Wellness Wednesday: 10 Hidden Fat Triggers
Caught in the middle of "diet" and junk food advertisers and marketers, it's no wonder we are confused about what to eat! With fads, trends and pills brought our way each day, the secret to diet and weight loss is often much simpler than it may appear. If you're concerned about excess pounds that have been creeping up on you over the years, take a look at these ten hidden fat triggers that may be contributing to your overall weight gain.
Many of us are under the assumption that eating a lot of lean meat will keep us thin. However, with most animals being treated with hormones, it means the consumer is essentially taking these as well. Pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics, obesogens are being found more and more in commercial meat products. Obesogens disrupt normal development and create additional fat. For the ultimate in health and beauty, try to stick to a predominantly plant based diet and get your meat from organic and hormone free sources.
As research continues on fake sugars, notably aspartame, the verdict remains the same: Diet sodas don’t help you lose weight, they actually do the opposite! Recent studies show that drinking diet soda daily will actually make you heavier over time. What you may not know is that fake sugars are an excitotoxin, a substance that damages nerve cells by excessive stimulation and can therefore accelerate conditions related to your nervous system. If you can’t give up your soda cold turkey, look for a option that uses stevia, a non-toxic sweet herb with no side effects.
Highly Cooked Oils
Due to the highly processed nature of cooking oils, valuable ingredients and molecules are removed or damaged during the cooking process, leaving them toxic to the human body. When molecules are changed into substances that aren’t present in nature, they can have highly toxic effects on biochemical processes as they do not fit the molecular architecture of the body. The solution? If you must use oil in your cooking, try coconut oil. Composed of medium-chain fatty acids, it doesn’t denature the same way polyunsaturated oils do.
Connected to a variety of health issues, stress may also lead to weight gain through physical and emotional connections. When stressed, our natural cortisol levels are elevated which leads to a stimulated insulin release and appetite. In addition, as a result of overly busy lifestyles, we often opt for fast food outlets or feel good foods when confronted with emotional stress. To avoid over eating and emotional eating, make sure to get plenty of sleep, avoid keeping comfort foods in the house and engage in regular physical activity. Tip: Record your eating habits and see if you can identify any patterns.
Even if you don’t have an extreme allergy to gluten, it can create an inflammatory response in the body. Chronic inflammation, which creates cellular oxidation, can contribute to a number of diseases including diabetes, cancer and obesity. Containing substances such as zonulin and phytate, it has the potential to damage your intestinal tract and block the absorption of minerals. Combine this information with the low nutrients provided by gluten rich foods, such as white breads and pasta, and weight gain is inevitable. Try switching to gluten free options and fill up on plenty of fruit for your daily dose of “good” carbs.
Recent research has told us to ditch the dairy and here’s why: Dairy is marketed as a healthy source of calcium when it in fact is a major contributor in obesity and acidosis, which leads to a net loss of calcium in the body. With high levels of protein, casein and lactose, it creates an acidic environment, causing the body to hold on to fat. Heated at high tempertaures during pasteurization, its fat and protein content is denatured. Do a little research at your local grocery store and you’ll find numerous healthy substitutes. One of our favorites: Unsweetened vanilla almond milk by Almond Breeze.
As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, in a cruel catch, many medications used to treat conditions that are linked to obesity are contributing to weight gain. While not all medications have the same side effects for all people, medication associated weight gain can be mild or more severe over the course of a year. In some cases it is unrelated to the action of taking the drug itself but may have side effects that increase appetite for example. If you follow a healthy diet and exercise routine and still find yourself gaining weight, consult your doctor about possible alternatives.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Marketers have tried to claim that high-fructose corn syrup does not increase weight gain more than other artificial sweeteners, but a study at Princeton University proves this to be untrue. Rats who were given high fructose corn syrup gained a significant more amount of weight than those given table sugar in the same amount. Fructose is used in such high amounts in processed foods that the human body is not able to process it all. This can induce leptin resistance where you are more likely to eat just to eat, regardless of how hungry you are.
We all know that alcohol provides us with empty calories, not to mention the occasional late night food binge! In addition, many alcoholic beverages are made using acid forming grains with chemicals and additives that produce excess estrogen in your body. Beer, is known however as one of the most belly fat-inducing preferences. Because it is yeast based and made from wheat, its estrogen producing properties lead to excess fat and weight gain – hence the term, “beer belly.” Lighten up by opting for a simple vodka soda instead.
Whether encountered through the environment or preservatives and additives from our food, let’s face it: toxins are everywhere! Known to be fat soluble, the human body responds to these toxins by storing them as fat. In return, if your body is overly toxic, it can be hard to then lose this weight as your body naturally resorts to using fat to insulate the toxins from damaging tissues. Detoxify your body through healthy juice cleanses and by getting your fill of organic fruits and vegetables. This will also help with any skin problems, aches and pains, energy levels and sleep patterns.
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