A recent study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice has discovered that weight loss is harder today than in the past.
Researchers at the Faculty of Health at York University in Toronto, Canada found that American adults from the 1980s had a lower BMI than a modern day American, even though they had the same diet and exercise habits.
What research was undertaken?
The team of researchers looked at the dietary and physical activity data of over 36,000 Americans between 1971 and 2008, as well as 1988 and 2006.
They grouped the data by activity, age, BMI and food consumed.
They discovered that while the macronutrients and exercise levels were the same in both timelines, those in the modern age had a BMI that was an average of 2.3 points higher.
This amounted to them weighing around 10% more than their 1980s counterpart.
Professor Jennifer Kuk from the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University had this to say about the results:
“Our study results suggest that if you are 40 years old now, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than if you were a 40 year old in 1971, to prevent gaining weight.”
What does this research indicate?
This study suggests that perhaps diet and exercise are not the only aspects to consider when it comes to BMI levels rising.
“There may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise.”
Other aspects such as medication use, environmental pollutants, genetics, timing of food intake, stress, gut bacteria and even nighttime light exposure could all be playing a part.
What can you do to combat rising obesity levels?
Just because this research has indicated that weight loss maybe harder to achieve today, this does not mean that we have to accept it.
If you are overweight or obese then you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and a host of other conditions that could significantly increase the risk of an early death.
You can still lose weight if you really want to, you just may have to work a little harder than in the past.
I would suggest for a start that you cut back on junk food and takeaways. Instead eat more fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables as they have very few calories, but can help fill you up as well as being full of important nutrients.
You should also start eating more fibre and protein-rich foods too. The fibre will help to fill you up and keep you feeling full, while the protein can also help fill you up but will also provide you with slow-release energy that will prevent blood sugar spikes.
The protein is important for building muscle too, which you should aim for. As increased muscle mass also leads to an increase in your metabolism.
This lead us onto exercise, while cardio is good for burning calories I would also suggest that you start lifting some weights too.
Not only will it help build muscle, but you will find that you will continue to burn calories long after your workout.
The final few tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals, is to drink more water instead of your usual soft drinks or alcohol, to make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, and to try and reduce your stress levels.
With these few simple changes you will soon start to see some good results.