Do you know the five reasons you're overweight? [Dieting after sixty]

If you know or can determine the five reasons you are overweight the task of losing weight may not be quite so daunting.

Many overweight people don’t want to think about why they are overweight. For many it’s best not to think too much about their weight at all. Perhaps you have always been overweight and come from a family of heavily build parents and grandparents and are resigned to being the same. Even so most of us really know that we can do a lot to reduce our weight and our BMI (body mass index) but at times it just seems too hard.


Running Track

I undertake a lot of research into weight issues and I feel it is so important to isolate and determine the five main reasons why you over eat. Then you can work out a strategy to steadily decrease your food intake while steadily increasing your energy output.

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You can then concentrate on resetting your brain to work on these five main reasons rather than thinking or even mentioning the word ‘dieting’. Of course you don’t have to tackle the five reasons at once, you can choose to reset two of your bad habits during the first month or so. Then add additional items until you have worked on the five that have been isolated. Resetting a habit will take 8 – 10 weeks for your brain to get used to not having a particular food that you may love or be emotionally addicted to. If one of your reasons is a lack of daily exercise, that can also take 8 – 10 weeks for your brains to reset to get used to a new habit of being more active.

Most of us over sixty are on some form of medication that for many have had an effect on their weight. If medication is on your list of the five major reasons you may need to isolate another item especially if you can’t stop taking the medication.

One of the main reasons for my excess nine kilos is post cancer medication, so I isolated these five main items that relate to food and exercise:
1. Lack of regular daily exercise
2. Overindulgence of bread, butter and spreads
3. Portion sizes of meat and chicken
4. Making the wrong choices in restaurants
5. High fat cheeses like triple brie and camembert
I’m tackling portion sizes of proteins and wrong choices in restaurants for February and March and then when I have these bad habits under control I intend starting on other items on the above list of my list.

Once you have reset a couple of your bad habits you can add other items to your list of five. Late last year my list of five included refined carbohydrates such as cakes, slices and biscuits. I’ve now managed to reset my brain on these and my house is now a cake and biscuit free zone. I find that I now am no longer tempted by these high kilojoules carbs. It often means I have to make excuses why I’m not going to have a slice of the special birthday cake, or something the host says they made especially for me. It’s becoming easier to refuse because I don’t ever want to have to do the work again on the issues I’ve resolved.
I was interested to find out what others peoples five main reasons why they are overweight were. Below is what I found out from the five women and five men I researched:

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Woman 64… 1. Chocolate. 2. Morning teas, cake and biscuits. 3. Emotional eating at night. 4. No exercise. 5. Sugar in coffee and tea.

Woman 67… 1. No regular exercise. 2. Cakes and biscuits. 3. Crisps and lollies. 4. A bottle of wine every night. 5. Binge eating late at night.

Woman 63… 1. Eating between meals. 2. Sweets and chocolate. 3. Inactive watch TV all day and night. 4. Wine and spirits every day. 5. Huge portions of everything.

Woman 71… 1. Large meals at the club. 2. Cake and coffee out with my friends. 3. Nibbling after dinner. 4. Too much alcohol. 5. Lack of exercise

Woman 66… 1. Chocolate. 2. Chocolate. 3. Biscuits. 4. Beer. 5. Crisps and crackers.

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Man 68… 1. Beer. 2. Meat pies and sausage rolls. 3. Hot chips. 4. I’m a couch surfer. 5. 400 gram steaks.

Man 68… 1. Alcohol all type. 2. Large portions. 3. Eat bread all day. 4. Crisps, dips and nuts between meals. 5. Inactive.

Man 66… 1. Buffets at the club. 2. Beer. 3. Snack at night late. 4. Big steaks. 5. Hot chips as snacks when out.

Man 63… 1. Beer and red wine. 2. Portion sizes. 3. Bar snacks. 4. Snacking between meals. 5. No exercise.

Man 67… 1. Late night eating. 2. Portion sizes. 3. Sweet tooth. 4. Pizza. 5. Beer.

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It would seem that a sweet tooth, eating between meals, portion sizes, fast food, alcohol and a lack of exercise are some of the main reasons the people over sixty I researched were overweight

For those eating between meals this is one of the easiest habits to reset and would show results almost straight away. The best way during the morning to try and avoid eating is to make sure you have a high GI breakfast and then keep busy with regular tasks until lunch. Then after lunch it may be the time to do some regular exercise even if it’s only walking to the shops to do some shopping for an item for dinner. Then try to get into the habit of eating your evening meal prior to 7pm. Then the hard one for some, don’t’ eat again until breakfast the next day.

For those with a sweet tooth the journey may be more difficult as sugar is now seen as being as addictive as some banned substances. I’m an all or nothing person and find it easier to not indulge at all than try to restrict myself. If you’re at home a lot of the time then the easiest thing is not to have any sweets in the house. I know it is easy to say but maybe you can work on just getting rid of a few things at a time from your house.

For those that like to overindulge in alcohol things can also be difficult. If you’re a beer drinker try only having a couple of cans in the house rather than a slab. For the wine drinkers there are the single serve bottles. Of course they are more expensive but if it’s not there you can’t drink it!

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Can you pinpoint the five reasons you’re overweight? Tell us what they are in the comments below…

I would love to know how this works for you. xxx CaroleL

Check out your BMI if you don’t know it. It can be calculated at: xxx CaroleL

If you would like me to cover any particular topic in this column please email me at: [email protected]

Anyone with a BMI over 25 and over the age of 60 should really look seriously at devising an eating plan that has reduced kilojoules. You need an uncomplicated plan that can also fit in with your lifestyle, and one that you can adapt if necessary for unavoidable social events.
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online dating for over 60s-starts at sixtyCarole Lethbridge is the author of “Online Dating After Sixty: One woman’s journey of love, lust and losers”. She has been both married and single over the last few decades and she has done her own research, gathering extensive data on relationships between females and males. Online Dating After Sixty is available for purchase for $21.50 via Booktopia.