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Causes of Obesity

Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 3

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Mechanics of Sleep

I went through most of my life with just one rule when it came to sleep – as long as I got at least 4 hours, I’d be okay. For long periods of time, I actually averaged 4 hours (I kept track, believe it or not – yeah, a bit of a geek, I know). One particularly drawn-out, stressful time in my life provided me with just 3 hours of sleep per night, 5 nights out of 7. This was also a period during which I put on a substantial amount of weight. (more…)

Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 1

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It’s the same thing every night. At about 8.30pm I find my eyelids drooping, my concentration faltering. I go into a state of what I like to call convulsive yawning – where I can barely take a normal breath before the next yawn comes along. My brain and indeed my entire body just longs for bed, sweet, sweet bed. (more…)

Acceptance – A Different Way of Thinking

When I first began researching for this blog, I had a lot of trouble finding anything online that even remotely resembled what I wanted to do here. But, much to my surprise, I did find something else that I wasn’t expecting – and had never actually heard of. (more…)

Stressing the Point

Everybody gets stressed. It’s a fact of life. Even people who live the least stressful lives experience stress at some point.

We all react differently to stress. Some of us get angry or irritable, some get teary or just quiet. And yes, there are those of us who eat.

Part of the problem about eating when you’re stressed is that stress itself actually makes you eat. (more…)

Once Upon a Time…

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Once upon a time, it was a good thing to be fat. No, seriously, it was. Of course, that was some time ago, and well, we were all a lot hairier and had a tendency to eat our meat raw – but it was still a good thing to be able to put on weight. It was so good, in fact, that most of those who survived the daily challenges of life, were those who could put on weight.

Okay, that was 10,000 years ago, but in reality, that’s not even a blink in terms of the evolution of the human body.

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Causes of Obesity Part 6 – Clinical Issues

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We’ve all heard them, those ‘excuses’ for being big – “I have big bones” or “It’s all hormonal”. They’ve become such a cliche now that nobody pays any attention to the fact that, for some of us, those excuses are actual real reasons why we have a weight problem. What’s also hard to grasp is that there are a huge number of physiological reasons why the body either puts on weight, retains it or resists losing it. Unfortunately, I can’t cover all of them here. Instead I’ll give you a brief overview of the kinds of things that might be affecting you.

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Causes of Obesity Part 5 – 7 Bad Habits for Weight Gain

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Let me ask you a question: When did you last do something for the very first time, or did a familiar thing in a different way?

We humans, apart from being way too complicated for our own good, are creatures of habit. Believe it or not, that doesn’t mean we’re lazy or unadventurous. That just happens to be how our brains work best. Whenever we perform an action (or think a particular thought) pathways are laid out in our brains specific to that action. If we do that same action again, another pathway is laid down in the same place. The more times we do the action, the bigger that pathway gets until it becomes established in our brains as our preferred way of performing that action.

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Weight Bullying and Kids = Eating Disorder

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Two recent studies have shone a huge light on how weight issues can have an overwhelming effect on children, to the point of developing an eating disorder they will struggle with for the rest of their lives. But it’s interesting to note that it’s not the weight itself that’s the problem – but rather, how the overweight child is treated by other people. These studies show how both the peer groups and parents of overweight children play an important part in how the child deals with that weight issue.

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Causes of Obesity Part 4 – Genetics

I remember years ago watching an interview with a very successful sportsman, whose parents had also been successful in sport. He was asked how much less work he’d had to do, coming into the sport with what was obviously a genetic advantage. His answer was memorable: “Sure, I have the genes to be good in this sport, but if all I did was sit around at home doing jigsaw puzzles, the genes wouldn’t make one jot of difference.”

Okay, so we’re not all world-class sportsmen here – but there’s a powerful grain of truth in his response. Good genes didn’t make him a champion – they only helped. Doing all the hard work was what made him a champion. In terms of the causes of obesity, the same principle applies – genetics make a contribution, but for most of us, they’re not the beginning and end of the story. Other factors also play a part. Some of those factors might have no relationship to the genes, but others might have a direct effect.

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Causes of Obesity Part 3 – Eating Disorders Start Young

There’s hardly a person out there who hasn’t heard of eating disorders – and you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re only about people starving themselves to death, with names like anorexia and bulimia stamped all over the news. But that’s not all eating disorders are about. An eating disorder can simply be described as an abnormal attitude towards food and eating. It can just as easily be seen in somebody who eats too much as one who doesn’t eat enough. Eating disorders are bad, physically and psychologically, and, like a wrecking ball swinging through a derelict building, they create havoc wherever they go. And the worst part about them is, they usually start in childhood.

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