Obesity - The real cause

16 Oct 2018 12:48 PMLicensee Person Obesity - The real cause

The Real Cause of Obesity

AN on going battle amongst Australias in obesity and being overweight - 63% of Australians were listed as overweight or obese in recent reports; in that 1 in 4 children and teenagers were also overweight. Weight loss is a journey and it isn’t a quick fix journey, but it doesnt have to be hard either. If you want to keep the weight off and change your set point (rebound wieght) then read on. 

Factors that contribute to obesity

· Sedentary Lifestyle

· Insufficient exercise

· Hedonic eating

· Inadequate protein

· Lack of sleep

· Stressful Lifestyle

· Microbiome imbalance (gut health)

· Obesogens/toxicity

Substantial weight loss is possible with a range of treatment modalities, but long term maintenance is much more challenging, and weight gain is typical. Stats show that in five years 80% of lost weight is regained. So how do we change this?

Even a modest loss of weight can have a huge impact on health. 10% reduction leads to 21% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Women who gain 10kg post menopausal have a increase risk of breast cancer compared to those that don’t. Simply putting weight gain down to failure of will power doesn’t accurately represent the complex nature of weight balance. 

Set Point

The concept of set point body weight explains the complex neuroendocrine pathways, including hunger and satiety hormones and changes in energy expenditure. There is growing evidence that obesity is a disorder of energy homeostasis, the more obese you are the higher the set point (where your rebound weight will  ultimately end up). When you lose weight your body fights to maintain this higher set point by increasing hunger and reducing energy expenditure, in response to higher energy demands or reduced food intake (dieting and exercise).

So how do you lower your set point? By regulating central weight control, therefore changing your set point. This will reduce cravings and greater weight losses as you are more comfortable maintaining a caloric deficient diet without the body fighting to put on its previous weight.

Principals to lower set point

· Low to moderate diet palatability – Hyperpalatable food includes foods that are high fat combined with processes carbs, salts and additives (food that we crave and tastes good), when too much is consumed this is called hedonic eating. This creates a surge in dopamine within the brain, like a reward behaviour enhancing food addiction. Whole foods are moderate palatble and incorporate protein and fibre and reduce the overstimulation of the reward centre in the brain.

· Adequate protein – A diet rich in protein has been shown to increase satiety, hence reducing calorie intake and increasing thermogenesis.

· Fat OR carbohydrate restriction – There has been an ongoing debate for years which is best fat or carb restriction, news flash – they both work so choose which is right for you. Both require adequate amounts of protein, there are vegetarian options.

· Diet breaks – Structured diet breaks prevent the adaptive set point response. Whilst achieving greater weight loss.

· Adequate sleep – Poor sleep quality and/or quantity disrupts weight regulation by reducing insulin sensitivity, increasing appetite, eroding willpower, decreasing metabolic weight, decreasing desire to exercise. Basically, when you are too tired, you just couldn’t be bothered.

· Exercise and stand up time – By improving incidental exercise and moderate to high intensity has a positive impact of fat mass.

· Microbiome – Healthy gut microbiota can positively influence glycaemic control, satiety hormones and energy storage. Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (B-420) is used in weight regulation and microbiome restoration.

Part two on what foods to eat and what not to eat and steps to make your decision to lose weight seem not so daunting.

Yours in health
Cassandra Turner