Below we have highlighted the main reasons for putting on excessive weight.
• We eat more calories than what our body needs in a day, so the excess gets stored as fat. Our bodies are designed in such a way that in times when it was harder to get food, our bodies could be prepared by having stored extra calories in times of plenty in the form of fat. Now, with as easy as it is to get food, a lot of people tend to overeat, and this is a severe problem that causes many to become overweight or obese.
• Genes play a factor as well by setting basic parameters on the metabolic efficiency of your body. People who are overweight many times have very efficient metabolisms, meaning they need less caloric intake than others, and they store the excess as fat. You have a greater risk of being obese if one parent is and an even greater risk if both parents are. However, genes only determine a tendency towards a higher or lower metabolic efficiency, not what your actual body metabolism will be.
• Your metabolic rate. Besides genetics, your metabolic rate depends on how active you are. It is said that every ten years past our mid-twenties we lose about 10% of our metabolic rate. This probably does not have to do completely with age, however, but instead with how active we are. The more active we are, the more muscle mass we can retain, or even build, and in turn the more fit we are because muscle tissue is metabolically active whereas fat is not. On the other hand, if we lead a basically sedentary life, we are much more likely to be able to gain weight as we lose muscle mass.
• Eating patterns. People’s eating habits make a huge difference in determining their weight. When foods high in fat or sugars are favored, this of course can cause much weight gain. Also, how you serve the food, i.e. do you put the portions on everyone’s plate or do you bring it all to the table and serve it the food family style where everyone can take as much as they want? Portion size is one of the main reasons people eat too much. Also, how have you learned to eat? If you are a fast eater, you may not even realize the cues your stomach gives you that it is full
• Larger portion sizes. Over time, larger portions of food have become the norm, especially at many restaurants. Weight has also gone up because of this.
• Exercise or the lack thereof. Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle and to maintaining a healthy weight. When you exercise, especially when you include strength training in your workouts, you gain muscle mass and raise your metabolism and in turn the muscle helps to burn more fat. In turn, you will weigh less and you will look leaner and firmer because muscle takes up less space than fat. Plus, strength training helps reduce the risk of accidental injury, improves your bone density, helps with digestion and helps in lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.