The causes of obesity

I heard something on the TV news the other day that made me laugh out loud. The newscaster said ‘The causes of obesity are many and varied, and clearly much more research needs to be carried out to find a solution’.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that obesity is funny. But there is just one cause of obesity – consuming more calories than you use. There are things you can do to change what you eat, and how much energy you expend each day, but the only cause of obesity is a consistent, day-to-day imbalance between the number of calories that you use and the number that you consume.

Going a level deeper into the problem, I can think of just 5 reasons that may have led people into the bad habits that create such an imbalance:

  1. Ignorance. They don’t know how harmful to their health being obese is. They don’t know about the health time bombs of heart problems and cancers that they run a serious risk of contracting, or about the likelihood of dying much younger than their healthier contemporaries. They are just happy going along, treating their body badly, without a care in the world. I would like to think that there is no one in this group in the world. Education is a good thing, and hopefully everyone should have the basic information about their bodies to make informed choices about how they want to treat them, and what the likely outcomes are.
  2. They don’t care about being obese. They are happy with the way they are, and with the health problems which they will inevitably face as a result of obesity. I don’t understand people in this group – why would you willingly put yourself through such a torture? But if people are genuinely happy in their skin, they have made a choice. I know some people in this group, and they have every right to be how they want.
  3. Those who can’t see the truth. They don’t see anyone fat looking back at them when they look in the mirror. Or think it’s someone else’s fault that they are overweight. Perhaps they were force fed with cream buns, or defied science by putting on weight despite only drinking water and eating 2 dry biscuits a day. I more info

    don’t think so!

  4. They have low self-esteem. They feel bad because of the way they look. Or maybe they feel bad for other reasons (bad relationships, stressful work, etc) which makes them comfort eat. They just don’t think that they are worth spending the effort on to improve. The only solace they get in life is from enjoying eating what they know they really shouldn’t.

    I suspect that many of this group would like to change but just can’t see a way out of the darkness. They can’t find the willpower to do anything about it. I feel really sad about this group, as they are living through hell, when there is a way of changing themselves, their health and their self-esteem.

  5. They have no willpower. I can sympathise with this group too. I know how hard it can be to make the changes that you know need to be made. It can be difficult getting out of bed early on a winter’s morning to go for a run. It can be impossible to resist eating too much at a barbecue. Only having one drink at a party can be unbearable. But again there is a way to overcome this. Anyone can learn how to have a will of iron, if they want to.

So what is the solution? For the first group, education is the essential ingredient. The more you know, the more you are able to make informed choices about your health and life prospects. So the more information you can read about health and weight, the better.

The second group seem pretty happy, so I won’t worry about them – just wish them good luck (they will probably need it later!).

The third group are really difficult to help, as they won’t believe anything you tell them. Their only hope lies in the patient and persistent support and encouragement of friends and family to help them see the error of their ways. It’s going to take some time though…

The last two groups really can be helped, and should be. I’ve written my own book about how I lost weight and got fit called Get Fit, Feel GREAT! which has a lot of information about how to transform your health.

Rob Knowles 23 July 2009

Lifetime Fitness – what is the most important thing that no one ever tells you?

If you want to achieve a lifetime of fitness, there is one essential thing you must do, but most ‘health’ websites won’t tell you what it is. THEY are only interested in promoting their own program, so they will always say they have the only way that works. However, that fails to recognise that we humans are all different. We all like different things, start off from different points and have different levels of motivation for improving our fitness. So what’s the key thing no one will ever tell you? It’s so simple, I’m almost embarrassed to say, but the most important thing is…..

…..that you start doing something to improve your fitness.

It doesn’t matter what. Just do something. Anything.

Sure, some combinations of exercise and diet are better than others. But almost any WILL improve your fitness. And it will do you more good to do SOMETHING rather than NOTHING. I know it’s heresy, especially as I have written my own eBook about getting fit (, which is mainly in favour of doing regular cardiovascular (CV) exercise (e.g. running, cycling, swimming) and gaining control over your diet. But if you can’t face that type of regime, it will help your health much more if you start SOME kind of fitness program rather than just keep on leaving it until tomorrow.

Another problem many people face in the current harsh financial situation is that they don’t want to waste cash on something that won’t work. It’s often difficult to know how good these health programs are until you’ve actually spent hard earned cash on them, so I have another helpful idea for you – why don’t you test-drive the top three programs on the internet absolutely FREE! If you go to you can download free samples of the top fitness programs without spending a dime! Then, if you really do want to achieve a lifetime of fitness, simply read through each and see if they speak your language.

  • Do they inspire you to start exercising now?
  • Do you think you could stick with the kind of routines they describe?
  • Will they help you to achieve your goals?

Only you can decide the answer to these questions.

So go now to to try out the top internet programs for attaining lifetime fitness.

If none of them suit you, you could try my own eBook It’s less of a formal system than the ‘big ones’, but it’s based on my experiences of getting fit, and staying fit, and my research into what works best. It is a lot more adaptable to your interests and circumstances than my more famous competitors, and it might just help you to make the change in your health that you are seeking.

And remember, it’s more important that you start doing some form of exercise, than what that exercise actually is. You can worry about how to maximise your health gains from your invested time once you have found a form of exercise you like and can keep to. So what are you waiting for? Try out the top fitness programs on the internet now from to see if they can set you on the course to a lifetime of fitness!.

Rob Knowles 21 May 2009

Exercise and diets – How to get both right

Newcomers to the world of fitness frequently are unsure about how exercise and diets go together. Most people who decide that they want to get fit are a little out of condition, and usually a bit overweight. There is no doubt that the maximum gains to be had from a fitness regime come from attention to three areas: cardiovascular training, resistance training (e.g. building muscle by weight training) and nutrition. Dealing with any one of these in isolation will have a positive benefit to your health. But dealing with all three is best.

In practice, I find that those starting out need to concentrate on cardiovascular training (e.g. walking, jogging, cycling…) and nutrition. Only after they have starting making improvements to their fitness should they start thinking about asking Santa for a set of dumbbells!

I’m always talking about the cardiovascular (CV) side of things, so today I thought I’d give you a few ideas about modifying your diet to support your new fitness regime. It’s difficult to give specific advice as I don’t know you, but assuming that you want to lose a few pounds whilst getting fit, here are some good general guidelines to follow:

  1. Try to eat less fat in your diet. That means more white meat (e.g. chicken, turkey) and less red meat (beef or lamb). Also stir-fry or grill the meat rather than deep fry or roast it, as these cooking methods minimise the amount of fat left in the food when you eat it.
  2. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. That means no cola (or at least diet cola if you can’t live without). No sugar in hot drinks (use a sweetener if you need one). No chocolate snacks (try a single square of dark chocolate to overcome chocolate cravings).
  3. Try to eat more vegetables, fruit and nuts than before – you need the nutrients, and a good varied diet is essential if you are increasing the amount of exercise that you do.
  4. Be VERY careful about diet foods. Always read the carton before buying a diet food in the supermarket. For example, many low fat yoghurts being sold as healthy options are FULL of added sugar. You can find ones which don’t have all this sugar, but you need to check the nutrition panel before you buy it.
  5. If you drink alcohol, try to drink wine instead of beer or lager. If you must drink beer, try to go for ‘lite’ beers. You’d be amazed at how many calories a single pint of beer contains (around 200!).
  6. Finally, if you are doing more exercise than you are used to, you will probably need to eat more protein in your diet. That means a bigger portion of meat or cheese than before, but stick to the low fat versions.

I hope that this is helpful. My eBook Get Fit, Feel GREAT! has more information about exercise and diets, should you be interested. Click here to find out how to get fit and lose weight and enjoy the process!

If you want to find out more about nutrition, my wife Eleanor has written an eBook : It goes into a lot more detail about what is in food, what you need to eat to be healthy, and how to modify your diet without giving up the things that you love eating. It’s not a diet book – it is designed to educate you about food, so you can make the right choices yourself. It even tells you how you can eat some of your old favourites, but without heaping on the pounds. Click here to find out more about nutrition and how to cook yourself thin!

I hope that this helps explain the connection between exercise and diet – changing either one will help make you more healthy – changing both together works even better.

Rob Knowles 7 April 2009