2. You Don’t Exercise
Exercise is only one component of weight loss, but it is an essential one. Exercise not only burns calories to help eliminate excess weight, it also provides a release of chemical receptors in the brain known as “endorphins”. Endorphins are “feel good” chemicals which help to alleviate stress and provide a general sense of well-being. This decrease in stress and increase in overall mood can also combat issues like depression and anxiety, which can both be triggers of things like “stress eating” and exacerbate the aforementioned inner monologue that tells many overweight individuals that they are a “hopeless case” and should give up.
According to the CDC, regular exercise not only helps individuals lose weight and maintain healthy weight, it decreases the risks of developing myriad of diseases, such as: hypertension; type 2 diabetes; cardiovascular disease; stroke, and several different forms of cancer to name a few.
Conversely, a lack of exercise can catalyze these risks and can also influence weight gain by decreasing the amount of calories burned through activity.
1. You Eat Too Much
It may seem obvious, but overeating and failure to track calories are the perfect recipe (no pun intended) for weight gain and obesity. Moreover, many people in America are completely oblivious to the amount of calories they consume due obscenely large portions being served at restaurants as well as the increase in food processing.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH), a key factor in the increase of obesity amongst adults and children is the fact that American portion sizes have actually tripled over the last 20 years.
Appropriate portions sizes and “portion distortion” are discussed and strategies to achieving a healthy balance and not over-consuming calories are outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Choose My Plate initiative.
For quick reference, when consuming entree items such as meats, pasta and other products, keep in mind that a “portion” usually measures to about the size of a closed fist or a deck of cards. Be extra conscious of this when going out to eat, where muffins are similar in size to bean bag chairs and steaks battle for vacancy across a plate with diameters parallel to that of a garbage lid.