Facing Realities: Overweight

Facing reality isn’t easy for most of us. If we faced reality, we wouldn’t have become overweight in the first place.

The reality is that men lose weight faster and more consistently than women. Women get the weight off, but not necessarily in a straight line like men. Who said life was fair? If life was fair we’d all have long legs, straight teeth and bottoms that didn’t sag.


Another reality: the more weight you have to lose, the faster you will lose it. This is true for both men and women. The reverse is also true-the less weight you need to take off, the slower it will go. The taller you are, the faster you will lose. The fatter you are, the younger you are, the more active you are, the faster you will lose.

As you slim down, the pounds don’t drop as rapidly. Don’t despair. Actually, slower is better because when you lose slowly, your appestat has time to adjust to the lower level of food your body ingesting. Your appestat is located in the hypothalamus, within the brain. It is the weight-regulating mechanism that adjusts appetite and keeps your weight constant in spite of changes in energy spent.

When it functions properly, the appestat balances our food intake. Because of it, we eat when we “feel” hungry and we don’t eat when we don’t feel hungry. But with overweight folk, the appestat often goes out of commission and people eat whether they are hungry or not.

Another reality: older people lose weight more slowly. Not because they are old, but because they are generally less active than younger people. Experts explain that if you consume the same number of calories at age 40 as you did at 30, and you don’t exercise more, by the end of one year, you will have put on about 11 pounds.
Older people are better off losing weight slowly because the elasticity of the skin is not as resilient as when they were young. The more gradual their loss, the more likely their skin shrink back to adjust. They won’t wrinkle as much.

So, how you could see losing weight is never easy and most thin people work hard to stay that way. With rare exception, the thin person you admire has learned how to manage his or her food in order to stay thin. It’s no miracle.

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