Why Are You Overweight?

Americans like to pass the buck when it comes to being overweight. Even though nobody forces us to eat the food that makes us fat, the list of reasons as to why we are gaining weight goes on and on. Some people say it’s their bad genes that are to blame for their weight gain. Others claim that they just don’t have the time to make healthy food choices. Whatever the excuse may be we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Many of us struggle to stay on the latest diet. The sad news is, that less than 5% of people manage to lose weight on a diet and keep it off. The answer isn’t dieting. The key word is “lifestyle change.” If you truly want your body to be a reflection of all of your hard work, you need to add daily activities, and focus on changing what you put in your mouth. I will be the first person to tell you that making healthy food choices is a must if you want to be successful at reaching your personal fitness goals.

So whose fault is it that we are so overweight? I know you would love to find someone else to pin this on. Maybe it’s your Mom’s fault. After all, she was fat FIRST. Maybe it’s your Dad’s fault, since when you were a kid he was the one who ordered pizza and wings, with a side order of blue cheese and a Coke. Perhaps it’s your kids’; faults. You never got fat until you had them. No, the big struggle has to be because of your husband or wife. It’s their fault! They are the ones who bring home junk that they know you don’t want in the house.

Trust me, I’ve heard it all. Sounds pretty ridiculous, but that’s the kind of thing I hear all day long. “I am fat because of my lousy childhood.” “I am fat because no one taught me to eat right.” “I am fat because I had 2 kids in 3 years and I don’t have time for myself anymore.” I wonder though, if your lousy childhood is currently shoveling ice cream into your face, or if your (now fully grown) children are holding you down on the floor and forcing peanut butter cups down your throat. I would wager not. There are very few people who absolutely CAN NOT lose weight because of a health issue or bad genes, so for the rest of us, we have no one to blame but ourselves. WE are making ourselves fat. WE are putting the food in our mouths and swallowing it, over and over. It is up to us to be responsible for our own health and the consequences that may come along with years of neglect.

Of course, some circumstances can make losing weight much more difficult. For example, maybe you live with someone who does the cooking and shopping. Maybe they are not considerate of your desire to eat healthy meals. Well, you have two choices. You could say “There is nothing I can do,” or take control of YOUR OWN eating habits. There are many ways to do so. First, you can choose to buy and make your own meals. I am telling you to physically go to the grocery store, maybe even with a grocery list, and purchase your own groceries. Then, I am asking you to prepare your own meals. If you are giving control of your food choices over to someone else, that is something you will have to live with.

Understanding the factors that influence our eating habits can help us to make healthier food choices.

Availability and Convenience: People eat much more when there’s more food offered and readily available. We’ve all been in a predicament such as this more than a few times.

• If you offer more courses in a meal, people will eat more.

• If you put a box of chocolates out on the counter, people will consume more than if they are put away in a pantry or cupboard.

Portion size: Portion sizes keep growing, and our idea of what makes a reasonable meal grows right along with them. We tend to eat what is put in front of us.

• Portions of restaurant hamburgers, sodas, and french fries are two to five times larger than they were in the 1970’s. For instance, a large soda has more than a third of the calories you need for a whole day.

• We fix bigger portions at home, too. The size of the average hamburger made at home has increased by 2.7 ounces.

• If you give people an extra-large popcorn at the movies instead of a large, they’ll eat 45 to 50% more, even if it’s stale and their not hungry.

Better Value: We can’t resist a food bargain Like buy one get one.

• If you cut the price of food, people will buy and eat more.

• If you market super-sized portions for just a little more money, people will purchase and eat them.

Hunger: Hungry people make poor food choices. If you keep your blood sugar level stable by eating frequent small and healthy meals, you’re much less likely to overeat.

• People who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight.

• People who eat more than 3 times a day are 45% less likely to be obese than people who eat 3 or less times a day.

• People who skip meals are more likely to end up bingeing later in the day.

Managing weight and good health involves striking a balance between the foods we need to include and a few of the foods that we can’t live without. Take the focus off weight loss and pay closer attention to building a healthier you. I know at times we all want to blame everything and everyone else for poor eating habits, but you need to look in the mirror and realize it is YOU. YOU are to blame. It is YOU that is giving in to your cravings more often. It is YOU that is exercising less. It is YOU that continues to go back to your old eating habits.
It is YOUR choice how much you eat. YOU have to take control of YOUR life. In the long run, special diets don’t make the difference in who gets fat and who doesn’t. Good eating habits do.

I am currently The Senior trainer at Fitness CF of Clermont FL. And hold certifications by the National Sports Conditioning Association, N.S.C.A. C.P.T., CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, PN Lv.1 Nutrition Coach, Neurokinetic Therapy, A.F.A.A. P.T./ Fitness Counselor and Resistance Trainer, APEX Nutrition Certified, Power Plate Lv.1, and Golf Academy, PiYo, Silver Sneakers M.S.R.O.M. Less Mills Grit Coach, Total Gym Gravity Coach.

If you have a question and/or topic you would like me to discuss please e-mail me at [email protected]

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