Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6 Sneaky reasons you’re gaining weight

I think it’s fair to say that many of us are fighting the battle of the bulge…and losing!

Although the most common factors behind gaining weight are still your diet and lacking exercise, it’s more complicated than that.

First of all, counting calories is useless because all calories are not created equal—what matters more is the nutritional value of foods.  500 calories of chocolate is vastly different from 500 calories of chicken and vegetables—one will nourish you and keep you full while the other is empty calories that will leave you hungry for more. 

Plus people’s definitions of “exercise” can run the gamut.  I swear some people think tying their shoes counts as a workout.

But beyond diet and exercise, here are six other sneaky factors that may be packing the pounds on you:

1- Antibiotics
I’m not talking about occasional antibiotics you take for an infection here.

I’m talking about antibiotics in your food—specifically in meat and milk from antibiotic-treated livestock.

The US uses nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics each year to raise animals for our consumption, and one of the primary reasons is to promote weight gain in the animals.  Bigger cows = more meat and milk (and profits).

Unfortunately, research is showing that antibiotics have the same effect on YOU when you consume the meat and milk from antibiotic-treated animals.

How you can help: Strive to buy organic.  Yes, organic meat and milk can be more costly, but research options in your area for local organic farms.  You may be able to save a lot of money…and help trim your waistline.

2- Artificial sweeteners
Even though your body is taking in zero calories with artificial sweeteners, your brain is not fooled.

When you eat (real) foods, your body releases the hormone leptin, which eventually tells your brain that you are full once enough calories and nutrients have been taken in.

But when you eat artificial sweeteners, your brain is “teased” by the sweet taste and expects calories to follow.  Since it never receives calories (or nutrients) this causes continuous feelings of hunger and makes it very likely that you will overeat.  

That sounds like a recipe for weight gain to me.

How you can help: Stay away from artificial sweeteners at all cost.  Small amounts of organic raw sugar, honey and maple syrup are better options.  Plus minimally processed Stevia can be a good low-cal choice.

3- Healthy foods that aren’t
Many foods that are heavily processed, adulterated and marketed as “healthy” are about as good for you as eating tar…and will pack the pounds on you to boot.

Yogurt is an excellent example.

Yogurt in its pure, simple plain form is an excellent food—it’s a great source of protein, potassium and calcium, plus it is a natural source of probiotics which help support a strong gut flora balance and immune system.

But many of the heavily processed yogurts (especially those marketed to children) contain proportionately more sugar than a candy bar.

How you can help:  When it comes to any kind of packaged food, especially those that are called “healthy,” it pays to become a careful label reader:
  • The longer the list of ingredients, the less healthy it is.
  • If you don’t know what an ingredient is, neither does your body…and it most assuredly will not be good for you. 
  • Immediately put back any product that contains high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners or that has sugar in the first few ingredients.
  • If you must purchase a processed food item, strive to buy organic.
Plus the less you rely on packaged foods in general and the more you eat REAL nutritious foods, the easier it will be for that excess weight to finally start coming off.

If you need help with that, just follow the Great Taste No Pain plan.

Great Taste No Pain will teach you how to prepare easy, delicious meals that not only taste fantastic but are loaded with nutrients that your body so desperately needs.

You’ll see the difference in your level of hunger and your waistline!

4- Medications
Many commonly prescribed medications can cause weight gain including:
  • Prednisone
  • Paxil
  • Depakote
  • Prozac
  • Zyprexa
  • Insulase, Diabinese
  • Allegra
  • Thorazine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Insulin
  • Tenormin
  • Birth control pills
How you can help:  If you are on any medications, check the package insert to see if weight gain is a side effect.  If so, ask your doctor about alternatives.

5- Stress
Chronic stress can cause weight gain.

Stress makes your body produce the hormone cortisol, which can deplete lean muscle and make your body hold on to fat in the belly region. It also enlarges your fat cells, allowing them to store more fat!

How you can help:  Regular exercise is great for reducing stress and helping you burn fat.  So get your doctor’s OK and get moving!

Also you can try counseling, therapy, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, acupuncture, hobbies, visualization, Tai chi, aromatherapy, biofeedback, hypnosis and adopting a pet.

In addition, help your gut recover from the effects of stress and help smooth out your digestion by supplementing with a high quality probiotic formula like Super Shield.

Super Shield's 13 strains of potent beneficial bacteria can help repopulate your friendly microbe population, helping to fight off harmful bacteria and pathogens and beef up your immune system.

In addition, these good guys also help enhance nutrient absorption, which is critical to help avoid food cravings and overeating.

6- Lacking sleep
Lacking sleep has been linked to obesity in both animals and humans.

How you can help:  If you’re a Night Owl, it’s time to start hitting the hay earlier.  The average person need seven to nine hours per night.

When you address all the possible reasons why your scale is creeping up, it’s very likely that you’ll see that number start to go DOWN in the very near future!

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