According to a research published in the Journal for American Medical Association, approximately one in three adults is obese. Statistically speaking, obesity is, quite literally, a “widespread” problem.
Although obesity has been the subject of numerous scholarly articles and books, the problem doesn’t seem to get better. What’s more, the scales seem to tip in favour of the heavier side despite the mind-boggling number of weight loss products out there.
So, what’s the reason why we seem unable to manage our weight?
We’ll discuss the answer in this article. So, let’s look at the prime movers of the obesity epidemic.
1- Sedentary Lifestyle
Thanks to technology, the energy we expend to perform daily tasks has reduced considerably. It is now possible to take a class, do your groceries or meet friends online, without leaving your home. Meanwhile, we did not reduce our daily energy intake, on the contrary, the variety of processed food is increasing every day. So where does all the extra energy go? Our body stores it as fat.
2- Lack of Participation in Sports
Sports is not only a platform for social interaction but also an amazing way to stay fit. Unfortunately, most people neglect sports once they start working because they can’t find the time, or have other priorities. Thus, you lose out on a healthy activity that can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight and body.
Your body produces the hormone cortisol in response to stress, be it a real or imagined threat. Cortisol temporarily enhances your body’s performance temporarily to prepare you to meet the challenge. However, cortisol does this by shutting down all non-essential functions keeping the essential ones active to face the threat. Thus, if your body is constantly under stress, your cortisol levels are chronically high, leading to poor digestion and hence, weight gain.
A study in the Public Library of Science indicates that people with short sleep cycles produced elevated levels of ghrelin and reduced levels of leptin. This imbalance in the production of leptin and ghrelin leads to increased appetite and results in obesity.
Other studies reveal that lack of sleep increases cortisol level, that is also very much connected to weight gain.
5- Poor Eating Habits
How and when you eat is as important as what you eat. Your body works at its best when you maintain a proper and regular rhythm. For example, have your meals at the same time every day. Owing to the dynamic nature of modern lifestyle, it becomes hard for anyone to maintain a steady tempo. As a result, the body constantly operates sub-optimally.
Eating late at night and close to your bed, will also affect your digestion as your body slows down to sleep. It will also affect your sleep as your stomach will be struggling to digest this late meal, leaving you tired engaging the cycle of cortisol, stress, weight gain.
6- High Consumption of Alcohol
Alcohol is an empty calorie. In other words, alcohol adds to your calorie intake without providing any nutrition. Also, your body chooses to metabolise alcohol before anything else. Consequently, the food you consume along with alcohol goes directly into storage. The worst choices in alcohol would be wine, liquors with mixers (high in sugar). For a wiser option, you may choose tequila, vodka or gin and mix them with some sparkling water and lime juice.
You will have the pleasure, less the sugar load.
7- High Consumption of Sugar
Excess sugar intake wreaks havoc on your body’s insulin response mechanism. Since insulin is the hormone that tells the body when to store fat and when to release it, a malfunction in this system causes your body to hoard fat, thereby causing obesity. Sugar is not only the white sugar used in confectioneries but also in the form of carbohydrate in pasta, bread, rice and other processed food, usually high in it. A direct correlation was made between the increase of high carbohydrate processed food availability and the increase of obesity.
8- You are going through perimenopause or menopause
Hormones play a big part in the way our body metabolise the food we eat and the nutrients it contains. During perimenopause and menopause, sudden hormonal changes, particularly in estrogen levels, have a real impact on weight, even if you have never experienced any challenge with your gain in the past.
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Read our articles on menopause – 5 Symptoms you may experience during menopause or This may be the solution to get rid of your menopause discomforts