Why do some people gain weight easily while others don’t?

Ever since I was a child, I had been overweight and soon that turned into obesity, in my growing years. There was a lot going on in my body which went undetected for years: insulin resistance, hormonal changes (even before puberty many of us can have these hormonal changes, regardless of our gender).

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I’ve never been ridiculed or made fun of for being “fat” however, my family and I have been given a lot of slack and unsolicited advice regarding how can I lose weight. When I grew up, until pretty recent years, I was given many diet plans, recipes, suggestions to stop eating, to stop overeating (when I would see the same folks, eat crazily). I was even asked by a non-practicing dentist to get bariatric surgery done! Phew! I’ve been yo-yoing around with my food since childhood for no fault of mine, back then. Having been there myself, I’ve made it my life’s work to help others, who struggle to make effective food choices, which suit an individual’s unique body.

Today, my IGTV talks exactly about why some people gain weight easily while others don’t. Don’t miss out on the research I’ve quoted. There have been two significant studies done by Dr. Horowitz, specialist in Kinesiology at University of Michigan and Dr. Farooqi , from Institute of Metabolic Science at University of Cambridge.

For decades we have been assuming a lot of notions about becoming fat or obese. Here are some truths that bust the myths around obesity or being overweight or gaining weight easily:

  1. Losing excess body fat is not just about consumption of excess calories and expenditure of those calories. Some body types higher levels of Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (N.E.A.T.) which allows them to store or convert calories the same way.
  2. A fat or obese person may not necessarily be an over-consumer of calories: Often many hormones such as Growth Hormone or somatotropin; Leptin, which is the starvation alert hormone; Ghrelin, which is the hunger stimulation hormone, which often triggers insulin and thyroid response in the body, along with cortisol, which is the stress hormone, all of which impacts the body’s active metabolism and nutrient absorption. Some of the obese folks are not the ones who eat 12 burgers in a meal, or 7 extra large  cheesey slices of pizza in one go as advertised by sooo many television shows (nonetheless, these cases also exist but this kind of obesity is often induced from a disorder).
  3. Not every person accumulates fat the same way there is high visceral fat or subcutaneous fat that accumulates for any individual. The former may even be present in higher amounts for an “thin” or “lean” person. However, it doesn’t show its troubles instantaneously however, can have serious medical conditions, which is linked to heart diseases or arterial blockages. Accumulation of body fat isn’t the same for everyone. In some cases, excess body fat doesn’t reveal itself on the outside. It only gets stored around internal organs, which is more dangerous than for those storing it under their skin as subcutaneous/jiggly fat.
  4. Not everyone’s food and activity environment allows them to look and feel the same way. Primarily because some people are known to have “Thrifty Genes” which stores more energy reserves in the body for consumption in case the body starves. A normal paleolithic response to energy storage and consumption by the body. While little subcutaneous fat is alright, excess of it can hamper your daily body function.
  5. Genes do play a role (But all the more reasons to eat right): Genetic predisposition was the NUMBER 1 factor for 15% of the population that remained lean and thin, despite what they ate, in Dr. Farooqi’s study. Even though the Environment remained unchanged for both groups of people, one continued to gain weight with same junk food while others did not.

Your body type, your biochemistry, your hormones, your genetic make, your environment plays a big role. Having said that, most of us today have a similar environment that we live in. We all have access to high calorie foods, while some can get away with eating smaller or medium amounts of these foods, for the day, others see an increase in weight the very next morning.

It goes beyond bloating and goes beyond, just water retention.

Many of us work longer hours and perhaps lead a sedentary lifestyle, which for some, has led to accumulation of excess bodyfat and for some, even obesity.

Subcutaneous fat can be harmless in moderate amounts (such as a range of 20-22% bodyfat range as per one’s body structure). Subcutaneous fat in some cases can even help fight diseases, while visceral fat can be fatal (higher levels of visceral fat for even a thin or lean person may be indicative of higher cholesterol (increased LDL i.e. Low Density Lipoproteins, or even triglycerides) which can take one straight to the hospital.

So now, it is important to get some tests done, to check your vitals, if you have visceral fat, or subcutaneous fat, cholesterol, blood sugar function and optimal hormone function in the body.

I’ve hear this sooo often: “PRIYANKAA, I can’t even eat what others are having.” I want to tell you that NO ONE… trust me…. No one… CAN TRULY GET AWAY FROM EATING JUNK. It either impacts bodily functions, organ function, skeletal function, skin conditions or the reproductive system and brain function.

No matter which side of the spectrum you are my friend, you don’t have the license to ridicule another person or disrespect your OWN body (by not feeding it right or comparing yourself to another person).

Here are some things to check to help your body perform optimally: 

  • Avoid, fried foods, high fatty foods or high sugar foods, which can cause a hormonal imbalance.
  • Do be careful about our caloric needs along with nutritional needs just as anyone else and the rest will be TAKEN CARE OF.
  • Ensure that you’re consuming, more natural foods containing peptides, such as variety of beans and legumes, soybean products, flaxseeds, oats, which promote bioactive peptides in the body to stimulate your GROWTH HORMONE, which helps you regulate your body’s thermogenic response.
  • Ensure that you slowly but surely… Change your HABITS around food, keep a diary to regulate your food consumption and I Don’t just mean calories, but watching for adding more nutrient dense foods, avoid high starch and high refined sugar foods which can hamper hormones like Leptin and Ghrelin in the body.
  • Have a timely balance of food such as 4-5 meals in the day, 3 large main meals and 2 small snacks to ensure your body is satiated and get multiple nutrients.

Most importantly remember, this is YOUR BODY to respect it, first. Don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable in your own body. Own it. Make things work for you.

And now tell me, what would ACTION TODAYYYY to ensure you start eating right.

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