Why People Get Fat? I had a neighbor whose car never seemed to run very well. It was always lurching and coughing down the street. He kept trying one gasoline after another in search of the perfect fuel to make the car run better .
Finally I got tired of the noise, and one day, when I couldn’t stand it any longer, I recommended a tune up. He took my advice, and of course after the tune up his car ran well on any gasoline. Think of your body as an automobile.
Some of us have sleek race car bodies with finely tuned engines that require lots of fuel to run well. Others of us are like my neighbor’s car, sputtering along with poorly tuned engines that don’t seem to run well no matter what kind of fuel we put in them.
The engine in your body is muscle. You can feed your muscles the best food and vitamins money can buy, but if they’re not tuned up if they’re not exercised they won’t burn up the calories in those foods.
Fat people often blame their weight on recent behavior (like eating too much) instead of looking back through the years for the reason. Getting fat is not a short term process. It starts with a slowing down of metabolism caused by a decrease in the use of muscle. Obvious fat may not appear for five or even ten years.
If you gain weight more easily now than when you were young, it is because your muscles can no longer burn up all the calories you feed them. The ultimate control of metabolism is exercise. I can’t say that exercise absolutely, without fail, cures obesity, because by eating like a pig, you can overcome the fat burning benefits of exercise.
But exercise can change your metabolism in such a way that you become more and more resistant to gaining weight. Diet books that claim miracle insights into weight control are simply flat out wrong. The control mechanism for obesity is not diet, it’s muscle metabolism.
Should you therefore throw out all the diet books and just exercise like crazy? No, you shouldn’t. Dieting is quite useful for losing fat temporarily, but it doesn’t cure the tendency to get fat easily. We all know people who have lost weight by dieting, only to gain it back when they stop. They lose weight, gain it back, lose some more, and gain again.
This pattern is so well known that nutritionists jokingly call it the “rhythm method of girth control.” Even if you lose weight on a diet, you aren’t fixing the slow metabolism that makes you quickly gain weight again. Given the phenomenal lack of long term success inherent in most weight loss diets, you’d think people wouldn’t be suckered into trying them again and again.
People who fall for this con game are like compulsive gamblers, sure that they’ve found the secret for beating the odds. If you play the weight loss game by dieting, you may get short term results, but you
won’t win in the end. You’re going up against the house metabolism hopelessly trying for a big win fast weight loss against all the odds.
Diets are not the answer because they don’t improve metabolism. The only way to improve metabolism is to exercise. I wish I could get fat people to stay away from diet books and friends who claim to have lost a lot of weight.
Instead, they should seek out skinny creatures and ask, “How do you stay so skinny? What do you do?”
They should watch how these creatures live instead of watching what they eat. A fat person should ask a fox, a deer, or even the family dog how he stays so skinny. These animals stay thin because they exercise, exercise, exercise, not because they diet.
When you put gas in your car, do you ask how much fuel your fenders need? The fat on your body is like the fenders on your car. Do you think your fat fenders are saying,”Feed me! I’m hungry!”? It’s not the fenders that need fuel, it’s the engine. If you don’t exercise, your muscles atrophy, meaning that your body’s engine shrinks. It’s as if you’d replaced your big, powerful race car engine with a smaller, fuel efficient engine. Now you don’t need as much fuel, so that extra food is made into fat fenders! Some people get so out of shape that it’s as if they’d replaced their car engine with a lawn mower and they’re towing a trailer!!