Genetics: Ressearch has always shown us the there is a direct correlation betweeen genes and obesity.
Can we modify it yes
How: via envionmental changes , life style modifications like diet and exercise.
Stress: no matter how small will Increase hormone called cortisol and it is a known weight gaining hormone especially if you have abdominal fat- Destress by exercise, yoga or meditation.
keep your cortisol levels in check by taking multivitamins daily.
Use of DHEA (hormone) is slightly controvertial but use it on my patients with excellent results.
Food cravings : the thought of food which can only be satisfied till we eat it, Almost everyone will go through this at some point n their lives.
Causes: psychological and physiological.
Psychological: example you eat lunch at 12 everyday then you have been tuned to do that and you will hungry at 12.
Phsiological factors include the intestinal hormonal levels
LEPTIN : satiety hormone, funny that its highest when we are asleep.
GHRELIN:hunger hormone its secreted in the stomach increases in fasting and also Increases food intake)
ADIPOCYTOKINES and ADIPONECTINS: also hormones that are associated with hunger and satiety.
pancreatic polypeptide (PP), intestinal peptide YY 3-36 (PYY), oxyntomodulin: Under lot of research these days especially as they get altered after gastric bypass.
Lact of Serotonin is has been widely as a cause for obesity and depression.
If you getting treaed for depression with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) then it should help with the weight as well.
You can also try 5HTP a precursor of serotonin plant derived which can stablize mood and help with craving.
I wont depend on foods to increase serotonin its very trick as carbohydrates and chocolates can elevate it.
Hypothalamus the center for satiety: our body has center in the brain for food satisfaction, Funny that it cant distinguish between hunger and thirst so best is when you are hungry at unusual times drink a big glass of water and wait minute if you still hungry get a healthy snack.