What Drives Obesity

Know the Whys to make better decisions.

Gaining fat is really simple: your energy intake is greater than your energy expenditure. You just eat too damn much! Gaining so much fat, that you are actually classified as overweight or even obese, however is a task that takes a lot of consistency and time (and avoiding to look into the mirror). As many drastic changes, this doesn’t happen overnight. But why do you do this to your body?

We are bombarded by ads every day: the American Marketing Association has estimated that we see up to 10000 brand messages every single day. You know, who really likes marketing? The food industry! No wonder that so many of us reach out to junk food when their monkey mind screams for instant gratification.

In case you ever wondered why all that junk food tastes so good: yes, there are actually scientists, who do research on this! For example research has been done to determine the right amount of crunch on a potato chip to optimally trigger the pleasure center of your brain. So it’s not a surprise that your chips taste so good that you want to eat the whole bag in one sitting, they are actually designed to be hyper-palatable.

Food is a cornerstone of our culture and that is a good thing. Except when your parents expect you to eat that Schnitzel. And to take two slices of cake. And to drink wine with it. They made that food with love and if you refuse it, they will think that you refuse their love. Altough a dinner with your parents won’t ruin your beach body, things will add up. Going out with friends? Having a working lunch? Going to the cinema? There is always an opportunity to overeat just around the corner.

Taking those factors into account, it is not surprising that 70% of adult Americans are overweight or obese. Europe is close second with about 60%. This is a huge market for the fitness industry, and therefore countless diets fight for your attention: Snake Diet, low-carb, DASH, The Raw Food Diet, The Carnivore Diet, Keto, coffee cleanses and many others, that I don’t even know (and I also don’t want to know).

What all those diets have in common is one thing: they try to get you to eat fewer calories. It’s just that simple! And it works too! At least in the beginning … Everybody can force himself through a 30 day sugar detox, but what happens after this? Most go back to their “normal” eating patterns after they finished their diet. So they just continue to eat what got them fat in the beginning, starting the yoyo-dieting again.

The solution to this vicious circle? You have to make lifestyle changes. Forget about the “on/off diet” mindset! Make sure you monitor your energy intake and match it with your energy expenditure and your current goals. Don’t obsess over the small things and stay consistent!

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