How familiar does this scene sound:
You eat lunch at work, somewhere around noon or so, only to finish your day at around five. Given that you didn't have the time to grab a quick mid-afternoon snack, it's now been almost five hours since you've last eaten. Then, you drive for about a half an hour from work, spend ten minutes or so settling in at home, and then finally swing open the fridge. Staring you in the face are the tasty leftovers from last night's ravioli dinner, so you wolf them down in about three bites. Minutes later, you finally plop down on the couch and flip on the TV.
That all too familiar scenario alone points to a number of problems with our diets:
1) We generally spend waaaaaaaaaaay too much time in between meals. The less often you eat, the more weight you will gain. Long periods of not eating will cause your body to respond by slowing your metabolism. By contrast, the more often you eat, the more weight you will lose (or, at least, your chances of gaining weight will be diminished). By not allowing your body to ever feel hungry, your body will respond by revving up your metabolism.
2) We stress ourselves fat. Rushing around town, trying to be here and there, worrying about this and that - all of that worry and stress leads to an increased release of cortisol. Put simply, cortisol is a hormone that can affect not only your weight gain and muscle loss, but can also raise blood pressure and be immunosuppressive.