This is one of the topics I wanted to tease out as part of The 16 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight. It should be no surprise to anyone that too much food will make you fat. But some people never think about what it takes for their body to burn through the food they eat. As we said before, if you eat more fuel calories) than you burn on a daily basis, you will store fat. With that in mind, there are many reasons we overeat and I have included a broad look at those reasons below:
Fat-regulating hormone resistance – A complex mileu of hormones is involved in regulating the burning of fat, the storage of fat, and the mechanism of satiety in the body. Some of the key players in modification of energy metabolism through fat-derived hormones are leptin, adiponectin and resistin.
Neurochemical imbalances – Alterations in brain chemistry balance (put a link here to Equilibrate) can lead to intense cravings for foods that contain the amino acids used to make the neurochemicals dopamine and serotonin. Exactly how the deficiency or imbalance is communicated to the reward center of our brain is not known, but it is proven through cravings of many kinds.
You are starving – I use the word, “starving” here, but under-nourished is probably more accurate. If you eat foods with little to no nutritional value, your body is not going to have enough nutrients to carry out optimal metabolic function. You will often hear the phrase, “empty calories” and conversely “caloric dense” foods.
Learned Behaviors – These behaviors usually begin in childhood. Kids watch their parents overeat or use food as a reward for good behavior and usally mimic those behaviours. Love can also, and often is communicated through the use of food.
We are physically disconnected – There is a constant flow of information through biochemical interactions between the brain and the body. The brain tells the body to regulate metabolism through complex mechanisms and the body responds by updating status. For example, when the stomach is nearing capacity, it sends a signal to the brain that it is nearly full. This signal, under normal circumstances is accompanied by a feeling of what we interpret as a fullness or satiety. The decision to stop eating should follow but often doesn’t.
Emotional trauma – Traumas in childhood lead to development of compensatory mechanisms you use to deal with those traumas. Many times the mechanisms cause us to seek out abusive relationships, addiction to substances, sex and food, and development of controlling habits.
We are spiritually disconnected – To me, this means that we don’t understand our place in the universe. Napolean Hill has a brilliant illustration of this in his book “Outwitting the Devil.” With theology aside, I think my point will be made without offending too many. In the book, Hill is talking with the devil and demanding that the devil tell him all of tricks used to keep humans from being effective and successful in this life. His response is compelling. The devil states that if he can make humans “drift” through life he will have succeded in capturing their soul. He also states that 98% of humans drift because they refuse to think for themselves ad that we “drift” because we have no defineatness of purpose or intention. We lack intention and we drift along without spiritually connecting. This leads us to constantly make decisions that make us feel good instead of decisions that are morally driven. Most great spiritual teachers would agree that gluttony is a sign of moral and spiritual depravity.