Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

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Why We Gain Weight

• We eat more calories than what our body needs in a day, so the excess gets
stored as fat. Our bo dies 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 n eed 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 effici ency, 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, thi s 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? Porti on 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