Why am I Overweight? I Don’t Overeat!

This is a pretty common question, and a challenge that many people face! It’s often merely assumed, by some, that overweight people are “greedy,” but in most cases this is far from the truth.

The problem is usually our sedentary lifestyles, and consuming a few extra calories here and there – throw in the addition of time, and you may find that your weight has really piled on!

Not getting enough exercise means that our energy requirements may not be as high as you’d expect. In fact, eating just a small amount more than you need each day will result in a steady weight increase over the years. Consider this – if you were to eat just 100 calories a day more than you require, this will result in an annual weight gain of 4.7 kg (10lb). Pretty shocking!

Something else to consider is that as we get older our metabolism tends to slow down very gradually, particularly once we reach around the thirties. Interestingly, it has been estimated that for every five years above the age of 30, we need to consume around 50 kcals a day less, to maintain our weight pre-30′s.

Obviously, there may be other factors contributing to weight gain, however I think it often boils down to these facts in one way, or another.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I getting enough exercise? Recommendations suggest 30 minutes of moderately intense activity, 5 times each week.
  • Am I overeating? Maybe you could keep a food journal, which will give you a better indication of how you’re doing.
  • What can I reduce from my diet to save 50 kcals per day?

You may also want to check out my Balanced Nutrition Series and Fab Snack Ideas Under 200 Calories, for more tips and advice on healthy eating.

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rena March 5, 2012 at 1:45 am

I keep searching the internet because I AM one of those people that don’t over eat and still gain weight.
In my younger years, I was anorexic looking and underweight. When I had my 5th child at 34 that is when the weight gain started. Every other baby I went right back down to my pre pregnancy underweight within 3 months.

Unfortunately, I am also now disabled, so exercise is also a problem. At least the kind told to be needed to lose weight.

I WAS obese. However, several months ago, I lost 20 lbs in a month. Am at a plateau now, gained 3 lbs and now stuck. Still 43 lbs above my goal weight of 118.

However, when my budget and schedule allows, and I eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, I lose weight. (By the way, has anyone noticed that is one thing all famous diets have in common:Jenny Craig, weigh watchers, e-diets, medifast, etc)

So, who, what, where addresses such issues?


Melanie March 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi Rena,
The difficulty is that most advice you read on the internet, or from weight loss programs is designed to suit everyone. But, as we all know, each person is so very different, so how can this advice really suit everyone… well, it can’t. The only thing I can suggest for you is to see someone personally about your diet, so that you get specific advice, tailored to your own needs.


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