Why We Gain WeightPosted: January 17, 2012 in Obesity Medicine by Rob Ziltzer MD. FACP
A study at University of Texas showed that women tend not to notice weight gain of up to 8.8 pounds. This study supports a major reason why we as individuals as well as a society in general become obese.
One reason is that weight gain is insidious. You don’t know you have gained weight until it is too late. It may take 20 pounds of weight gain for you to know you have overeaten. In some cases, you may not notice it until you try on clothes for the next season.
Ever have this scenario? Your winter clothes were a bit tight. But when you put on your summer clothes: BAM! You can’t zipper your pants. Nothing fits at all. You didn’t gain weight overnight. Small incremental weight gain got you there.
Want a cure for obesity? If our bodies were more like cars, we would all be thin. Ever seen an overweight car? Probably not. If you overfeed your car with gas, the attendant will be screaming at you for spilling gas on the road. Cars have a fixed size gas tank. If we had an immediate consequence of overeating, we would get immediate feedback that we have done something wrong. Imagine if we gained 30 pounds after one day of overeating. You can bet it would never happen again.
Unfortunately, we have no immediate feedback. The pounds build up a few ounces at a time, slowly and steadily. Only when we have to buy a new wardrobe are we presented with the consequences, later with elastic waistbands, sooner with form fitting clothes.
What can you do to prevent weight gain when feedback is lacking?
- Weigh yourself daily, writing it down if possible.
- Wear form fitting clothes, avoiding spandex.
- Never buy the next size. Make the ones you have fit. When your clothes no longer fit, begin a weight loss plan.
- Stay active. Exercise is the best way to prevent weight gain.