Weight gain is an increase in body weight which normally occurs as a result of increase in muscle mass, excess fluids or fat deposits. Today, weight gain is greatly frowned upon in most countries and that explains why over 45 million Americans go on diet each year but the question is, is dieting the solution for all people? people jump into weight loss programs without first understanding how the weight is gained (in order to know how to loose it) and that explains why 97% of these dieters regain the weight they loose within some three years. In order to loose weight and keep it that way, you need to understand how it is gained so that you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes. First off, you need to understand your metabolism.
Metabolism: simply put, metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into the energy that you use. During this process (which is complex), the calories in what you have eaten or drank are combined with oxygen to release energy. Now, the number of calories your body uses to carry out basic functions is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is determined by factors such as:
- Body size and composition: the bodies of people with larger muscles usually burn more calories during activities and at rest.
- Age: old age comes with decreased muscle and fat accounts for a greater part of your weight which in turn slows down calorie burning. In addition, menopause can also affect weight gain.
- Gender: its an obvious fact that men usually have more muscle than women of the same age and weight. This enables men burn more calories. Plus, women are generally more emotional and are thus more prone to emotional eating.
Normally, the energy you need for your body’s basic functions are not so easily changed and are fairly consistent. An individual’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) accounts for about 70% of the calories the person burns every day. In addition to your BMR, there are two other factors which also determine the amount of calories you burn per day:
- Thermogenesis (food processing): this involves the digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing of the food consumed. Your body requires energy for these processes and therefore accounts for 100-800 of the calories you use each day. Your body’s requirement for thermogenesis stays relatively steady and is not changed easily.
- Physical activity: the physical activities and exercise you engage in (like running, sweeping, walking and the likes) accounts for the rest of the calories you burn each day and is still the most variable of the factors that determine the amount of calories you burn each day.
More factors on weight gain
Even though I have just explained how your BMR is related to weight gain, it is important to know that weight gain is complicated and can be determined by other factors such as:
- Insomnia/sleep problems: if you don’t sleep well and are not well rested, your body undergoes physiological stress which makes it store more fat. Lack of rest eventually leads to fatigue and hinders physical activity.
- Medication and Health problems: certain health problems also cause weight gain just as some prescription medication do come with weight gain as a side effect especially with contraceptive pills.
- Stress: being stressed can lead to emotional eating. It is thus important to find ways to cope with stress when you are trying to shed weight.
some other factors that can also affect weight gain include your genetic make up, diet composition, hormonal controls and the effect or impact of the environment on your lifestyle.
If you are the observant type or if you have been researching on weight gain or weight loss, then you will know that it is true that some people are able to shed weight faster and more easily than others but the simple truth is that everybody will loose weight if they burn up more calories than they eat. This implies that to loose weight, you either have to eat fewer calories or burn more calories through physical activity.
How to burn more calories
To burn more calories, you can go full time with any of the options below or combine according to your body type:
Increase daily activities: try and engage in daily activities like washing, walking, sweeping, gardening, taking the stairs, house work. These are simple ways to burn calories which also lead to weight loss. Just try to engage in extra movements, walk and move around more than the day before.
Regular aerobic exercise: Aerobics is a form of exercise that is designed to enhance a person’s cardiovascular fitness. Till date, aerobic exercise remains one of the most effective ways to burn calories and loose weight. The beauty about it is that you can do aerobics in the comfort of your own home without paying huge sums for a gym. You can start with a 10 minute to 30 minute aerobic work out daily depending on how intense the work out routine is. Just remember that the more activity you do, the more weight you loose.
Strength training and gyming: Going to the gym regularly for exercises such as running, skipping, muscle building, can help you loose quite a lot of weight if you are persistent with it. You should go to the gym at least three times in a week or more depending on your trainer and body type. In addition, strength training exercises like weight lifting are greatly beneficial as they help counteract muscle loss associated with aging. More also, muscle tissues burn more calories than fat tissues; therefore muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss.
When choosing a weight loss program, the key thing is to remember that there is no magic formula anywhere. There is no easy way to loose weight and if you must use dietary supplement, be sure it is from a trusted company where the risks and effects are explained fully. In addition, your health care provider can help you explore interventions that can help you loose weight which will best suited to your body type.