Most of us get overweight over a period of time without realizing it. Eating a few more calories than you burn, even from something "healthy" like a glass of orange juice every morning, can make you gain 100 pounds in five years! It's cumulative. Here are some common ways we start packing on the pounds, and don't even realize it.

1) Were you an Athlete?

Say you're into sports all throughout high school and college. Every day you're out on the field burning up an extra 1500 calories. Naturally you eat more to get the energy you need. After a few years you graduate and get a job in a bank, but your eating habits are set in stone. Soon, you're 150 pounds overweight, and everyone figures you have a metabolic disease! Nope. You graduated. What's next? A bigger office?

2) Did you Get Married?

You might be an average woman who burns 1800 calories a day. Miraculously, you've managed to keep your girlish figure into your thirties. Then, you get married to Mr. Wonderful, who burns 3000 calories a day. Now, he has a drink; you have a drink. He has a dessert; you have a dessert. It's only a couple of drinks and desserts with your husband each week, but after a few years, you're 100 pounds overweight! The bum! What's the answer? Divorce?

3) Have a Baby

The doctor tells you to put on some weight, so now you have license to eat whatever you want. A few months later you have the baby, but now you're 40 pounds overweight, and addicted to eating cake and ice cream on a whim. What's more, even if you go back to your good eating habits that kept you slim, you'll still only maintain your current weight, at 40+ pounds! Thinking about having another baby? Will that mean 80+ pounds? What do you do?

4) Grow Up

Imagine you're one of those people who has never had a weight problem. Now you're older, and your body starts changing. Your metabolism slows down, but your habits stay the same. Your body starts storing 200 calories of fat a day, not really that much, but it accumulates. So now, you're gaining maybe 20 pounds a year. Five years later, it's 100 pounds! But you don't overeat! Guess what? Habits are hard to change, and those lifelong habits are now making you incredibly fat. Now what?

5) Live in America

Remember, our calorie or energy balance doesn't have to be too far out of whack to cause a big problem. Think about this: Even if you eat a perfect diet every day -- recommended by a professional dietician -- and only cheat once a week with a hot fudge sundae, you'll become 100 pounds overweight in just 4 years! That sundae was 1500 calories! Does 1500 calories sound like a lot? Look around. McDonald's new hamburger is 800 calories! Denny's Grand Slam Breakfast is 1100 calories! Some fancy "coffee shop" drinks are 500, even 700 calories! The bloomin' onion "appetizer" is about 2000 calories! Actually, the way we live in America makes it easy to become 100 pounds overweight, and that's what's been happening. That's why they call it the "Obesity Epidemic." All around us, food is advertised and celebrated. Food is part of every night out, every holiday, and every fair and festival. We've become addicted to our way of life, and it's been killing us. But we can change, and you don't have to leave America or give up the good life.

So, what do we do? There is a method you can learn, The Anderson Method, that will change the way you think and act so you can lose your excess weight and become the weight you want to be. And you'll actually enjoy eating more than you ever did! Don't give up. You can change things. To learn more about this method, go to

Author's Bio: 

William Anderson, MA, LMHC, is a licensed psychotherapist residing in Sarasota, Florida, specializing in helping people overcome obesity. He is author of the top-selling book, The Anderson Method (Two Harbors Press, 2009, $14.95), and is the creator of the unique behavioral weight loss program now offered by licensed therapists in many locales. Visit his website at .