I don't buy the whole carbohydrates are bad for you hype. The Atkins craze is completely unfounded. Carbohydrates have been a staple diet for every single civilization in human history. Its quite simple why it is the staple. Carbohydrates break down in to glycogen, which fuels cells. Fueling cells allows you to work with efficacy.
There are three main factors that contribute to weight gain of the negative kind.
Genetics: The first deals with genetics. Some people really are more predisposed to a heavier weight than others, be it a slower metabolism or what have you. That means people with this problem have to go the extra mile in order to keep the pounds off. But anyone can overcome their predispositions.
Eating too much/little: Eating too little is actually far worse than eating too much. There are many people who do not eat in the morning. They sometimes opt to indulge on snacks during lunch. Then as day turns to night, they feast, engorging themselves. This is horrible for you because the body is now jealously holding on to all those calories. And as you sleep, they produce fatty tissue.
The human body is made to eat 6-8 small meals per day, not 3 large ones, where in between we feel starving. What happens is that the body goes in to a catabolic state when it isn't being feed every 2-3 hours. It may be almost imperceptible, but you are doing your body no favors when neglecting it.
The body will always try to recover or compensate for abuse taken upon it. For instance, when you work out and your muscles get sore, that is a good indication of a good workout, regardless of the lactic acid. That means you are making micro tears in the muscles. With a good diet and proper sleep, they will heal even bigger. But your body will get used to a workout routine. This is why you should switch it up at a recommended rate of once a week, but no more than two weeks.
Your body does this exact same kind of compensating for things like food. When you don't eat breakfast, your body is already starved for energy. By going a few more hours, you are going in to a catabolic state. Your body then begins trying to conserve glycogen and slows down your metabolism. That means that while you eat less, you gain more! The way to fix this is to eat more... but sensibly. When I say eat 6-8 times a day, that doesn't mean order steak and potato's 6-8 times a day. It means eat granola bar or have fruit in between small meals.
Sedentary lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle is a death sentence to your heart and pulmonary system. Inactivity is the quickest way to negative weight gain. For those who work in an office environment, it is made even worse than those who at least have a job that requires a lot of activity. For maximum positive weight loss, a structured anaerobic schedule (15-45 min of cardio for 3-5 days a week) along with weight training (15-45 min for 4-6 days a week, targeting one muscle group per day) will shed the pounds, and add good weight in the form of muscle.
While losing fat, a person who remains consistent can add 1 lb of dry muscle per month. That doesn't sound like a lot, but what accompanies that 1 lb of solid, dry muscle is lean muscle mass (2-4 lbs of it).
If you don't want to be fat, then don't be fat. Weight loss is one of the only things we can do to improve on as it relates to our physical appearance. Might as well capitalize on the things we can change.
â€œThere is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis