As a doctor, one of the most common things I hear from my patients is: “Doc, I’m overweight because this is just cold weather weight. It comes on every fall and winter, and then I take it off in spring.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t hibernate in a cave. So is this a legitimate reason or just one of many excuses.
The fact is that typically Americans add on five to eight pounds every winter but only take off one to two in the spring. The net effect is staggering – we tend to gain 10 to 20 pounds every decade.
This got me thinking on other common myths that people believe to be true about their weight that just aren’t true.
So let’s review: Did you know: 33 percent of all adults are overweight. We spend over $30 billion a year on weight-loss programs and $68 billion on extra health care because we are a fat nation.
Despite what you see on television, there is no magic potion or pill, fat blaster or sugar blocker that will shed your pounds without hard work. Sorry, folks. That’s nonsense that is designed to empty your wallet.
Weight loss is easy to understand, but difficult to do. It comes from burning more calories than you take in. The difficulty lies in that some people are much more metabolically efficient – able to extract more calories from the food they eat. They are “efficient absorbers.”
Then you have other individuals who can burn more calories from “rest.” When you look at these ideal-weight people, you find that many of them are always moving all day. One study I read years ago showed these type of people burn an extra 300 to 500 calories just by constantly moving around (You probably know someone like that).
A person’s genetics play a role, but we’re not a slave to our genes. It’s a myth that because your mother or father are overweight that you are necessarily going to be overweight, as well. The genes give us a propensity for slimness or obesity, but they are not the deciding factor. What we do counts for more.
Recent research shows that a person’s fat content is regulated more by hormones, especially the hormone Leptin, which is excreted by fat. As we understand how Leptin works we’ll have the ideal fat-buster pill. And believe me, there’s lots of money in this game so the research on Leptin is proceeding full-speed ahead.