Why Are We Gaining Weight At Record Speed?
Not sure where to start with your weight loss? There are so many diets out there: Atkins, Keto, Whole 30, OMAD (One Meal a Day), Intermittent fasting, Noom, and of course, the good old Vegan or Weight Watchers approach are still available. Yet, despite growing recognition of the problem, the obesity epidemic continues in the U.S., and obesity rates and our waistlines are increasing more than ever since COVD-19 lockdown. And, while we laugh at the “Quarantine 15," it’s more like 20 pounds of weight gain. Twenty-six percent of people gained weight during lockdown, and it's NOW the #1 health threat to adults and children around the world.
Why are we gaining weight at record speed?
For starters, most Americans don’t think they are overweight. Most of us have lost sight of what we should weigh. Many think the suggested weights are for “vanity” and disassociated themselves with how weight is a large predictor of health. Many think that they have low or healthy cholesterol or blood pressure because they are controlled with medications, which isn’t the case. When blood pressure or cholesterol levels are normal, you don't need medications.
Please don't shoot the messenger. I want to help you overcome the health obstacles you face, so you feel better. I've been where you are and I know how frustrating it can be. I used to get so annoyed when my doctor would say these things to me. The difference is I've got a simple solution for you that works!
The only way this is going to change is to first understand what it really means to be overweight.
Most doctors, nutritionists, and endocrinologists either classify people as one of the following, and often they don’t consider body type or how much muscle a person has or doesn’t have, all of which play a role in how much they weigh. You're either classified as underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
These four different weight classifications are determined by your body mass index, referred to as your BMI, which is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight. A simple approach is to see if you can pinch an inch of belly fat. The more you can pinch, the more weight you have to lose and body fat you want to burn off in order to restore health.
You can determine your own BMI by using the CDC's Adult BMI calculator HERE.
There are more reasons for the record rapid weight gain than we can cover in this blog, but to keep it simple, scientific research studies sum It up this: Too little exercise or daily activity/movement and overeating due to stress, boredom, lack of sleep, intense hunger and cravings, that are directly correlated with each.
But some of this isn't your fault, and here's why...
Today’s portions are bigger than ever before in history.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American ate almost 20% more calories in the year 2000 than they did in 1983, thanks, in part, to a boom in meat consumption driven by full-fat Ketogenic diets being popular.
The average meat-eater consumes an average of 195 pounds of meat every year, compared to just 138 pounds in the 1950s. This caused our consumption of saturated fats, in addition to other fats, to shoot up by around two-thirds over the same period.
One would think with keto diets being so popular that Americans would consume less grain, but sadly, that’s not true. Grain consumption has also been on the rise. It's up 45% since 1970. That means we are eating more meat and also more grains too.
Most people assume that if they start eating bacon and other fatty meats that they won't be as hungry. While most people do feel full, sadly, they continue to eat despite of the fullness they feel, largely due to cortisol (stress hormones), which erases any of the full-fat keto diet's so-called benefits.
For the record, I'm not a fan of full-fat keto. I’ve always been a supporter of CLEAN keto, which is a low-low approach. Low fat and low carb, which is the healthiest and only form that is guaranteed to promote lasting, healthy weight loss.
One gram of fat is nine calories, so the more fat you consume, the more calories you’ll consume every day.
It's that simple. Making matters even worse is that most people don’t have a clue as to how many calories they consume. The media has our heads spinning so much we have forgotten basic nutrition of calories in, calories out. Eat less and move more, which works every time.
- 1 gram of Fat = 9 calories
- 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
It's easy to see why keeping your keto clean is so important when you're trying to lose weight. Fat has twice as many calories as protein and carbs combined.
That's why I always suggest a low-low approach. it works every time.
Today's stressed-filled world has had a negative impact on our hunger, causing us to overeat. This directly affects our satiety levels, making many of us feel like we are always hungry and that we no longer have a shutoff switch, which might help stop us from overeating.
These increased cortisol levels lead to overeating and blood sugar levels that remain high, making high A1C the new normal (A1C is caused by chronic high blood sugar levels). Our bodies are becoming insulin and metabolically resistant, which makes it seem impossible to lose weight or stop eating.
Many people who struggle this way attempt to over-exercise or work intensely in the gym, which is why CrossFit has become so popular. However in their attempts, to work off poor dietary choices, they only makes things worse, escalating cortisol levels even further. Hormonal levels become out of balance, and blood sugar levels skyrocket, followed by a crash so low they often overeat to correct them. It's survival 101, yet we have lost sight of how our bodies work.
To add insult to injury, our lives have become so busy that we eat most meals outside our homes, and many Americans grab fast food daily.
The World Health Organization published some research that found a dramatic increase in fast food sales and proved how eating fast food had a direct correlation to a spike in BMI (body mass index).
We as Americans are notorious for our fast food consumption. For most, fast food makes up about 11% of the average American diet. And, what we admit to is almost always off by 10%, according to most endocrinologists, who often say we grossly underestimate our not-so-healthy behaviors and overestimate our good habits. Our waistlines are evidence of this!
While studies used to blame soda due to it being loaded with sugar, most Americans never think about the fresh juices, juicing, yogurts, energy drinks, and gourmet coffee they consume daily because they are sold as “healthy.” Many believe because they come from nice establishments and are costly, they must be good for them. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
Even some vitamins we are now consuming (such as gummies) often contain more sugar than candy. Yet, this sugar consumption goes unaddressed due to it coming from a seemingly healthy nutritional supplement. Not only that, but these gummies do not contain enough active ingredients required to protect our at-risk health or nourish our stressed bodies.
Need evidence of all of this? Compare our waistlines to that of the '70s, and you’ll quickly see how our bodies have morphed, and not for the better. Studies confirm that it's not only how much we eat, but what kind of food we are eating.
We confuse the words “diet” and “nutrition”
The role of diet here in the US is serious, but thanks to social media and media outlets, gyms, and trainers without solid education behind them, this has become a complex issue. I blame all of the above for lack of weight loss because people don’t know what to believe anymore. Out of fear, they freeze and do nothing instead of trying small steps to make healthier choices each day.
And most never had a weight problem, so they don't really relate to our intense hunger and cravings, making it really hard to stay on plan or the shame and guilt that goes with it. At least it did for me, adding a whole other layer to deal with before I could be successful at losing weight, which also energized me and reduced autoimmune issues enough so I could begin to exercise daily.
Most meals eaten away from home are four-times the calories we should consume. This is especially true when it comes to drive-through meals. Another caveat is that the cheaper the food, the higher the calories, fat, sugar, salt, and carbs, which is the perfect storm for weight gain and the best way to STOP weight loss.
Then there is the not-so-obvious reasons stopping us from losing weight
We Americans spend over $20 billion annually on weight loss schemes. From diet books and pills, potions, collagen powders, all the way up to last resort surgeries like lap-bands and liposuction. Most of which do not work, and we end up more overweight than ever, frustrated, and broke. It’s no wonder we're looking for miracle cures and buy into quick fixes.
Many of us are spending more time at or on work and less time moving our bodies or planning our meals, which would ensure we got enough of the healthy foods we need to remain healthy and prevent weight gain.
We revolve our health and eating habits around our work schedule versus the other way around, and that’s what’s leading our nation into the unhealthiest zone of all time.
If we turn these things around, we won’t need to take as much time going to the doctors when things go wrong, saving us lots of time that we can spend outside walking or relaxing in a way to reduce our stress levels. Exercise, recover, sleep better, eat better, be healthier, and much happier!
Our relationship with food and how we exercise has become a black and white, on-again-off-again relationship, with moderation out the window. It's a schizophrenic relationship with food. New eating and exercise disorders are on the rise. All of which show up in our waistlines, while the U.S. diet industry and big pharma grows larger and larger every day.
Why sitting is the new smoking
Inactivity is now the new normal. Technology advances such as cell phones, allowing us to answer phone calls without getting up out of our seats. Garage door openers that open the door for us, again allowing us to sit versus move. TV clickers that change channels with the push of a button versus having to get up every time we want to change the channel. Everything from can openers to mixers have caused our activity levels to decreased over the years, despite the money being spent on gym memberships and trainers. It's easy to see how lack of exercise is a large part of our obesity epidemic.
Years ago, Americans worked in fields and had more manual labor jobs. These have now been replaced with computers along with drive-thru windows, allowing us to sit more than we ever have in history. That's why they call sitting the new smoking. Sitting is killing almost as many Americans as smoking did!
According to one study, only 20% of today's jobs require at least moderate physical activity, as opposed to 50% of the jobs in 1960. Other research suggests Americans burn 120 to 140 fewer calories a day than they did 50 years ago. When you combine that with increased calorie consumption, it's easy to see why we are gaining so much weight.
A number of other factors also play a role in the obesity epidemic, such as poor sleep and stress, all leading to hormonal imbalances that make it harder to lose weight while driving hunger and appetite. All of these factors indicate how our health care system is failing us.
In reality, the problem is simple when you understand how your metabolism works. Accept the speed of your metabolism, and focus more on the foods that influence weight loss/boost metabolism and eat less of the not-so-clean foods that slow metabolic function and inhibit thyroid function. This is what I refer to as “eating right for your metabolic type.”
The next time you start feeling overwhelmed or don't know where to start when it comes to your weight loss, stop thinking about the future entirely and focus on taking the first step. Just keep taking baby steps until you reach your weight loss or health goal.
I'm not saying you shouldn’t ever look ahead at your future; we need to in order to set goals. But you don’t need to worry or let fear STOP you from taking any steps at all. Simply start by placing one foot in front of the other. Scan your environment or the immediate moment and take the next step toward where it is you want to go.
If you're not sure where to start, I suggest starting with the Metabolic Boosting Weight Loss System. It’s the best, most effective, and easiest way to lose weight because it provides you with the tools you need. All you have to do is plan out your dinners using the Metabolic Boosting Meal Plan provided, and get your 10,000 steps in every day. You'll be well on your way to reaching your goals!
If you feel like quitting, remember why you started in the first place. Quitting on yourself won't make it quicker, so if you fall, just get right back up at your next meal. That’s it! Simple baby steps, one-step-at-a-time, one-day-at-a-time and you're guaranteed to lose weight!
I’m an email away if you need help!
YOU CAN DO THIS!
- Lisa Lynn