I have collected the health information in this series of blogs from well known and authoritative sources and pass them on to you. I am an advocate of natural healing and preventative medicine to the greatest extent possible. but please note that I am not a medical authority and do not recommend dosages of nutritional supplements, particular exercises, etc. any more than I would prescribe pharmaceuticals. Always consult your doctor and other health specialists before attempting to treat yourself.
I begin with an astonishing article I found on little known difficulties in weight loss. The article is not intended to discourage anyone, but rather to encourage them to consult experts in the field to discover whether they fit into any of the cases below and how they can best work around these difficulties with diet and exercise carefully tailored for them.It is also intended as a reminder to those who arrogantly assume that they, themselves, are slimmer than others because they have made all the right moves while others have not.
People having 2 copies of a gene called FTO are 40% more vulnerable to obesity and 60% more likely to have type 2 diabetes. As much as 16% of the population has 2 sets FTO genes and half have 1 copy. However, regular exercise can help offset the difficulty.
Some people have more fat cells than others. Whether you lose or gain weight, the fat cells remain and cling tight to any fat left in them, while craving more fat. Such fat cells are believed to be produced as young as age 2 years. The rate of growth of such fat cells is fast, even when the child cuts back on calories. Some with fewer fat cells may have more fat packed into each cell than those with more fat cells do Those with such overstuffed fat cells are often more vulnerable to obesity-related health complications.
In cases of twins in which one is obese and the other is slim, it was found that the cells of the heavier twin had undergone metabolic changed that made it harder to burn fat. It is believed that gaining as little as 11 pounds slows metabolism. The more weight one gains, therefore, the more difficult it is to lose it. Again, exercise is recommended.
Stress can cause people to gain weight in 2 ways. First, stress prods people to crave excess carbohydrates because carbohydrates calm stress hormones. Carbohydrates then turn more quickly to sugar and, thus, to fat. Second, stress hormones, themselves, ramp up fat storage. It is believed that our ancestors became stressed by food shortages and that the body was engineered to store more fat at such times to protect them from starvation. In modern life, however, this is a liability rather than an asset. – We cannot always avoid stress, but one should make time for stress relief.
It would appear that pregnant women who consume excess sugary and fatty foods are passing on vulnerability to obesity and other health issues to their unborn children. Overweight pregnant rodents were found to have more glucose and free fatty acids floating in their wombs than those at correct weights. Such molecules can trigger the release of proteins that upset the appetite control and metabolic systems in the child’s developing brain. Children of women who were overweight at the time of their pregnancies were fatter than their siblings who were born when their mother was at the correct weight.
Losing sleep can cause obesity because with adequate sleep we have a greater sense of fullness and so are less likely to over eat. Sleep deprivation upsets hormone balance between leptin (which makes one feel full) and Ghrelin (which makes one feel hungry). Because of this, we feel hungry even though we are not.
If one spouse is obese, it is 37% more likely that the other spouse will be also. Social network seems to play a part in obesity (though no physiological reason for this was given).
Adenoviruses appear to be linked to obesity. Stem cells (known for their chameleon-like tendency to transform into other cells) transformed into fat cells when infected with these viruses and these fat cells contained more fat. It appears that obese persons are more likely to harbor antibodies for adenovirus-36 (inferring that they have previously suffered from such a virus.
When subjects were shown the names of foods they particularly liked, the parts of their brains which got excited were the same parts activated in drug addicts. This is thought to be liked to dopamine (the hormone linked to pleasure and motivation). If obese persons have fewer dopamine receptors, the may require more of certain foods to get that pleasurable reaction and so overeat such foods.
In studies, people who tasted food less intensely had a greater propensity to be fat. An ear infection which damages a taste nerve running through the middle ear could be at fault here. It was found that people over 35 who had suffered several ear infections had about double the chance of being obese. They also had a greater desire for sweets and fatty food. Limitting passive smoke appears to cut down on ear infections (why this is so was not discussed).
Free radicals (oxidizing molecules) damage cells, including cells that tell us when we are full. It is evidently impossible to entirely remove free radicals, but they do increase when we gorge on candy bars, chips, and other such unhealthy forms of carbohydrates. As we age, the fullness signifiers decrease in effectiveness.
It is possible to be overweight and still be healthy (according to this article). I am 66, overweight, and physically handicapped myself, yet I am very healthy and happy and energized. I get some exercise regularly and eat right (if sometimes too much). I have a relatively stress-free environment writing, painting, sculpting, reading, enjoying my garden and my cat, Chantal, and even other humans who drop by. I gegin my day in prayer and meditation and I have made it a major goal to cast my cares whon the Lord who cares for me. I have bad momets, but they are fleeting because of this. I recommend it.