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Body weight tends to drift up or down depending on genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors.
Technology brings us many fine things, but it also presents an environment conducive to weight gain and obesity.
This environment reduces the requirement to move and increases the access to cheap calories.
Whether you argue for the law of thermal dynamic (calorie-in, calorie-out) or for energy dysregulation (carbohydrate hypothesis), the current scientific belief is that the two major contributors to overweight are moving less and eating more.
But moving less and eating more seem to be driven by complex variables.
Human evolution dictates that our bodies store excess fat in time of feast to prep for time of famine. Today modern agriculture, technology, and corporate greed extend the time of feast to practically 24/7 and year round. (Famine is now considered a meeting that runs overtime.)
Unlimited production of cheap grains give us palatable food that challenges our eating control, physically and psychologically, and thus disrupting the body’s regulation of energy storage and usage.
Societal forces influence our eating pattern. Environmental cues stimulate excessive eating. Marketing and media blitz establish unfavorable eating patterns.
A lifestyle promoting sleep deprivation also leads to hormonal and appetite impairment. Some scientists claim that environmental chemicals may also promote weight gain.
Finally — the obvious — food composition has changed to include higher amounts of fat, sugar, and salt that not only increase calories but also stimulate the brain’s reward center, the nucleus accumbens, beckoning continued food intake beyond physiologic needs.
The point here is that there are many complex causes for excess weight. If we try to address all of these, we’d just be confused.
The resolution remains simple: chose mostly wholesome foods while not depriving yourself of anything, and find a way to eat less.
I find that intermittent fasting is the easiest way to eat less. For some reason, intermittently closing the flood gate to eating is a lot easier than “going on a diet” constantly.