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By Debbie De Leng © July 17, 2004
There are many factors that cause us to increase body weight, yet three stand out from the rest.
Our genetic make: Every cell in our body has a central control panel, that is a nucleus that contains our genes and chromosomes. This is the instruction manual for your body and this is inherited from your parents. It is this instruction manual that is largely responsible for how your body, and even your mind, behaves.
The environment in which we live: Our personal environment may also contribute or cue you to adopt poor eating or exercise habits. This is especially true in today's society, which is dominated by speed and convenience. For example, escalators, elevators and remote-control appliances make us less physically active. Also, greater availability and the constant marketing of foods that are high in calories, fat and added sugars, and larger portion sizes promote unhealthy eating behaviors.
There may also be personal reasons why you are consuming too many kilojoules from food and drinks, or not being physically active enough. For example, when feeling down or bored you may eat more than you need, or if you are feeling depressed it is more difficult to get active.
Knowing the reason why you may be consuming excess kilojoules or not participating in physical activity, is an important first step in changing your lifestyle habits to help you reach a healthy weight.
Our lifestyle: What we eat and drink and how active we are. This is the gradual gain in weight as a result of eating food and not exercising enough.
The extent to which we can affect our genetic make up and our environment are limited. However, lifestyle is the area in which we can significantly manage and if need be, improve our body weight to ensure we maintain a healthy weight for our height, age and gender. This is why learning a healthy nutritious eating pattern and adopting it for life, that is, lifestyle changes has a significant impact on our ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Gaining and losing weight works according to some a simple biological principle. When you consume more energy in the form of food and drinks that your body uses each day you will gain weight. When you consume less energy in the form of food and drinks that your body requires each day you will lose weight.
Despite what some advertisers would have use believe, weight loss does not occur as a result of any of the following:
§Supplements that will melt the fat while you sleep or while you wash
§Exercises that don’t take any effort and cause no sweat
§Unique food combinations that will allow you to eat what you want and still lose weight
In order to lose weight you will need to know approximately your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Your RMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest in a 24 hour period. When your body gets about 500 less calories than it needs each day as a result of eating less or exercising more, you will lose one pound of weight per week. To illustrate how efficient the human body is in motion, the average female would need to go for a brisk walk for 1.5 to 2.0 hours in order to burn 500 calories.
When you consume 500 calories a day more than your body’s requirements, you will gain approximately one pound a week! To illustrate how easy it is to gain weight, one 7oz bag of corn chips has approximately 1000 calories. If you ate a bag of corn chips every day in addition to three square meals its possible you could gain 2 pounds in a week!
Debbie De Leng is a weight loss coach. To see what you can do to take control of your weight, or for a free consultation, visit her website at: