Why do we get fat – is it just about gluttony and sloth?

Why do we get fat?
The answer is simple really, at least that’s what we are told; we get fat because we eat too much and exercise too little, in other words it is all about gluttony and sloth! A local Doctor suggested recently that “all they need is a poke in the ribs”.  It is no wonder we are weighed down by guilt and self-doubt!   Those who have struggled with weight for years will know that fat gain and weight loss are far from simple and to suggest that all we need is a bit of resolve and willpower is insulting at best.   I know from personal experience and from the people I see that dieters have the strongest of willpowers – willpower unfortunately will never win when biology and the world we live in fights it at every turn!

Do you search the net for solutions or fork out dollars for over-the-counter remedies that promise the answer?   I see people all the time who report they are doing everything right yet their excess weight stays doggedly on.  In desperation (and not surprisingly) they turn to wacky ideas and solutions which they know deep down won’t work.   It’s a vicious circle that is perpetuated by a desire to look and feel better and a huge industry that bombards us with quick fix solutions.

Sadly, there is no magic bullet; if there was you would not find it in your local health food shop.  It would come from a multinational pharmaceutical company, after years of research, rigorous testing and legal processes.  It would be hailed with mega bells and whistles and would have strict rules around procurement.  You would certainly know about it if and when it comes!

In the meantime, after YEARS of trying to find the magic bullet, the only thing that scientists can say with certainty is that weight loss will occur only if the kilojoules in are less than kilojoules used.   Pretty boring really – no wonder we are taken in by more exciting promises!

What scientists are finding however is that the huge environmental changes of the past 50 years are key to the alarming weight gain we are seeing in populations.   The “obesogenic environment” we live in works in many and subtle ways to promote weight gain and make weight loss difficult.   An understanding of this environment is important if you are to ever achieve and maintain a healthy weight within it.  Know thy enemy before taking action!
But more on that next time!

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