5 Reasons Why You May Be Gaining Weight
1. Not Enough Healthy Fat
Low-fat diets have long been touted as the key to a healthy weight and good health, but the evidence just isn’t there. In the past 30 years, the percentage of calories from fat in people’s diets has gone down, but obesity rates have skyrocketed in the U.S.
Part of the problem with low-fat diets is they are often high in carbohydrates, especially from rapidly digested sources, such as white bread and white rice. Such foods increase therisk of weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.
Alternatively, diets rich in healthy fats, like avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil, are significantly more likely to lead to lasting weight loss, according to a 2015 Harvard study.
2. Sugar, Corn Syrup And Additives
Did you know that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine or heroin? Simple sugars, like those found in diet sodas, not only add pounds, but also trigger food cravings, causing you to eat more.
High fructose corn syrup, which is 20 times sweeter than sugar, should also be avoided. Check the labels, as high fructose corn syrup can be found in cereal bars, ketchup and so many other pre-packaged foods.
Additives like Olean, decrease vitamin absorption. And while it is banned in Canada, China and the European Union, it is promoted as a “healthy food” in the U.S. Avoid fake health foods and added preservatives, all of which add unwanted pounds.
3. Slow Metabolism
Remember when you could eat whatever you wanted and didn’t gain weight? Then the years piled on pounds, despite dieting and exercise!
Excess visceral fat sends chemical signals throughout the body that can slow metabolism and increase insulin: high insulin levels can cause inflammation and prompt the body to convert calories to fat. When your liver processes that fat, it deposits it right next to where the organ is located: your midsection.
Obesity lowered total brain volume in healthy, middle-aged individuals in a recent study published in the Annuals of Neurology. What’s more, the study found visceral abdominal fat was significantly linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s!
4. Inefficient Digestion
Hidden food allergies, gluten sensitivity, low beneficial bacteria and gastrointestinal infections like Candida can hamper digestion and contribute to weight gain.
5. Hormonal Imbalance
Balanced neurotransmitters and hormones are keys to healthy weight management. Chronic stress causes high levels of insulin and cortisol in the blood and low thyroid and adrenal function contribute to excess weight.
The thyroid gland regulates metabolism, which has a huge impact on weight, energy level and mood. Thyroid-induced symptoms include weight gain, constipation, hair loss, sluggishness, fatigue, depression and mood swings.
And when stress hormones are unbalanced, the thyroid is often affected, which in turn triggers other issues like PMS, menstrual and perimenopausal symptoms. Controlling stressis key: women burned 104 fewer calories after eating a high-fat meal on days they experienced high levels of stress.
Low levels of dopamine increase cravings, while low serotonin creates carbohydrate cravings and low epinephrine makes it hard to shed pounds. Normal levels of testosterone support lean muscle mass.