Those who have been overweight for many years often feel hopeless and helpless. Despite this sentiment, each December 31st, millions of people resolve to lose weight and get in shape. The resolution typically fails for deeper reasons than most people think. Many think they are compromised by a weak will. Many think they are food addicts. And many people understand that they suffer from so-called yo-yo dieting, when they lose weight and then gain back even more than they lost. In my view, all of these reasons are true; however, when more deeply understood, it turns out they are not insurmountable problems.
In brief, the problem with weight management is that there are multiple physiological promoters of weight gain that are always present in all of us. It is not just because of the obvious overeating and lack of exercise. Here are six weight gain promoters:
1) Eating too quickly– Eating slowly will lead to greater satiety and thus less caloric consumption.
2) Inadequate sleep-Inadequate sleep leads to the development of chronic systemic inflammation.
3) Stress– Psychological stress releases a hormone that makes us feel hungry.
4) Hypothalamic Inflammation– Inflammation in this brain area causes reduced satiation and increased hunger.
5) Body weight set point-The body physiologically “defends” accumulated weight and if this weight is lost, the body then creates a “hunger” body chemistry to facilitate the re-accumulation of the lost weight.
6) Refined Carbohydrate addiction– Sugar and flour stimulate the same addictive neurology as street drugs.