Why are so many people tired, stressed and overweight? It seems the majority of people have a motivation problem; overeating and lack of exercise are implicated as the causes of the overweight condition and obesity trends.
You could say we are overweight because we eat too much and live sedentary lives and that both are causes of obesity and you would be right, at least in part, acknowledging the obvious.
But what is not so obvious, are all the hidden causes of the overweight condition that are far more influential in the rise of the obesity epidemic and reinforce our food and fitness habits to begin with, and many, even motivated people fall prey.
We refer to the hidden causes as “lifestyle challenges” and if you don’t face the challenges you will go into what we call “the downward energy trend” – it’s when overwhelm, leads to exhaustion and under recuperation, over eating and undernourishment, super busy yet physically inactive leading to the overweight condition and health complications. We are all susceptible to this trend, especially in a modern environment that reinforces it, and the solution is a matter of lifestyle.
How we manage to spend and recuperate our energy, including but not limited to, the quality of the food we eat and our activity levels every day as we achieve our goals are things that factor into the lifestyle equation.
Physical inactivity plays a major role in gaining weight, but the reason we are physically inactive most of the time, is exhaustion. How often have you said “I want to exercise” but you find yourself simply too tired throughout the day to get anything done. We’re overwhelmed and tired, lacking time, space and energy to do what we need for healthy bodies. Inactivity is a result, an effect, but not the original cause.
What about the claim that overeating is to blame? We are overeating, yet the primary reason, long before discussing a market saturated with addictive and fatty foods, is that most people faced with relentless demands on their time and energy, are worn down and looking for a quick pick me up.
In that besieged state, not only do they eat more for the stimulation they crave and more of the addictive fatty foods that are extraordinarily convenient and readily available (because they don’t go bad and have a long shelf life) but the combination of excessive stress and nutrient-poor food virtually guarantees they will overeat. Overeating is a result, an effect, but not the original cause.
Overwhelm and exhaustion is the greatest threat to our well being and our weight. They go hand in hand. Look at your life for a moment and think of the ways you feel overwhelmed or exhausted. How often do you feel this way? What makes you feel this way?
Where are you putting your focus – cause or effect?
Are you combating the negative effects of your lifestyle by eating less and exercising more? Or, are you addressing the lifestyle that is promoting over eating and inactivity…?
You can only deal with the primary causes of weight gain at the level of lifestyle. Everything else is an attempt at manipulating your current condition for a short term gain and the results of this approach are well documented.
Do you ever wonder why diets and fad exercise programs don’t work for you? Do you wonder why you start off good for a week or so but then the big plan fails and you feel even worse than you did before?
The high protein/low carbohydrate fad was the classic example of manipulation. Millions of overweight people, addicted to super stimulating junk foods, stopped eating refined carbohydrate and started eating no-carb animal protein to manipulate the storage of carbohydrate in their body to lose weight.
That so-called “lifestyle solution”, while beneficial in the sense that less junk food was being consumed, replaced an already unhealthy diet style with another (consuming large amounts of high fat, nutrient poor animal protein) to lose weight. In the end, this does not lead to a healthier person. You are replacing one bad habit with another and this doesn’t really get you anywhere. All this does is continue the downward trend.
Where in that grand misdirected project was there any talk of the lifestyle that was giving rise to the consumption of junk food to begin with? Or talk about food quality? The discussion was about weight loss and talk of the other aspects of lifestyle was non-existent. Meanwhile millions of people struggled, got sick, including Atkins himself (who died,) and gave up. It was discouraging to anyone who had put their hope in a diet change alone, let alone that particular diet which was unhealthy.
But there is hope out there- once you discover “The Lifestyle” to live at or near your ideal weight all year round and even achieve your most ambitious life goals.
The Real Problem
What is the real problem? Most of us are not managing our energy well. We are overwhelmed, caught up and overcommitted and this excessive energy expenditure promotes the downward energy trend – exhaustion, over consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight.
Yes, it is foremost an energy issue which influences how we eat, think and live.
The addictive, stimulating food and drinks all around us purport to give us more energy and they don’t. Over stimulation by its very nature is exhausting. These nutrient-poor foods then drive us to over consume in an effort to get our nutrient needs met and it doesn’t happen. Our now overwhelmed and exhausted bodies are no condition to be active. And the answer is eating less and exercising more? You could not assemble a better trap for staying stuck.
Countless weight loss programs are sold as lifestyles and what’s really being said is, “lose weight for life” and of course it just doesn’t happen. It’s not that these weight loss solutions don’t or won’t work; it is that they don’t work alone, forever or in some cases, at all.
And so the cycle continues…
Few solutions address the real problem; your lifestyle – why you are tired and overeating, and physically inactive to begin with?. It is this trend, complicated by all the solutions that do not solve the problem that give consistent rise to obesity statistics, even though we spend billions of dollars per year on weight loss.
The proof is in this picture.
This graphic above illustrates the downward energy trend on a population basis and it makes the point that the weight loss industry is not working. Eating less of foods that don’t serve you and exercising a fatigued body even more does not work.
How you look, feel and perform are the direct result of your lifestyle, not the lack of an “eat-less” diet or an “exercise-more” workout program created for the express purpose of losing weight. When it comes to your lifestyle what you want to do is avoiding becoming overwhelmed and exhausted. That’s how you stay out of the downward energy trend.
The only way to do that successfully is to know how to manage your energy, including the quality of the food you eat and your activity levels in the process of achieving your goals. That’s what you learn in Performance Lifestyle training; the mindset and the skill set you need to do that successfully!
When it comes to living at or near your ideal weight all year round, it comes down to your lifestyle and until your lifestyle is focused on your capacity to function and perform well, you will find yourself in an extended stay on the downward trend, wondering how to turn it around.
John Allen Mollenhauer, known as John Allen or “JAM”, is the co-author of The Curse of the Capable. He is a leading authority in what’s known as Performance Lifestyle Training and coaching, founder of The Lifestyle Coaching Center and solutions such as NutrientRich® and MyTrainer®
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