the amount of food that is consumed is part of the nutritional picture, the types of foods that are chosen play an equal role in an individual's weight. Therefore, the most common cause of gaining unwanted pounds consists of a combination of making unwise food choices and eating more calories than the body uses.
Even the Most Healthy Foods Can Create Weight Gain
Let's say that Vincent enjoys fresh vegetables. His daily energy requirement in order to remain at his recommended weight equals about 2000 kcals per day.
One evening he becomes hungry; he has met his kcal requirement for the day. He decides to enjoy something healthy so that he will not gain weight. He prepares a natural salad mix which totals to 100 kcals. Fact is, he will indeed experience a gain in pounds because the body has no use for the extra fuel that Vincent is inputting. But because all energy is precious to the body, it will not allow it to escape; it will capture it and place it into storage cells should it require it for future energy needs.
Therefore - even healthy vegetables or other excellent natural food choices will generate an increase in stored fat when they exceed daily energy values set for the body. And everyone's kcal needs differ so we each have to determine our personal needs.
Other Common Reasons for Weight Gain
1. Happiness; we tend to eat more when we are feeling happy.
2. Sadness; food can assist in making us feel better - in comforting us amid times of unhappiness.
3. Stress or Nervousness. Whether we're out partying with co-workers at a business related function or attending a wedding, stress - whether good or bad can trigger overeating.
4. Contentment; notice how newly married folks tend to pick up pounds during the first few years of marriage?
5. Ageing; as the body ages it cannot perform as efficiently as it did amid its younger days. We become aware of such when we don't alter our daily eating plan and we start seeing an increase in pounds on our bathroom scales. To put things back into balance, we must do one of two things:
A. Decrease our food intake.
B. Ramp up our activity level.
More often than not the first option works best because as we age many of us aren't able to accomplish the feats that we did in our younger years. The bones grow tired, our stamina decreases - and we simply do not have the drive that we did when we were younger. The good news is that when we are able to increase our activity level, we tend to feel better and enjoy a stronger level of health.
6. Illness; when the body grows ill we may put on unwanted pounds. We may also lose - but unless we are terribly ill, the mood factor comes into play and we end up pampering ourselves in order to feel better.
For example, Tommy has a bad cold - so he enjoys his wife's chicken soup. He starts to feel better later in the day - and because he only had soup for lunch, he feels like he can ramp-up on dinner - so he orders a deluxe pizza and chows down on half of it which in turn will trigger an upward swing in weight.
Frustration, Feeling Overwhelmed
7. Another common reason why we gain weight is due to feeling frustrated or overwhelmed at our current weight.
For example, Betty is about fifty pounds overweight and feels miserable. She doesn't feel as attractive as she did before she gained that unwanted fat. So she goes on a diet and because she misses eating some of her former favorite foods, she just can't combat the temptation. She lost 10 pounds on the plan but she regains it quickly in addition to five more. Now she has fifty-five to lose and she is even more depressed than she was before her diet.
She tries to forget these uncomfortable feelings by turning to food which provides her with a pleasant feeling. The trouble is, that pleasant feeling is a temporary fix.
Betty will most likely continue down this path until she decides to go on another plan to reduce the fat. By that time, she may have more than seventy-five pounds to lose. Unless she takes some positive, strong action towards getting a handle on her weight - she is headed for potential health issues which can decrease her life span as well as the quality of her life.
If you are currently battling your weight, strive to regain control over your daily eating plan. Start by identifying hot spots, trouble areas, your moods as well as other influencing factors which contribute to gaining fat and which tend to take control of the amounts and types of foods that you eat.
With some savvy planning, willpower and motivation - you can lose and retain a healthier size. I'm living proof of such having lost about 125 pounds (more than one-half of my total body weight) going on two decades ago.