There are numerous studies, reports, and gossip about the whole concept of weight gain and its relation to genetics, the environment, inflammation, and nutrition. Certainly, these all carry merit but in order to understand these mechanisms we must start simple.
What causes weight gain exactly? Poor sleep? Stress? Sedentary living? Calories.
Now, the formula for weight gain is a simple one, more calories in and less calories out. Think of your body like a car. When you fill it up with gasoline, it needs to get moving to push the car forward, keep the engine health, and lubricate all the different mechanisms inside. Of course we get tired, we are human but remember the old saying ‘Use it or Lose it’, same thing.
An increased caloric intake causes you to be continually hungry. As you gain more fat mass then your leptin levels increase causing weight gain. This eventually causes you to increase your fat stores causing your body to be stress and inflamed which leads you to a state called ‘Leptin Resistance’. Your brain starts to have disrupted signals and since it has an abundance of fat your body is confused causing your hormones to be out of balance. This chaotic confusion ends up causing your brain to think you have low leptin levels and so you continue to have food cravings and continue to overeat, it is a vicious cycle. It takes 3500 calories to make 1 pound of fat
It is not so much the quantity of food you eat but the quality of it. Ever wonder how one of your friends could eat a burger and still maintain that physique? Science is now showing our stomach and the bacteria we have inside of us dictate how many calories a food really is. ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. An athlete leading an active and healthy lifestyle will process a 700 calorie burger as 350 calories and will actually absorb the proteins, fats, and carbs more efficiently than an inactive person.
Quality always beats Quantity, but do not be overwhelmed. Even if you are in the worst shape of your life or have a poor body image, remember great things have small beginnings. Celebrate your small victories, if you cant do the small things right then you will never be able to accomplish the big ones.