The Real Reason You’re Obese, and Four Ways to Fix it. #1 Might Surprise You.
You’re obese. You have little to no self-confidence. You need to shed some pounds because you know your long-term health depends on it, but you’re overwhelmed. You’ve tried to go to the gym before, but you hated the treadmill and felt like everyone was staring at you. You may even hate yourself for letting it get to this point.
Stop it. It’s not your fault.
Let me explain.
You’re not obese because you are a lazy glutton. You’re obese because your hormones are jacked up. Leptin is the hormone in your body to blame. Leptin acts like our “fuel gauge”. It’s made in your fat cells and as these cells grow, leptin gets secreted. Leptin’s job description looks like this:
- Go tell brain that body has enough fat so stop eating please (shut off hunger)
- Hey thyroid, we have some extra fat here, can you speed up metabolism to burn this fat tissue off
- Adrenal glands – go help thyroid burn this fat off, we’ve got some excess here
If your body responds appropriately, these functions take place and you burn fat.
Here’s the problem. Anytime a hormone is around in too high amounts, too often, or for too long, your body experiences hormone-resistance. So in the case of an obese person, they may have leptin-resistance. This means their brain isn’t getting the signal being sent from the fat cells to stop eating. The brain thinks you don’t have any fat so rather than telling you to stop eating, it says FEED ME! Your thyroid and adrenal glands aren’t told there’s extra fat that needs to be burned off, so your metabolism slows. Vicious cycle, no?
So, what do we do about it?
Every time you sit down to a meal, you have a new opportunity to reboot your hormones. So one of the most important things an obese person can do is start making smarter food choices. It’s not about eating less, remember leptin isn’t signaling the brain to stop eating, so going low calorie isn’t exactly an option. Your brain says to eat, so you eat! You just make better choices about what to eat. Once you’re able to overcome the hormone-resistance and be in a balanced state, the fat loss will take care of itself.
Here is my 4 step process for losing the fat, once and for all:
#1 – Respect yourself.
Know that you are not a gluttonous person that just loves to overeat. You are the victim of a deeper-seated problem that until you are aware of it, is out of your control. So accept the flaw, build some self-confidence, and attack the future with your head held high. Don’t beat yourself up over where you’re at. Take small, actionable steps to achieve your goal. Have 50, 100 pounds to lose? Focus on losing the first ten. Reward yourself, then lose ten more.
#2 – Make smarter food decisions.
Don’t try to go on a diet. Don’t even plan to eat less, just eat smarter. Eat more ‘volume foods’. These are foods high in fiber + water + protein. These will help you feel fuller, longer and help manage your hunger and cravings. Eat preemptively. On the road? Stuck in meetings all day? Pack nutrient-dense snacks and plan to eat every 2-3 hours. Don’t let yourself get hungry and succumb to your ravenous cravings.
#3 – Get active.
Find a hobby, perhaps. Don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of going to the gym for two hours a day, six days a week. As the Spring is rolling around, plan to take 30-60 minute leisure walks several days a week. Get your spouse, buddy or colleague to join you so there is some accountability.
#4 – Hire a coach.
Too many people think that hiring a trainer or coach is a “last resort”. They think that means they are too weak-willed to do it on their own. Michael Jordan had a coach. So did Muhammed Ali. Were these guys weak-willed? Hiring a coach is an investment in YOURSELF. You cannot put a price tag on having someone who can help you, guide you and be there with you each and every step of the way.
If this is you today, take immediate action. That doesn’t mean you have to hire a trainer. Vow to cook a healthy dinner at home tonight. Or take a 30 minute leisure walk when you get home. No phones, no distractions, just you and your thoughts. Clear your head and start to think about doing all the things you’ve wanted to do in the past but your weight has kept you from doing.
Your fat loss journey starts NOW!
Brian is a Metabolic Effect-Certified Personal Trainer and nutrition enthusiast. He utilizes his background in IT troubleshooting to diagnose and resolve nutrition and fitness concerns for clients. He offers holistic online training packages at his website Fact & Fitness.com. You can also find him on social media at Twitter and Facebook.