Despite what we’ve all been led to believe at some point, losing weight is not as simple as “eating less and exercising more”. This is a mindset that affects so many in their weight loss journey, and over the years I have met many people who have cycled through the emotional roller coaster ride of “yo-yo dieting”. Going through this experience leaves most people with the misconception that they are weak, or “have no willpower”. This is simply not true. I saw the need to write this article to stop the unnecessary pain people experience from beating themselves over repeated attempts at weight loss. I hope to give a brief glimpse into the three main causes of weight gain that make the “battle of the bulge” just that, a battle.

First, let’s have a look at the terms “obese” and “overweight”. Obesity is the medical term for a person having a Body Mass Index (BMI= kg/m2; a screening tool that compares weight with height) of 30 or more. Overweight is defined as a BMI between 25 to 29. For example; a person (man or a woman) who is 5’ 10” and weighs 210 lbs or more, would be considered “obese”. If this person weighed 175 lbs, he or she would be considered “overweight”. Though, like every rule, there are some exceptions to this, such as people who have a lot of muscle or are an older adult.

Most people, and even some health care professionals, believe that losing weight is simply a matter of eating less and exercising more. The truth is, losing weight and keeping it off is far more complex than that. Let’s have a quick look at the three main causes of weight gain; your genetics and biology, your environment, and your behaviours – keeping in mind that eating and exercising are behaviours.

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