Eliminating fat can be difficult, particularly in areas where you are genetically predisposed to store it (such as the stomach, hips and thighs). There are a number of reasons why it's easier to gain weight than to lose it and these are the top 4:
1. We live in a time when food is plentiful and fairly easy to access, but your body doesn't know that. Your body is hard-wired to store fat because it serves as a source of energy when food is scarce. This is a matter of survival and can be triggered by stress as well. Your metabolism slows down and chemicals are released all in an effort to hang on to fat.
2. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (and several other prominent organizations), it takes 3,500 calories to create one pound of fat. When you consume 3,500 calories more than your body needs to function, a pound of fat is created on your body. This fat is created by the expansion of the fat cells (lipocytes) that are currently in your body. In fact, the number of fat cells you have remains pretty much constant since puberty, and this quantity is determined by the amount you eat in childhood and adolescence, as well as genetics—some people are born with a higher number of fat cells.
More fat cells are created only when you gain a lot of weight, and a decrease in fat cells can only occur if you surgically remove fatty tissue, as is the case with liposuction or a tummy tuck.
3. Imagine each fat cell like a balloon that can expand and deflate to accommodate fluctuations in caloric consumption. Much like the rubber that a balloon is made from, once it has been inflated it becomes easier to inflate again. This may be one reason why so many dieters fail to keep the weight off after they've lost it. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), within two years over 80% of dieters gain back the weight they lost.
4. To function, your body burns energy while at rest (basal metabolism), to break food down (thermogenesis), and to perform physical activity. Once you've been a certain weight for a period of time, your body adjusts its processes to help maintain that weight. It does this in several ways, including how your body responds to exercise and how hungry you feel so that you'll be compelled to eat. If you've been overweight for a long time, your body optimizes its functions to maintain that weight.
Reducing weight and keeping it off is possible!