Why do we get fat?

The answer to the question ‘Why do we get fat?’ Is very simple: because we eat more calories than we are able to burn. Despite this simple equation, both variables can be modified by a multitude of factors.

There may be hormonal mechanisms that reduce energy expenditure or bad habits that increase caloric intake. In this formula, any small imbalance would cause a weight gain or loss. Let's see it in more detail.

Why do we get fat ?: Energy expenditure

It is an item that can be modified. There is an energy expenditure for the simple fact of being alive, called basal energy expenditure. From here, any physical activity increases the daily energy expenditure.

The sport has a double function, on the one hand it implies an energy expenditure as such and, on the other hand, it increases muscle tone and volume, which translates into an increase in own spending at rest. To maximize this effect, strength training should be prioritized over aerobic training, which could even cause a loss of muscle mass.

Regular exercise is, therefore, an excellent method of weight control. Sedentary people have a greater ability to gain weight, since the amount of food they need is usually less than their appetite, which leads to overactive.

So, One possible answer to the question ‘Why do we gain weight?’ is because we do not exercise. Performing strength exercise at least 3 times per week significantly reduces the likelihood of being overweight, obese and many other diseases.

Why do we get fat ?: Caloric intake

This is the other variable that can be modified in the weight gain equation. It is essential to try to adapt the food to the activity level. In this way, sports people will have higher energy demands than sedentary people to maintain weight.

Normally, appetite is usually adapted to energy needs, especially in individuals with ecto morphotype and mesomorph. But nevertheless, there are individuals who have appetite regulation failures, either by hormonal imbalances (thyroid hormones and ghrelin) or by caloric underestimation of food.

In this way, Many people think they consume fewer calories than they actually eat, which translates into weight gain. This would be another possible answer to the question ‘Why do we get fat?’.

This fact may result from excessive consumption of oil, bread or processed products. Sauces are usually products that also contribute to increasing the caloric density of the diet. Y we must not forget alcohol.

Read also: What are the drinks that you gain?

Pathologies associated with weight gain

However, there are groups of individuals who can gain weight despite eating apparently healthy. This is the case, for example, of those who suffer from hypothyroidism. These people have a deficit in the production of a hormone that regulates energy expenditure. Therefore, their needs are diminished and the amount of food they need is considerably less than what an individual needs without this pathology.

On the other hand, there are individuals with alterations in ghrelin production. This hormone controls appetite and is mediated by a series of receptors. A malfunction of the receptor can cause excess production of this hormone, even when energy demands are met. Therefore, the consequence will be weight gain.

All these situations usually escape the dietary control and, often, they need pharmacological support to be corrected. The medication allows regulating hormonal systems and making nutritional management easier.

You may be interested: 5 dietary foods that make you gain weight without knowing it

Pathologies associated with weight loss

Apart from diseases that unbalance the equation towards the side of weight gain, there are others that produce the opposite effect. A clear example is hyperthyroidism or cancer, pathologies that increase resting energy expenditure and nutrient requirements.

This fact has to be compensated with an increase in the caloric density of the dietIf this is not the case, it concludes with a loss of weight that can make it difficult to control the disease.

The role of the intestinal microbiota

However, in the last years a third variable is being introduced in this equation which is the role of living organisms in the intestine. The microbiota could have a key impact on nutrient absorption and body weight gain.

In this way, Probiotic supplementation could be a turning point on strategies focused on weight reduction. However, this field is still under study and no clear conclusions have been drawn.

Conclusion: Why do we get fat?

The fact of gaining or losing weight, except in pathological situations, is a purely mathematical matter. If we eat more calories than we need, or are able to spend, we will gain weight; otherwise, we will lose weight.

For this reason, Nutrition education is a crucial element to be aware of the number of calories we normally eat. This will avoid both underestimations and overestimations of the food we eat and will facilitate weight control and the prevention of complex diseases.