Over the course of my career I’ve taken care of over 10,000 patients. Among the most common questions that women ask me is: what can I do
to lose the belly fat? There are many plans to lose weight, but there usually isn’t a discussion of why the weight was gained in the first place.
Understanding why you are overweight makes it much easier to create a plan to help you lose weight.
This is an issue I have some personal experience with. At two-and-a-half years, I was front-page news as “Mighty Might,” the fattest kid in the
county. It was not until I reached middle school, or junior high as it was called, that I had the insight to understand the source of my obesity and
how to manage it.
Access. It’s amazing that in the United States, there are areas where good nutritious food is limited. Often it is urban areas where the poorest
live and fresh food is limited. The less expensive processed and junk food finds its way into the daily diet of millions, and obesity becomes
rampant. We are making headway into this problem of “Food Deserts,” but there is still much to be done.
Behavior: How do you handle stress? Do you work out at the gym or look for a quick oral fix that temporarily satisfies your anxiety. Learning
what stimulates you to reach for a candy bar or a food fix is essential to breaking that habit.
Community. In some communities, being overweight is attractive. My song Phat Fat Rap says it best, “How you look’s not the problem, Jack. it’s
just unhealthy being fat.” But it means that education is not only of the individual but also of the community. Diabetes, heart disease and high
blood pressure are not attractive, but they are directly associated with being overweight.
Insomnia. Too little sleep contributes to obesity by turning down the hormone that curbs appetite (leptin) and turning up the hormone ghrelin,
which stimulates hunger.
Hormones. Estrogen is helpful to making insulin more efficient in getting sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells, and menopause is a
time of lower estrogen. Also, low thyroid hormone is a common problem in menopause that can lead to weight gain.