There are people who eat a lot of calories and still not gain weight. Then there are others who gain weight even with a little food they eat.
In this article we shall discuss the science behind weight gain. Your weight gain depends upon the calories consumed, how many calories is used, how many calories is burned, your genes, environment, behavior, etc, determines your weight.
Let us understand the science behind weight gain.
Fat cells or adipose tissues are located on specific areas of the body. The fat cells increase in number till puberty after which it stops growing in numbers until it becomes full with fat. The fat cells again increase in number when they need to accommodate extra fats consumed.
Once the food is digested the fat does not break easily as compared to proteins and carbohydrates. This results in growth in cell size and hence obesity.
Some of the scientific reasons for weight gain are as given below –
Calorie equation on weight gain
How many calories you store and how many calories you burn depends on the genetic makeup and the level of physical activity and also on the energy you use when the body is at rest. If the number of calories burned is consistent for a long time, you will be able to maintain your weight. If calories consumed is more than calories burned you will gain weight.
Excess calories in the body is stored as fat. The fats are stored in the fat cells in adipose tissues. It enlarges the fat cells and results in obesity.
Influence of genes on weight gain
There are many genes that causes obesity. Genetic factor contributes to obesity in various ways. It may affect the appetite, sense of fullness, craving for foods, metabolism, fat distribution and the way you cope up with stress.
Effect of metabolism on weight gain
How much calories a person uses depends upon the metabolism of the body. The rate of metabolism differs from person to person. With the advancing age the cells in the body wears down. When the metabolism slows and you continue to eat same number of calories, there is more tendency to gain weight as the energy is not used efficiently.
Also, with increase in age there is decrease in physical activity and this adds on to the weight gain. There are various diets that focus in one particular type of foods. However, limiting both carbohydrate and fats is essential to lose weight.
Effect of environment on weight gain
Environmental factors contribute to the problem of weight gain. It can be anything in the environment that makes a person eat too much or exercise too little. As per the experts, environmental factors affect the obesity and its rise.
Environmental factor influences your health even before you are born. For example, a pregnant mother who smokes are more likely to have overweight babies when compared to mothers who do not smoke. Same occurs in diabetic women who are pregnant.
The type of environment you get since childhood affects the weight of the body. Kids who are introduced to high calorie foods, sugary beverages, etc, are more likely to grow into obese or overweight adults.
Effect of foods on weight gain
As per the studies, on an average people consume more calories than what the body requires. Where ever we go, food is easily available. As a result, we are tempted to buy snacks, meals, etc. The increase in portion size and the way foods are easily available are a driving force for weight gain.
The high calorie foods available everywhere we go is not easy to resist. It is a proven fact that people often buy or eat the things that are in front of them. We easily grab the foods that are more readily available.
Effect of physical activity on weight
Our daily routine life does not offer much opportunity for physical activities. The working population spend much of the time on the desk, travel in the metro or drive a car, parking close to the entrance, instead of visiting local shops we visit megastore, use of vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, etc, can contribute to cause obesity or overweight.
Effect of sedentary snacking on weight gain
Watching too much of television or playing video games is linked to overweight and obesity. Eating snacks while watching television makes you consume more calories. Spending more time watching television or in indoor games makes you gain extra pounds.
Effect of stress and other issues in weight gain
Stress is a common factor that causes weight gain. Time pressure in house, school or work affects the eating pattern and disrupts sleep. Both of these contribute to weight gain. Eating irregularly, eating in hurry causes obesity by affecting the hypothalamus part in the brain. Hypothalamus is responsible to tell the body when to eat and when one must stop eating.
Similarly, disturbance in sleep affects the hormones that control hunger and appetite. Thus, it is another cause of obesity.
Stress and sleep deprivation are closely connected to emotional well-being. It affects the diet and appetite. Some people eat more while going through depression, anxiety or any other emotional disorders. A cycle develops that leads to increase in obesity with increase in emotional health issues.
Effect of undiagnosed medical issues on weight gain
Also, medications used to treat depression and other mental health issues can lead to weight gain.
There are various factors that contribute to weight gain. Obesity has become a problem for major part of the population. Thanks to the science and technology, as the root cause of obesity can be detected. Also, there has been a constant development of various measures to combat and manage overweight and obesity.