- Ready Meals
In previous years you had to cook a meal before you would eat it. If you found yourself placing 4 tbsp. of salt into your dinner you would catch yourself on. Now it all comes in a nice little box and other than the basic Chicken curry and Rice, how many people really care what it’s composed of. This I find is a particular problem when it comes to weight watcher meals. The nutrition information is all there but our eyes just stop at calories. Same goes for others. If a box says “low fat, calorie, salt, sugar” our eyes go straight to that and don’t go any further. When it comes to gaining weight these ready meals include microwave pizzas, pasta dishes for the most part these provide more calories than satiety.
- Snack Foods
The supermarket aisles are so full of options that are ready to eat. We have every crisp flavour and every sweet filling we can think of and some we really shouldn’t have thought up. (Candy cane flavour crisps anyone?) A few years ago portion control came to the forefront and around the same time came the share bag. Next thing we know we are eating the entire bag of crisps and a multipack of sweets.
We removed the deep fat fryer from our life and the entire country was introduced to the oven this method of cooking is so much easier for those of us who can’t really cook. Simply place it in the oven and sit back down on the couch and check once in a while. Easy peasy in your tummy. In my case anyway when the oven became more than a place to store pots and pans was the same time that I first tasted pizza and oh my oh my.
- Fast food prevalence
Fast food restaurants are everywhere. They have wonderful images that make our eyes sparkle and our mouths water. We know that the pictures are rarely a fair representation of what you’ll be given but why should that matter? A double quarter pounder comes in at ~720 calories and will only give you a feeling of satiety or an hour. Gaining weight – Easy peasy.
- Availability of Junk Food
Junk food is everywhere I’ve even seen it by the tills when I’m buying new skinny jeans – which I then wouldn’t fit into. Vending machines have become commonplace in every supermarket so you don’t even have to look a person in the eye when you buy three king size mars bars.
- Soda Drinks
Doesn’t get much easier than this. A bottle of Lucozade contains 266 calories. Fantastic if your blood sugars running low or you’re planning on going on a run but if you’re sitting on the couch munching on pizza it’s not so good.
- Inactive lifestyle
By this I don’t mean that we aren’t exercising I mean that our general lifestyle is inactive. In days gone by, we walked to get where we were going, we didn’t go for a walk. We played football for fun, not for exercise we didn’t have to track our calories we just by nature were active people. Those days for so many of us are gone.
There used to be a stigma on people who were overweight. They used to stand out in a crowd. This made being overweight a terrible thing to be. Now unless you are severely overweight you won’t even turn heads. To be clear here I don’t think overweight people should be judged, but I also don’t think it should be accepted as the norm. At the end of the day, it is not healthy pretending it’s not there is not helping.
- Lack of Sleep
As I’m writing this I am exhausted. This exhaustion often leads us to reach for the sugary snacks otherwise known as empty calories. Energy is gained during sleep and by a healthy breakfast in the morning. By not getting a proper sleep or a proper breakfast we tend to reach for all kinds of sugary snacks during the day this will lead to weight gain.
- Deferring blame.
With the advancement of science, we have gained a whole ton of excuses for our girth. We may be overweight as a result of genes or a ton of real medical conditions. Too many times people use these or any of the causes mentioned above as an excuse for their being overweight when in fact so many of the times it is entirely within our own control.