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Weight Loss Sabotagers

Everyone seems interested in losing weight, or at least keeping it off. There are even some that most of us think need to gain weight, but they don’t want to. Why is it so hard? What are we as a culture doing wrong that so many of us are having weight problems? We can’t look at all the factors in this short article, but let’s look at some of them.

Stress – Our culture is known worldwide for being high stress. Stress does more than tighten your neck muscles and trigger a migraine headache. It does more than make you lose your temper more easily. When we are stressed, the body pumps out three hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. One of the side effects of these hormones is weight gain, usually in the abdominal area.

Toxic overload – Another reason for gathering weight in the abdominal area is the increased toxins in our world. It is in our air, our water, our personal and household care products, and worst of all in our food supply. If the body can’t flush it out it will store in in the fat cells of the body, usually in the abdominal fat. This is one reason why we often feel cruddy when we are losing weight; we are releasing those toxins back into the blood stream where they play havoc with our body functions.

Not eating enough – Since we think of being overweight as an overeating problem this may seem counterintuitive. Our bodies were designed to survive through drought and famine. If your body thinks there is a famine it will shut down all non-essential functions, thereby lowering the need for calories. If we are cutting down on calories to lose weight this survival function will defeat our purpose.

Eating the wrong things – Eating empty calories is worse than not eating anything. The body pulls nutrients from its storehouses in order to digest and eliminate the toxins from the food we eat. If we aren’t getting nutrients from the food the body will begin to experience cravings to try to get you to supply those nutrients. If you feed those cravings with the wrong things you simply make the problem worse.

The need to fit in – We all have found ourselves in situations that we cannot fit in socially if we stick to our good eating habits. There are times when it is appropriate to give in to this social pressure and times when it isn’t. Limiting the number of times can be done by structuring your social life a little differently. It isn’t mandatory to eat the cake at birthdays and weddings. It is mandatory to politely eat what your mother-in-law has spent all day cooking for a special occasion.

You don’t get enough fat – Ever hear the saying that it takes fat to burn fat? There is some truth to it. The problem is that we need to be very careful to get only the best fats. Liquid oils in clear plastic containers do not fit that description. Olive oil eaten cold, coconut oil and organic butter do fit that description. Our brains and nerves need a little bit each and every day.

Too much or too little exercise – Both can be harmful to successful weight loss. Over training can cause inflammation and water retention. Under training means you aren’t burning enough calories to compensate for the amount of food you are eating. Lowering your calories isn’t the answer. Increase your exercise level to a point that it energizes you, and then hold that level. Do not push yourself to exhaustion.

You are chewing gum – Chewing gum does not decrease the amount of food you eat. It does increase your cravings for junk food. It also messes up your digestion. By telling your body you are eating something sweet you are telling it to prepare to digest that sweetness. This is done by producing insulin and digestive enzymes. Over time you deplete these supplies and wear out the organ that makes them. This is the pancreas, and a worn out pancreas can lead to Type I diabetes. Having that insulin in your blood stream all the time can lead to insulin resistance, which is called Type II diabetes.

Your body says you are a healthy weight – People that have been losing weight and hit a plateau may have reached a weight that the body says is healthy for them. They may still not like the way they look, but the body refuses to let go of any more. It is afraid that if it does it won’t have the resources available to fit off danger or illness.

Bad sleeping habits – Sleep is a little like stress, we all need some but not too much. Too little sleep and your body will produce cortisol, one of those fat producing hormones. Too much sleep and you won’t be moving around enough and burn off the calories you are eating.

You are mindless eating – Everyone develops habits. If they are deep enough they are called ruts. Eating at specific times, when you don’t need food is a habit. It can lead to eating the wrong foods. Even eating the right foods it can lead to taking in more calories than your body needs. A favorite time for mindless eating is late at night. This means putting calories into your system right before you shut down that system for the night. All that energy will go into storage, the fat cells.

You really do have a hormone imbalance – Belly fat produces hormones. In women it produces more testosterone; in men it produces more estrogen. Neither is good for us. It becomes a vicious cycle that will slow down weight loss.

You have picked up bad habits – Many of us are really good when we first start on a weight loss project, but get sloppy. We quit measuring and paying attention to small details. We start ‘picking’ at foods and not realizing it. These small bad habits can add up quickly and derail a weight loss program.

You are deficient in Vitamin D – New studies are showing that there is a direct correlation between Vitamin D levels and the amount of fat the body retains. The studies don’t prove which the cause is and which the effect is. Some show one direction and others the opposite.

You have the wrong bacteria – Studies are also being done on the gut bacteria of obese and thin people. The findings are that the guts contain different bacteria in the two groups. Fortunately it is possible to change our gut bacteria through supplementation

As you can see there are many reasons why you may have trouble losing weight. We have just touched the tip of the iceberg. Now the trick is finding the ones that affect you and reducing or eliminating their effect on you.


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