Millions of Americans struggle with obesity and experience a progressive increase in their weight over time. The typical story is that of someone that gains a few pounds every year until it reaches a point that the person realizes that his/her weight is a problem.
The weight usually becomes a problem when clothes no longer fit, when the person can’t move as quickly as in the past, when they get short of breath when walking or they start medications for a number of different health problems.
What Causes Weight Gain?
Obesity is a disease caused by a complex interaction of genetics, individual metabolism, lifestyle, behavior and environmental factors. Most cases of progressive weight gain can be traced back to daily lifestyle patterns.
Contributing factors include large meal portions, late night meals, eating a lot of starchy foods, eating a lot of high calorie foods, fast foods, snacks, sweets, and high calorie drinks such as sodas. Lack of regular exercise also contributes.
While these factors do not lead to rapid weight gain, they do lead to slow but progressive weight gain over a period of many years that is often difficult to reverse.
Why Common Weight Loss Efforts Fail?
There are many fad diets and many commercial diets for weight loss. There are also many exercise programs and medications for weight loss. The problem with these methods is that individuals try to reverse years of weight gain with a program that lasts only a few months.
These methods typically give modest weight loss over a few months but then the person usually stops due to boredom, fatigue, side effects, or expense.
Once the program ends, the person usually goes back to their regular lifestyle with diet habits, or lack of exercise, that has been leading to the progressive weight gain. Usually all the weight that was lost is regained and often times, even more.
What Is The Best Approach For Weight Loss?
Individuals that are successful with weight loss typically make lifestyle changes. Attention is paid to the diet ensuring regular meals, modest portions, a limit on calorie intake with limitations on high calorie foods, snacks and drinks. The focus is on healthy foods as well as regular physical activity.
This usually requires commitment to the cause, motivation to be persistent and patience. The goal is to reverse progressive weight gain to progressive weight loss.