What Makes You Fat – It’s Not Overeating, it’s not because you’re greedy and it’s definitely not because you lack willpower.
Those extra pounds that you hate are not caused by how much you eat but by what you’ve been taught to eat.
For too long people who are overweight have been blamed. You’ve probably been blamed too; it’s possible that you even blame yourself.
However, almost nobody ever deliberately eats foods that are known to be unhealthy. We eat because we’re hungry, or we crave a particular food, or because we’re in a negative mood.
Those three reasons are just about the only reasons we eat. If you think about it, they will be the same three reasons that you eat too: You’re hungry, you’re craving a particular food or you’re feeling bored, low or stressed.
What makes you fat is more straightfoward than you think.
The three main reasons why you eat more food than you need
- You’re hungry
- You’re craving a particular food
- You’re bored/anxious/sad/stressed
However, the important question here is:
Are you to blame for these triggers to overeating?
The surprising truth is that you’re much less in control of being hungry, craving, or feeling negative than you may imagine.
While it’s certainly true that you can do something about all three overeating triggers, willpower alone isn’t going to completely do the trick for you.
If you could stop overeating by using willpower alone, you would have already done so it. It’s possible that you would never have put on extra weight in the first place.
You would have simply ignored the call to the kitchen if you knew that you’d already had enough to eat. What makes you fat isn’t a lack of willpower.
If you find that hard to believe, just think about how many people are overweight.
When looking at obesity alone, there are more obese adults living in America today – 78 million – than in any other country in the world. (1)
It’s just not possible that there are 78 million Americans who are so lacking in willpower that they cannot control how much they eat.
There has to be another reason for why they, and you, are piling on the pounds.
The Number one reason you’re overweight
The single biggest reason that you’re overweight is that you’re consuming far too many carbohydrates every day. This is what’s making you fat: This over consumption of carbs is to blame for your excess pounds.
Overeating carbs will cause you to experience:
- Hunger – even when you’ve eaten a good sized meal only a few hours beforehand
- Low Blood/Glucose levels – leaving you tired and irritable
- Craving more carb heavy and sugary foods
- Feelings of anxiety and depression
Sounds familiar? If you’re overweight, you will almost definitely be experiencing all of these signs, every single day.
When you’re always hungry, craving food or feeling tired and low, you’re not going to be in a good place to moderate your dietary intake.
You’re going to be in a place where you cannot resist a snack, especially a sugary snack and this has absolutely nothing to do with you being greedy or lacking willpower.
Let that sink in for a minute: you’re reaching for the snacks and overeating because you’re eating too many carbs.
The entire country is busy eating too many carbs, and that’s why 78 million Americans are overweight.
Unfortunately, it’s not just America either: Europe, especially the wealthier norther European countries, are also seeing obesity rates sky rocket.
Few People Were Overweight 50 Years Ago
Obesity rates have shot up since 1975. 39% of adults aged over 18 years were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.(2)
Clearly, people have not been steadily loosing their willpower for the past 50 years. Something else must be to blame.
Moreover, being obese or overweight isn’t all about not looking your best; it has serious effects on health too. The World Heath Organization (WHO) has stated that being obese causes:
- cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. This was the leading cause of death in 2012;
- diabetes – especially type 2 diabetes.
- musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis – a highly degenerative disease of the joints
- some cancers including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon
Further, the WHO point out that more people now die due to being overweight than die due to malnourishment.
What Changed To Cause People To Become Overweight
The first fact to know is that people aren’t getting fat because they’re eating more calories.
This UK government site points out that way back in 1976, people were eating on average 2,590 kcal each day. The average calorie intake now is 2,130kcal day.
What makes you fat clearly isn’t how much you’re eating, it has to be something else.
It’s not about how much you eat; it’s all about what you eat.
The main difference between how we eat now and how we ate in the 1970s, is that we now eat vastly different foods.
In particular, we’re all eating far more carbohydrates each day, mostly in the forms of sugar and grains.
Further, we all need to let go of the old idea of calories in / calories out. Obviously, if you eat mountains of food day in, day out, you’re going to gain weight.
But mostly, the idea of reducing calories is not helpful. For a start, our bodies neither know nor care about the calorie count of the food we eat; we respond only to what a particular food does to our body
Plus, if you’ve ever tried to deal with your excess pounds by reducing calories, you’ll know you ended up miserable and hungry most of the time.
Even worse is the fact that reducing calories will lower your metabolic rate over time. This will cause you to regain any weight you do manage to lose. More often than not, you’ll regain a few extra pounds too.
To learn more about the myth of calories read here.
Which modern foods are causing you to gain weight
Any high sugar or grain based food is going to be high in carbs.
Unfortunately, most of the foods that have been introduced into the standard American Diet over the past few years are loaded with sugar.
This became even more of a problem when fat began to be (wrongly) blamed for the national weight gain. When manufactures started to produce low fat or reduced fat foods, they swapped out the healthy fats for more sugar.
Further, manufactures soon became aware of our love of foods that contained both high sugar and high fat.
Some of the worst and most fattening modern foods are:
- Most ready meals – filled with sugar and fats to keep you coming back for more.
- Baked goods such as bread, cookies, cakes, pies, donuts and pizza
- Sauces – often have hidden sugars
- Canned Fruit
- French Fries
What high carb foods do to your body
When you consume a high carb food, you’ll trigger the production of the hormone insulin. This is produced to deal with the sudden surge in glucose in your body following a high carb meal.
Insulin is able to bring blood/glucose levels quickly down to within a healthy range.
Unfortunately, although this reduction of blood/glucose levels is healthy, if it drops too quickly it will cause several unpleasant symptoms such as:
Moreover, Insulin is the signal to your body to store as fat any excess glucose in your blood.
Following a high carb meal, your Insulin levels will rapidly raise, and any glucose (from the carbs) that is not needed for your immediate energy needs is stored.
Obviously, some storage is a good thing, and guarantees you a source of energy for the times when you can’t eat. Unfortunately, few of us today are ever in a place where we cannot eat.
Due to this, the fat stores are never used. Over time, more and more storage takes place and the extra pounds soon become evident.
How does limiting Carbs Prevent Weight Gain
When you decide to limit carbs, you’ll avoid the high blood glucose levels that trigger the release of Insulin.
In this way, your body’s storage signal is not switched on. This has two effects:
- You won’t turn into a fat storage machine
- All the food you eat will be available as extra energy
- You won’t feel any of the post carb side effects such as hunger, tiredness or craving
- You’ll remain feeling alert and full for much longer due to more stable blood/glucose levels.
After just a few days of following a low carb way of eating you’ll start to notice that you’re not reaching for the snacks so often. You’ll stay feeling full for much longer, and any temptation to snack will be much more easily dealt with.
You’ll feel more energetic, and the chances are you’ll feel much more keen to leave the sofa and engage in a physical activity.
You’ll not just be feeling more in control, but your mood will be improved too. You’ll feel more steady in mood and energy throughout the day.
Moreover, your health will be improving as avoiding sugars will help you to shift dangerous visceral fat and reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is implicated in the development of multiple diseases.
The Healthy State Of Ketosis
Eating a low carb diet will help you to lose weight and benefit from the many health gains too.
However, some people find that going super low carb helps them to lose weight in the fastest possible way.
The keto diet is an amazing super low carb way of eating that has been proved to give your health a boost and shift extra pounds.
The aim of the keto diet is to get you into Ketosis. Once in Ketosis, your body will switch from burning glucose for energy, to burning fat for your energy needs.
When in full ketosis, you will be literally living off the fat you eat and the fat you have stored. This is one of the fastest ways to lose weight.
If you’d like to improve your health as well as lose weight, the keto diet is worth considering.
You’re not overweight or obese because you’re lazy or lack will power. Nor are you more hungry than most people.
You’ll have been eating high carb foods that have spiked your blood/glucose levels.
This leads to a corresponding spike in Insulin, which is the hormone responsible for triggering fat storage.
Insulin will also cause an equally fast drop in your blood sugar level which will leave you feeling hungry, tired and craving.
Mostly you’ll be craving more of the high carb, grain and sugar heavy foods that caused the problem in the first place.
The key to losing weight is not to limit what you eat, but to be very careful about the type of food you eat.
By limiting your carb intake with a low carb or keto diet, you’ll be eating in a way that works with your hormones.
You’ll stay alert and feel full for much longer because of your stable blood/glucose levels: This will enable you to resist snacks and overeating.
No willpower involved.