Top Five Things that lead to Weight Gain
Medical studies are now revealing that some of us are somewhat genetically predisposed to obesity. Whatever the reason, each of us must work with our individual biological makeup to learn what is needed to attain that necessary balance between body and mind.
For chronic obesity, the only failsafe plan is to lower calories and carbohydrates and increase physical activity. But there are those who need to keep their weight up, not down; athletes and non-professional runners may need to increase their calories with smoothies and — horrors! — more fat in their diet. Weight training is another way underweight people can increase muscle mass and gain weight safely and overweight people can lose fat and replace it with muscle weight.
The bigger problem (literally) is unwanted weight gain.
5 Things to Avoid
Your physical and emotional fitness are critical for fit healthy women and men, so here are five things to avoid that can circumvent your healthy lifestyle and cause you to pack on unwanted pounds:
1. Hyperpalatable food — To make fast foods more tasteful and desirable, manufacturers fill them with excessive fat, salt and sugar. They're also loaded with chemical preservatives to increase their shelf life. Just as alcohol and nicotine are addictive drugs, fast food manufacturers’ goal is to get you “hooked” on their products.
2. Insulin — Insulin is a necessary hormone, and one of its functions is to tell our fat cells to store and protect fat. The best way to lower insulin levels is to cut down on “bad” carbohydrates; white bread, pasta and rice, pastries and sugar-sweetened beverages are your worst enemies!
3. Misinformation — All of us are frustrated by the misinformation issued almost daily about nutrition and our bodies. Social media is probably the biggest offender, but reputable sources may not be that much better. In order to “believe” findings released by any health or medical group, check its organizational origins. Is it non-profit? Does its corporate funding reveal a possible conflict of interest? One well-known, disease-specific organization is sponsored by a pharmaceutical company that profits from sale of drugs to treat the disease. Another nutritional authority receives funding from a soft drink company and also a cereal company that offers no sugar-free cereals.
4. Stress — Your body responds to stress by increasing its insulin and cortisol production, which makes you want to eat sweets and fats. Your brain responds with a “reward;” you feel more relaxed and calm. The next time you feel stress, you’ll crave that feel-good feeling you get from food.
5. Sugar — Sugar is an important part of a healthy diet when it comes from natural sources, like fruit or vegetables (beets and carrots, for example). Whether it’s glucose, dextrose, galactose, sucrose, fructose or the much-maligned corn syrup, refined and processed sugars are to be avoided when possible. Honey and agave nectar are terrific natural sources of sweetness.