CHERYL A. MAJOR: Why are We Overweight?

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 Do you ever wonder why are we overweight as a nation… and so frighteningly overweight?  Allow me to begin by saying, “It’s not your fault.” If you struggle with your weight, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault you spend money on diet foods and diet programs that promise you the moon and may help you lose weight only to let you down while you watch yourself gain back what you lost.  Most of the time, you gain back more weight than you lost before the diet.

You eat less, you exercise more and you still gain weight. Women in their 40s and 50s think it’s hormonal and their metabolism is just slowing down.  The weight gain is inevitable; get used to it.

Not true.  Of course portion control comes into play, and regular exercise is important for all of us for many reasons, but more importantly, it’s what you eat that makes you or breaks you weight-wise and health-wise.

Many of us carry weight in our bulging hips and thighs (mostly for women, that is), but most of us (men and women) who struggle with weight carry it in our mid-section.  Years ago, for men, this was referred to as a “beer belly.”

Known as visceral fat and commonly referred to as belly fat, this fat is a frighteningly accurate marker for the dangers of developing heart disease, hypertension, dementia, certain types of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis among other chronic diseases. In fact, it’s a marker for the inflammatory level of your entire body.  Remember, inflammation is the root cause of chronic disease and premature aging. Depression is a disease… a chronic one… and the level of inflammation in your body is a contributor to depression.

It’s all connected.

So, why are we overweight?  Insulin is the hormone of fat storage. When we eat foods that trigger the production of insulin, we are indulging in eating habits that are bound to make us fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker. When we eat foods that contain sugar and simple carbohydrates like wheat, the pancreas is notified so it produces insulin to get busy and take care of that rising glucose level. If we don’t need or burn all the calories we are consuming, not only is our pancreas working extra hard to send out insulin, but any unused glucose is stored as new fat cells. Those new fat cells all have a blood supply, so your heart works harder to pump blood to the new fat cells.

Foods that raise your blood sugar raise your insulin levels. Increased insulin levels create visceral belly fat.   It’s not just your belly that gets fat either; your liver gets fat, your intestines get fat, your pancreas and your kidneys get fat. Your heart gets fat as well.

What shape is visceral fat or belly fat?  Have you ever thought about that? It’s important to visualize this because I think most of us don’t think about it.  Do you think it sticks out front and sides but is flat inside near your organs?  When I see someone who is carrying a lot of weight around their mid section, I have to remind myself that this fat is round in shape.  It’s not sticking out and then flat on the inside of your body.  Are you picturing the danger here?  Your visceral belly fat is surrounding your organs on the inside of your body.

Because the Standard American Diet (SAD) is loaded with simple processed carbs and sugars, we are on non-stop bob sled to obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases with our food choices; now you know the answer to the question…why are we overweight?

 This article was originally published on my site at

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC


Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog   Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.

Questions?  Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Health Question in the subject line.  Your question and its answer will be included in a future article

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