Many people struggle with their weight, some of whom try really hard to counter their challenges, while others are much more resigned to it. For those of us who work hard to try and get the right balance between calorie intake an exercise, if the pounds still keep creeping back on it can become disheartening. But just how much control do we have over our likelihood of gaining weight? To what extent are we in control of our own weight destiny and how much is dictated by our bodies?
There are a variety of interesting factors that can affect weight:
- Presence of microbes in the gut
We all have many, many millions of microbes living in our gut that help us break down and digest food. Some people have a wider variety of these, and for those who do, this is a good thing. “The greater diversity [of gut microbes], the skinnier the person. If you’re carrying too much weight, your microbes aren’t as diverse as they should be.”
- The time of day we’re eating
There is truth in the guidance that we shouldn’t consume a lot of food too close to bedtime. Our body clocks are actually programmed to relax at night and to be more efficient during the day, so consuming food too late into the evening heightens the risk of piling on the pounds.
- It’s in the genes
Many people will welcome the research of scientists at Cambridge University who believe “40-70% of the effect on our weight is down to variation in the genes we inherit”. Genes can affect the types of foods that take our fancy and the amount of food our brains believe we need to survive. That means that for some people, the odds are really stacked against them and it really is an uphill struggle to try and keep weight manageable.
So, it really is true that you can be one of the ‘lucky ones’ who can eat what they like and not pile on the pounds, equally you could have been dealt a poor hand when it comes to factors such as genetic makeup, your microbial gut composition or when your work/social life dictates meal times.
Taking proactive steps
If you are carrying too much weight and diet and exercise alone are failing to achieve the look that you need or the BMI that you require (for health purposes) then it is important to remember that there are surgical options that can help.
Weight-loss surgery is becoming increasingly popular, but if you’re close to your ideal body weight but failing to achieve the body you want then a body contouring procedure such as liposuction, tummy tuck, arm lift or thigh lift could be the best solution.