If you think about losing weight, or rather losing body fat, you soon come to a striking conclusion. Millions of people worldwide would like to lose some pounds, but at the same time the percentage of people who are overweight or obese is increasing every year. In the table below you can see that in the 80 years around 1 / 3e of the people were overweight. More than 30 years later in 2015, that number has risen to half the population! As a result, the question soon arises: why is losing weight so difficult? In this article we try to give you an answer with 6 reasons that make losing weight so difficult that you will hopefully discover where the biggest pitfall lies for you if you recognize yourself in this story.
Table of volksgs Gezondheidenzorg.info
1. A consequence of the evolution
To begin with, we go back in time, around 60 million years to be exact, when the first human being as we know it today was born. To put it mildly, we state that the living conditions at that time were different than now. There was no supermarket around the corner where you could go and get food, no restaurants to provide you with dinner and no gym where you could go to improve your health and appearance. In fact, these are all details, people did not even have clothing or a house to protect themselves against everything that mother nature was throwing!
What does this have to do with losing weight, you ask yourself? Well, a lot ...
The development towards humans like today has lasted tens of millions of years. For example, agriculture only came about 12.000 years ago, with the population staying in one place to grow crops. That means that those little 60 million years before, they didn't have one place where food could be found, they had to work hard for that. Animals were hunted, edible fruits were searched for. Once food was available, it was also used extensively, because you did not know when the next time there would be food available again. If there was food then the body reserves were replenished to increase the chance of survival in periods when no food was available and in periods of cold. Body reserves that we know today as fat mass, something that we would rather lose with all the luxury of today than we are rich.
Having enough fat is therefore evolutionally pre-programmed to protect you against famine and cold!
Your body does not want to give up its precious fat tissue because it is the most valuable tissue to survive. Now you may think: "That was so long ago, as if the body still works that way ?!" In itself a logical thought, but compared to the tens of millions of years that preceded it, we only live quite briefly in the way we do today. Just think how many people these days have an allergy to certain foods. Let that usually be the foods that we could not eat for modern cooking techniques ...
So the difficulty of losing weight has a historical reason, but that shouldn't be an excuse why you can't do it. There are also many other reasons why losing weight remains a difficult task ...
2. The enjoyment of life
In the 40 years of the last century, Abraham Maslow listed what people think is important in life. Physical needs such as food, clothing and reproduction are paramount. Shortly thereafter follows the need for safety and security. Where this 2 was sometimes uncertain in the past, nowadays these are both aspects that most people have covered well. Shortly thereafter follows the need for social contact: friendships, love, relationships and the accompanying cosiness.
It is precisely that conviviality that makes it enormously difficult for people to lose weight. Coziness is soon 1 on 1 connected with good food. Eating out with your loved one, having a drink with your colleagues on Friday afternoon or with friends on the couch with a table full of snacks and snacks. Coziness and tasty (often unhealthy) food are inextricably linked for many people and that can be a major problem without the right balance.
Because good food is so intertwined with creating a feeling of cosiness, it is difficult for most to let go. Add a beer, add a cheese board, a bag of chips on the couch, all examples of what is often regarded as 'cozy food'. However, the most important question here is: what makes you happier? Every time you are with a drink, or find the balance and feel happy in the body in which you live at the same time?
It is important to realize that certain foods do not necessarily make an occasion enjoyable or uncomfortable. However, this is again something that is closely related to social pressure, something that we will talk about later.
3. The enjoyment of taste
Enjoying food and hunger are done in a special way, namely taste-specific. Do you know that feeling that with an all-you-can-eat you have eaten everything from the menu so that you are chock-full, but still feel like a dessert? That is a result of taste-specific hunger. Flavors can be divided into sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Only when your body is satisfied with all these flavors, would your hunger be satisfied for the full 100%. It needs no further explanation that once you have done this, you have already eaten too much.
The freedom that we have in all our food choices nowadays does not make losing weight particularly easy, especially when you have a table full of varied snacks in front of you.
Coziness often goes together with countless kinds of snacks with countless different tastes. Because your hunger is only satisfied once you have been satisfied with all these tastes, this makes losing weight a difficult task.
4. The fear of saying "no"
Closely related to the social aspect of this, comes the fear of saying "no." Refusing an offer is quickly considered rude and for that reason people are more likely to go to a dinner party than they would like, even if they would rather make it a day off. Of course, it is not true that you should always say "no", since that is directly at the expense of your quality and pleasure of life. Finding the balance between these 2 extremes would offer the best of both worlds.
However, the obstacle here is the urge for consistency. People like to stay with their own personality and do not like to cause unexpected situations with loved ones. If you have always said yes to a drink or dinner in the past, it is difficult now to deviate from that pattern by suddenly saying that you are losing weight and prefer not to eat out.
The above 2 examples are a case of social pressure. People like to be consistent and do not want to disappoint another, making choices that you might not want to make immediately.
In the case of social pressure, it is important to let your environment know what your plans are, that you want to lose fat in order to become healthier and fitter. Only then will your environment be aware and can they support you, instead of their ignorance causing you to get stuck in your current pattern.
5. Convenience abounds
The next point that sometimes makes losing weight difficult is the fact that convenience food is abundant and this is constantly increasing. Since the founding of the first McDonalds in 1940, the number of fast food chains has grown exponentially, making unhealthy food closer than ever before. It's getting easier and faster to get food into your home with just a few presses on your smartphone. Half an hour later there is a delivery person with a pizza at the door, a time span in which you can barely cook yourself with hardly any difference in costs.
This convenience can be a danger, but it is often also a matter of priority. "I don't have time to cook," the reason is given. However, be aware that every choice you make is a matter of priority. If you really want to live a healthier life and want to take a step in the right direction, then everyone can make the necessary time for this. By the way, healthy eating doesn't even have to take a lot of time! Ready-made meals are, for example, a perfect alternative!
6. Fear and uncertainty
Finally, we have the last aspect that makes losing weight so difficult: fear and uncertainty.
If you knew exactly what to do to lose weight, it wouldn't be that hard. That means that you are groping in the unknown and not sure what you should do exactly. With the internet, all the information in the world is available within a few minutes, but that does not mean that you immediately know how to apply it to yourself and how you generate the motivation and discipline to actually implement it.
Because people are groping in the unknown and do not know what exactly needs to happen, a form of uncertainty arises. You have found a diet online, but is this really a good diet? Does this suit your body? Does this suit your daily activity? And what if you go to a party once, what do you do? This uncertainty often gives rise to reasons not to do it. Not because you do not want to lose weight, but because you have no idea what you are actually doing.
You are not the same as your neighbor
The problem with this is that the diagrams that you find on the internet are not tailored to your situation. Logically enough, someone who simply wants to lose a few pounds but still wants a good social life needs a completely different approach than someone who wants to get ready for a competition or photo shoot. This is not taken into account for ready-made schemes. These schemes are often overly strict and monotonous, which means that everyone can make some progress with it. But what is this progression worth to you if you have to drop your entire social life for it and make a relapse once you have had enough of the diet? Right, nothing at all. You have followed a hellish diet for a few weeks or even months and at the end of the ride you are happy that you can eat 'normally' again.
What is missing here is not direct progress, but rather long-term progression. A good nutrition plan is tailored to your body and your preferences, so that you develop a diet that is not only healthy, but that you enjoy following, so that you can benefit from it for the rest of your life!
The internet therefore offers you infinite information, but that does not help you find the right approach for your situation so that you become motivated and satisfied, instead of uncertain and almost depressed ...
Overcome your own pitfalls!
They were, the 6 reasons that make losing weight so incredibly difficult for many people. Realizing these reasons will not immediately make it easier, but hopefully you now know where many of your personal pitfalls lie.
Written by Mathias Jansen