Top 10 Reasons For Gaining Body Fat
By Gosia Olszewska
Here at The Maryborough Leisure Cub, we all train hard to achieve our own fitness goals. Most of us trains really hard and usually sticks to the healthy diet… Yet, not always we are happy with the results. What is the reason behind weight gain and why is it so hard to lose those extra kilos? Here are the Top 10 reasons why people gain weight.
10. Medications There are a growing number of people who are depressed or on medication for depression. These medications decrease metabolism regardless of changes to the diet, and the medications can change hormone levels in the body. This impacts our ability to lose weight and keep the weight off.
9. Underlying Disease/chronic disease A growing number of people have underlying conditions like Thyroid Disease, Diabetes and Cushing’s disease (increased production of cortisol in the body) . People end up gaining weight and medical treatment is necessary to help in weight loss or slowing weight gain down. Due decreases in hormone levels, the body is unable to raise metabolism which burns extra calories.
8. Genetics Research shows that genetics may play a part in weight gain. Evidence shows some people may have higher chances of weight gain. However, even though genetics may play a role in weight gain, environmental factors and individual choices play a much bigger role in a person being overweight then genetics.
7. Stress Our natural defense against stressors is the Fight or Flight system. With increased stress levels, our bodies prepare for us to fight or run. When stress levels rise, cortisol is released in the blood stream, causing changes in the body. Cortisol helps release sugar, stored in the muscles and liver, into the blood stream for quick energy use. This hormone is responsible for accumulation of fat in the abdomen which is hard for the body to get rid of. Cortisol suppresses the immune system making it harder to fight infections. Stress is always there so our cortisol levels are always high.
6. Portion Size Portion control is a leading factor in weight gain. We tend to overeat foods that are high in fat and sugars, and do it on a constant basis. We have lost our control over our portion control. Plates and cups are bigger, so taking in extra calories is much easier.
5. Skipping meals Skipping a meal is just as bad as portion control. It slows down your metabolism because of lack of calories and nutrients in the body to refuel us. When you skip a meal, 9 out of 10 times we overeat when the next meal comes. Food choices are usually affected and portion sizes become monstrous. This leads to too many calories, lethargic moods and storing those calories being stored as fat.
4. “Low-fat” Labeling How many of us have been duped into thinking that low fat is low calorie? Low fat labeling means that there is 3 fat grams or less. Just because a label says low fat does not mean lower calorie. So before you grab that low fat product, remember look at the label and see how many calories and what the serving size is. We tend to overeat low fat products, because we think low fat means low calories.
3. Lack of exercise Strength training and cardiovascular exercise help increase the amount of calories that we burn. We find ourselves doing less and less exercise and eating more calories. The combination of lack of exercise and high calorie intake is why we gain weight. The more strength training, the more muscle we have, which leads to higher metabolism. This helps us burn more calories at rest and during exercise.
2. Slower Metabolic Rate A slower metabolic rate helps with weight gain. Muscle is more metabolically active (meaning it burns more calories) than fat so we need more muscle than fat. One common myth is that as we age, we lose more muscle. If we stay active then this is not true. Continuing to do strength and cardiovascular exercises will keep the lean mass on our bodies which keeps our metabolism burning. Then we can continue to eat those extra calories and not worry about gaining weight.
And the Number 1 Reason why people gain weight is….
1. Unhealthy Diet Let’s face the facts: generally our diets are not good. Our diets are filled with processed foods that are easy to prepare and probably are not good for us. Portions are out of control and meals are lacking essential foods like fruits and veggies, and complex carbohydrates that help fuel our bodies. Fast food and prepackaged foods can lead to extra weight around the waist due to a lot of fat and extra calories. Diet and exercise help monitor weight gain as we get older. Making better food choices, monitoring your portions and not skipping meals will help you lose weight. Substituting a healthy snack or meal replacement will help you not to skip meals and will give you plenty of nutrients to satisfy you until you eat again. If you have any questions or you need our advice, please don’t be shy and ask any instructor here at The Maryborough Leisure Club. We are always happy to help you and to see you achieving your fitness goals.