Why Is It So Difficult To Lose Weight?

Several aspects make weight loss very difficult to achieve. On paper, losing weight seems very simple. The whole question can be reduced to an arithmetic calculation: if you ingest fewer calories than you consume, you will tend to lose weight; if the opposite happens, you will tend to gain weight. However, the human body is not a machine: for this reason, actually losing weight and, subsequently, maintaining the ideal weight can become a very tiring undertaking for reasons that transcend personal will. Below I will list some difficulties common to people who follow a restrictive diet. 

Physiological Obstacles

Our body is tuned to accumulate weight and calories due to our evolutionary history. Today you need to go into a supermarket to get food, for our ancestors, it wasn’t like that. If we evaluate the history of man, our body has a memory inherent in the DNA of about 5 million years. It is only for nearly fifty years that food has been available at any time of day. The body, then, has evolved to store as many calories as possible given the lean periods. Although our culture has advanced, the body has not changed, and when it takes in more calories than it needs, it reacts precisely as it responded in prehistoric times: it stores all the calories to prepare for a famine that, however, will not come this time. 

The Body Has The Memory Of The Weight

This is the main reason you gain weight, and then it is difficult for you to lose it, and it will continue to do so until you consciously decide to stop this instinct. The formation of a new memory, calibrated on lower weight, takes about two years from reaching the ideal weight. For this reason, when you finish a diet, it is essential to reintegrate a regular diet gradually.

The Action Of The Limbic System

The desire to eat, which is not necessarily related to hunger, is not a program of our body but our brain. The limbic system, the brain’s pleasure center, turns on when you see a nice plate of pasta or a pizza and your mouth is watering. Your brain is made to crave food, but it is not made to handle the abundance we have available. The continuous stimulation of the limbic system by advertising and overexposure to food stimuli is one of the biggest obstacles to weight loss as it produces a constant desire for food. 

Set Point And Fat Cells

Several people have a genetic predisposition towards weight gain. Scientific research has found that this depends on the number of fat cells with which we are born. People with a propensity to obesity are taken with a more significant number of fat cells and a balance point of the weight-to-height ratio higher than ordinary people. These people will find it more challenging to reach a sense of satiety and tend to have a higher weight than the average population.

The Sedentary Lifestyle

It now seems trivial to repeat it, but life in the office, using machines and all the facilities that technology offers, certainly does not help lose weight. With the same caloric intake, you risk not losing even a gram if you do not stimulate the metabolism to react. Aerobic activity is essential to trigger a virtuous circle in the body. A little movement also helps to produce serotonin, make you feel happier, and make you less take refuge in food in times of stress. 

What To Do?

Following a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity is the only way to lose weight healthily. Subsequently, to maintain the lost weight over time, scientific research has shown that it is necessary to gradually return to a regular calorie diet accompanied by correct physical activity and psychological strategies to manage moments of sudden hunger better. In the long term, dietary restriction alone is excessively punitive and challenging to maintain. Hence, people tend to let themselves go to eat more, or with sudden hunger pangs or with actual loss of control or fatigue.


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