While it might sound simple on the surface (eat less, exercise more), in real life the struggle to lose weight is much more complicated – not to mention difficult. Now, experts have revealed some common struggles people face when trying to lose weight and offer up some unique ways to overcome them, reported U.S. News & World Report.
"For many of us, everything from our biology and our environments to our emotions make weight loss an uphill battle against both nature and nurture," wrote wellness contributor K. Aleisha Fetters. "Most of us realize that, one way or another, our genes show up in our jeans."Although some people are born with "skinny" genes, many others come into the world with a genetic predisposition to being somewhat overweight or obese, which makes it very difficult to lose weight. A 2007 study helped researchers identify a common obesity-related gene variant that can raise a person's predisposition to being severely overweight by as much as 20 to 30 percent. In addition, the emerging field of epigenetics is shedding new light on how (and what) factors actually modify the way genes are expressed, including the ability of obesity-related genes to affect a person's health and ability to lose weight over the course of a lifetime. According to Men's Journal, another factor that makes it difficult for people trying to lose weight is that doctors often don't have the time – or sometimes the inclination – to provide adequate advice. In fact, a study published in the journal Obesity showed many doctors even display less empathy when talking to patients who are overweight or obese.
"Doctors should be talking to their patients about weight loss, because they're well versed on why slimming down matters," wrote A.C. Shilton for Men's Journal.
Whether you want to reduce the risk of cancer and stroke, need to reduce your blood pressure, or simply want to feel better about your body, the ability to lose weight is a win-win for those who are obese or even moderately overweight. In reality, the long-term effects of adopting a healthier lifestyle are numerous, including increased longevity and energy.Much of modern society seems geared toward getting us to consume more calories than we burn every day, which leads to weight gain and ultimately obesity. In part, it's a combination of technology and the hectic pace of modern life, but it's also the overwhelming availability of convenience foods, most of which are extremely bad for you and will lead to an expanding waistline, thwarting even the most genuine efforts to lose weight.
"Unfortunately, many of these detrimental foods advertise themselves as healthy, making any attempts to maintain a healthy weight that much more difficult," wrote U.S. News & World Report.
Finally, regardless of whether you were born with a so-called "skinny gene" or "obesity gene," your body does not want you to lose weight. While it might not seem fair, your body will respond to your efforts to lose weight by dramatic changes in hormone levels and soaring hunger, not to mention a grouchy attitude and resulting preoccupation with food.
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To combat all this, Brunilda Nazario, M.D., obesity specialist and associate medical director for WebMD, told Men's Journal that it is important to remember that not all calories are created equal. Sure, you have to eat less than you burn, but Nazario points out that a high protein diet is thermogenic, which means your body actually has to work harder to break it down, which burns extra calories.
"The bottom line here is that weight loss can be complicated, which is why it's best to seek out a diet plan. If your MD isn't up for helping you with a comprehensive plan, ask to be referred to a registered dietician."[Photo by VGstockstudio / Shutterstock]