Easy weight gain and difficult weight loss? Today’s blog post is about why gaining weight is so easy, but losing weight seems so difficult.
Although there are some people who struggle with trying to put on weight, the majority face the battle of trying to keep it off. Many times we find ourselves working so hard to lose the weight for months, and yet can pile on the pounds within a few weeks.
So how is that fair?! And why does it happen? Unfortunately I can only help with the second question!
Why Does Weight Gain Happen So Easily?
In an ideal world I would love to say if it isn’t your fault, but in this particular case, it is your own previous self who has caused this issue for you. Unfortunately it’s not the extra doughnuts or cake that you ate last weekend. Instead it’s your fat cells that have formed.
What Are Fat Cells?
This process begins in your infancy through to your early 20s where the number of fat cells in the body increases. When you start consuming a high-fat diet, your body reacts by producing white fat cells or adipose tissue. Once you hit mid-20s your body maintains and protect the fat cells you have created over this time period. This then becomes your homeostasis condition and what your body recognises as ‘normal’.
These fat cells will then remain and can grow or shrink based on the type of diet a person consumes. After we have created these fat cells even if we go on a diet we can only shrink them, but they will not entirely disappear. As a result, if we ‘fall off the wagon’ it is much easier to put on the weight again because these fat cells will easily return back to a ‘normal’ size again.
Now you might say, we are all doomed. However, there are many other contributing factors which can help or hinder this weight journey and the process that comes with it.
Are Diets To Blame For Weight Gain?
One of the reasons many people struggle with weight is the never-ending dieting culture we live in. Magazines are constantly trying to give us new ways to lose weight, to name a few including Atkins, Keto, Paleo, Cleanse, etc. The list goes on and on. When you follow these diets you are essentially ‘starving’ your body of what it is asking you for. As a result when you go back to eating ‘normally’ your body will either start storing this food in case you decide to do another diet, or will make you eat more in order to make up for the shortage. Many studies have shown the hunger you feel after a diet is up to 3 times stronger, and so you will overeat to compensate for this increase in hunger.
How Does Mindset Relate To Weight Gain?
Many of us have tried these diets and not managed to stick to them. But why is this the case? Your mindset has a MASSIVE part to play in this. Normally when we diet it’s like a switch in our brains. Once we start a diet, we tell ourselves we are ‘on’ and work really hard to stay on track. But as soon as we are ‘off’, the majority of people will binge eat and ‘treat themselves’ for working so hard. These types of diets can be a quick fix over a short period of time, but they are not built to be sustainable food choices. Neither in terms of keeping the weight off, nor continually doing for months or even years.
In order to stick to a diet it needs to be sustainable and affordable food choices that we could follow or revert back to easily. In my opinion that isn’t a ‘diet’, it’s a lifestyle. And finding a food lifestyle which works for you can be challenging, believe me. There are so many factors to consider including physical movement, exercise, country, religion, culture, accessibility to raw materials, finances etc.
What Is The Best Course Of Action?
My advice would be to try and see what you are consuming in the day, and when you are consuming them. Many of us enjoy evening treats but this might be the underlying issues. I think everything should be eaten in moderation and so eating lots of salad won’t fix the problem. On the other hand, limiting the desserts and snacking will. Trying swapping in healthier fruits and veg to replace daytime snacking. And if you read my blog post last week you will know how important it is to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water will definitely help you to stop overeating and help you build better long term habits.
I would also say that it is possible to follow a healthy lifestyle and not give up all the cultural food you are eating. Try adjusting ingredients for healthier alternative so that you can still enjoy your food in a better way. Moreover, making more homemade food and maintaining control over portion size and ingredients will be much more beneficial than eating out. Always remember that eating out is a treat, and so it shouldn’t be indulged in too much.
Try This Behavioural Science Hack!
I love giving you little tips and tricks you can use as home which are well known behavioural science concepts. An easy way to reduce food intake it to use a smaller plate. The smaller size will trick you into thinking you are eating a large amount of food and this can instantly help you to stop over eating.
Additionally, using a red plate instead of a white one can instantly help with this process. Colour psychology has shown individuals intake less food when eating out of red plates. You can read my post on IGGI to learn more about your food biases and this intriguing product.
That’s all for today folks! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any comments let me know, I love to hear from you all!