Why do some people gain weight faster than others?

Some people claim that they eat a lot but can never gain weight; others claim they eat nothing and still result in weight gain. But before we feel too envious of our friends blessed with amazing genes allowing them to eat all they want and still maintain their perfect figure, there is more to this than what meets the eye. Truth is, there are plenty of other factors ranging that can affect one’s weight gain, other than genetics:


We have different levels of the ghrelin hormone


Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that which signals your brain if you’re hungry or satiated. People who have higher levels of ghrelin are psychologically primed to eat more. This make it more likely for them to gain weight. Although it can’t be helped if there is more of this hormone in your body, you definitely have more control over other factors.


Of course, some of us just have greater calories intake

Some food are higher in calories than others. The chips that you always munch on while watching the TV is definitely going to be higher in calories than the same amount of vegetables your mum always ask you to eat.  For example, A 100g of steak may yield a caloric value of over 300 calories On the other hand, it is just 60 calories if you choose to have the same amount of tuna.

Maybe ask yourself this: does eating 100g of steak makes you more full than 100g of tuna? I guess not. Less calorically dense food can keep you satisfied, while yielding much less calories! (I KNOW, they taste different. But still.)


Maybe you have better/worse/no self control

You’re on a meal out with your skinny friend and you witness her eating plenty of food. That got you thinking, how can she be so skinny if she eats this much?? #why #unfair Consider the times where she isn’t spending her time with you. She probably doesn’t eat desserts that you crave almost every alternate day, doesn’t snack every other hour, and is way much better controlling impulse than you do. People without self-control would eat because food is available, and not because they are hungry. Some people like us just don’t have as much self control, or willpower, as others. The ability to control our behaviours makes greatly affects our ability to maintain a healthy weight. If you feel that you’re facing this issue, maybe it’s time to be more disciplined.


Knowledge about what we eat helps too

fitness equipment and fruits
Photo credit: Rita Stadskanaal

Most people have no idea how much they eat. Most of us don’t read food labels, and it is just a hassle to keep counting calories of whatever you eat. In addition, people often overestimate the amount of calories they burn from exercising, and actually thought they burned way more than they really did. Worse still, people always “reward” themselves for working hard by having a good meal and end up with an overall calorie surplus. It is indeed very difficult to track everything you eat. But people like athletes, models and bodybuilders who always have a lean figure, are actually aware of what they eat and how much they exercise. Putting in effort to be more aware of your food intake and exercise levels has massive impact. It helps to maintain a healthy weight in the long run.


We all have different metabolism rates

People who are packed with muscles tend to have higher metabolism than the rest. The same amount of muscles burn 60% more calories than fat. That is why some people actually choose weightlifting over running while having a goal to lose weight in mind. There are many other ways that can increase metabolism rates as well. Drinking tea is one way that can help boost metabolism in the short run.


Some people just… fidget more

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) includes all physical activities, other than regimented workouts. People who eat all they want and don’t gain weight are said to be burning more calories because they actually fidget more than the rest of the population. These people do not necessary spend more time in the gym. But they actually engage in some form of physical activity throughout their day subconsciously. From pacing up and down while talking on the phone to fidgeting around while sitting at the desk, such actions can help increase metabolism rate by up to 50 percent.


If you’re too lazy to read everything, here’s the key to maintaining a healthy weight:

Try to avoid “empty” calories from sugary foods and beverages. These food have little to no nutritional value. As most nutritionist would recommend, take real food instead such as meat, fruits and vegetables. These foods and feel satisfied without exceeding your calorie needs. What better food to recommend!

Also, try not to go on a yo-yo diet. People who diet, quit and then repeat the cycle are likely to put on more weight than those didn’t try at all. More importantly, avoid from keeping to a restrictive diet because such diets are likely to cause you to binge eat in the end.

Other little things like getting enough sleep, reducing stress levels would also help in the long run. Being too stressful causes you to make impulse food choices which are not desirable. On top of that, stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol. This hormone causes fat to be deposited directly in the abdominal area. Big belly no-no!

Ultimately, what is the cause of weight gain would only surface through tracking your diet and exercise for extended periods of time. Even though some of us may not be able to achieve our ideal body shape even though we put in our blood sweat and tears, we should always be confident of our own body because nobody is the same. Cheers.

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