To start with, sluggish metabolism is a myth – we all burn more or less the same amount of calories. It is not entirely true that one person overeats and loses weight while another eats like a bird and “swells up” – sure, can eats a huge dinner but then will run around for hours on end without food. The other one, though, will eat hardly anything but then have a coffee, a snack, another snack, a sandwich – while of course being sedentary. Base metabolism is same for all of us (which is supported by numerous trials). Ecto- and endomorph theory is just pseudo-science; we are only different in our diets and level of physical activity. It is true, though, that our sensitivity to hunger and propensity to like exercise is indeed dependent on metabolism, genes and bodies. And this is what can be amended.

If calories consumed exceed calories burnt, obesity ensues. In order to get thinner, one has to eat less – this is a fact. But this is not helpful at all – a knowledge of a chemical makeup of oxygen never helped a drowning man. Yet, if we understand the process behind becoming hungry we will also know how to reduce our appetite.

This is quite simple – we are hungry when we need nourishment. Weight is irrelevant here – one can be morbidly obese and still the cells may be dying of starvation: the body would literally scream for food… This is due to deficiencies in nourishment. Alongside the improvement of the current means of food production, the quality of it decreased. We only see heaps of empty calories on shop shelves these days.

While the instinct tells us to crave fatty and savory foods, usually it is this group of products that have the least health advantages. The ratio of calories to nourishment is vital – if we cover 50% of our nutritional needs with 1000 calories as compared to covering 50% of needs with 500 calories, the conclusion is that the more caloric food is simply worse quality than the less caloric one. Have a look at a typical dinner – potato mash, salad and some deep-fired meat. It appears that the salad would be the most nutritious part of it, followed closely by potatoes – the meat part would only take the third place and even still the majority of nutrients would be pound it the batter. However, these are streets ahead of crisps or ice-cream anyway.

Insulin related issues are also important. The process is also quite simple – consuming high GI products (they aren’t necessarily high in sugar – for example yogurt heightens insulin levels even higher) prompts our cells to consume glucose; thus, after a while it falls dramatically and the body begins to compensate by secreting hormones that increase its levels in the blood (as the fall was sharp the counter-reaction is also strong which makes the sugar levels too high very quickly again). Before this happens, we’d fell a gnawing hunger for a sweat treat – which raises the levels again so the body matches it up with insulin. And the hammer wheel goes on and on – finally leading to diabetes.

Thyroid issues cause obesity – this frequently repeated statement is only half-true. The weight gain is not caused by sluggish metabolism (the issue actually only increases the total body weight by 2-3 kilograms, most of it being water). The reason lies in extreme fatigue and propensity for injury as well as low mood of the sufferers. Which leads us nicely to the next topic – “eating up depression”.

I consider depression to be a disorder of the body, rather than the mind. In my own personal experience, depression wasn’t the disorder itself but a symptom of a disorder. You treat this as you would a common cold – by terminating the root cause, which is usually straightforward, such as omega 3 or vitamin D deficiency.