Weight loss is a dreaded term in today's society but many people know that sooner or later it's something they will have to do if they want to keep their health.
Because we've all seen that once one begins to lose health, very little of everything else matters. And once our health starts coming down, a lot of effort is needed to bring it back on track and even then we're bound by many restrictions to keep it there.
So, now that we know it's imperative to be in good shape and to lose that unnecessary weight and we know that prevention is many times easier and more important than trying to patch up things once they've gone bad, here are the 3 main things that people don't realize are keeping them from losing weight...
Now let's quickly look at each individual point...
Our bodies are very energy efficient and also efficient in storing energy for later use. Depending on genetics and influences from the environment, the body has it's own "weight set point".
This weight set point is the amount of energy reserves (i.e. fat) the body thinks it needs in order to survive. In a way it's the predicted energy reserves the body needs before the next energy input (i.e. a meal).
With a balanced diet and a normal lifestyle, a person will more or less always be in the range of the set weight point.
The important part is that this set point isn't set in stone! It reacts to the influences from the environment.
The problem is when this mechanism is thrown off balance. For example, a professional athlete can use up to 3000 kcal per training (and he or she probably has three trainings a day!). This means that this person has to intake three times the normal daily required amount of calories just to have enough energy for the trainings.
After a while, the weight set point is set very high in order for the person to keep up with the energy needs. He or she more frequently feels hungry, feels more need for energetically high food sources and has better absorption of nutrients than a person with a lower weight set point.
When such a person suffers an injury and is unable to train, the body keeps accumulating energy reserves according to the weight set point. Indeed, many professional athletes, after finishing their career, become overweight.
People that regularly overeat face a similar problem... At first they gain more weight. A body that weights more requires more energy to run. After a while, the weight set point is set higher and now this person actually begins to feel the need to eat more than before and the cycle is complete...
The internal drive to eat more in order to satisfy the energy needs is extremely powerful and often overpowers the will to lose weight! Furthermore, if a person tries to lose weight by starving him or herself for a while, the body will automatically set the weight set point higher in order to protect itself from future starvation periods! This is known as "the yo-yo effect"
Eating sugary and fatty food makes us feel good. That's the way we're naturally wired because these food sources contain either a ready source of energy or energy that is easily stored for future needs.
Many people don't go on a weight loss diet or stick to one because of the fear of not ever feeling fulfilled or happy while eating again. Of course, when you think about it logically, you can see that this is absurd and that many gourmet foods actually contain less calories and are healthier. But if you never stop to think about it, you can be caught up in this myth and subconsciously unintentionally sabotage your weight loss success!
The mindset is another important thing that keeps us from going on a weight loss diet or keeps us from sticking to it.
Most people view weight loss as something terrible and view it almost as torture. After a careful consideration one can attribute this to the fear of the unknown.
Gaining a lot of weight usually takes a long time. This means that certain behavioral patterns are strongly set in place. The brain is wired in a way to follow the known paths. Every change is almost automatically met with resistance and it takes some time for the new path to become default. This phenomenon can also be seen on a sociological level, from resistance to new scientific ideas to implementation of new technologies.
A simple switch in the mindset can be extremely helpful in sticking to the diet and losing weight. Instead of viewing weight loss diets as torture, view them as an opportunity to learn of new, better and healthier ways of finding fulfillment in food.