We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The experience of food satiety is mediated by a variety of physiologic signals, psychological states, and cultural factors, and some of that signaling may have some genetic tendencies. However, it is my experience that the main causes of overconsumption are three simple things: the ready availability of tasty carb things (unresisted temptation), feeding+sitting as recreation, and ignoring satiety. By the latter, I mean not paying attention to when enough is enough. In our world, there is always more, and gluttony, eating until "full," makes no sense at all on a routine basis.
In other words, ignoring your body's "enough" signals instead of one's maximum stretched stomach capacity. Some people will consume whatever is put in front of them regardless of hunger, while some will only consume until they sense that they have had enough. The former two are the buffet-killers while the latter do not consume their cost of the buffet. Living in a world of food abundance has a downside but nobody would choose the alternative.
I have found that overweight people can be easily trained to identify satiety if they want to. We know a few things about this:
3. Food impairs mental alertness and physical capacity for a while so it's best not to eat for a couple of hours before exertion. Hydration is necessary, though. If at your ideal weight or underweight, a little carbs an hour before difficult exertion is a good idea. After heavy resistance work, a little protein, or a regular meal if at target weight, is an ok idea.
I think we are all screwed up because during childhood and, especially the teen/early adult years, our appetites are ramped up as is our craving of sweets (and capability to eat large volumes w/o getting tick).
Then, add on top of that the confusion that comes for a woman who gets pregnant or is nursing. It's like being a teen all over again...your cravings and food needs take control and it is harder to deny yourself when you are thinking about growing a baby inside of you.
So to adjust to an 'adult' view of eating takes YEARS. I don't think it really hit me until I was in my mid- to- late-30s. And by that time, many of us have packed on extra weight.
The good news for me is as I have gotten older, I cannot tolerate a lot of sweet foods. I prefer VERY dark chocolate, I can't stand most yogurt (the sugar content is ridiculous), and I find myself enjoying more savory foods and vegetables/fruits.
But when I was 10? I could eat three scoops of ice cream slathered in fudge sauce. I didn't get sick. In fact, I only stopped because I was FULL. Can't even imagine doing that now.
As a young person you are very much driven by your appetite and not by your head. Maturity kicks in, but by then some of the damage has already been done.
I am amazed at carb's ability to increase my hunger. Chicken tikka masala by itself produces a full feeling. When consumed with rice, I'm receiving hunger signals again 2-4 hours later ( I work nights and eat before leaving the house)
For most people it is genetics. Yes you can eat less and lose weight but it is your genetics that determine where your body wants to be and how much fat it wants to store. To simply say it is because we ate too much as teens or we eat to many sweets misses the point. You can "diet" and lose some weight but unless you then watch your "diet" for the rest of your life you will gain the weight back. If on the other hand your genetics make you thin or normal weight you can eat anything you want, all you want and it simply doesn't matter. My son had to gain 5 lbs and get a waiver to join the Army he weighed 115 lbs. That was ten years ago and he is barely 125 today. He eats everything in sight. Both of my other boys are thin even too thin by my judgement and they too eat everything you put in front of them. My weight is normal and I eat everything including junk food and I eat four times a day. Yesterday I bought 5 lbs of chocolate chip cookies at Safeway (they are soooo good) to snack on between meals. % lbs of cookies is a lot of cookies and maybe I can make them last five days. My weight hasn't changed much in 35 years (I'm down about 5 lbs lately).
If it were a "set point" or because you eat too much 'carbs', 'protein', 'fat', gluten', etc. then we could all simply eat "the right things" (whatever that means) and reach and maintain our ideal weight. But that isn't the case. Most people cannot maintain their ideal or preferred weight. For most people who are overweight maintaining a ideal weight requires constant dieting (calorie restriction). Yet for most people who are their ideal weight there is no need to restrict calories and regardless of what they eat their weight stays the same. It is genetics, pure and simple. And it is tough to overcome. So everyone creates an excuse or a reason, you claim it is a set-point. people who are genetically slim will claim it is because fat people eat too much. People who like fad diets will claim it is sugar or HFCS, or rice and potatoes. Vegans or vegetarians will claim it is eating animal products.
Your body wants to store fat. Over the hundreds of thousands of years that humans have evolved to the present day storing fat meant that you lived long enough to procreate and you passed that trait on to your children. That is genetic. It isn't a bad trait, it may come in handy someday. But humans also have free will and they "like" other humans with "ideal" body weights so we all, being human, want to have an ideal body weight too. But our genes (in general) have predetermined what your body will want to do. Therefore: genetics.