10 Reasons We Gain Weight
We all know the basic rule of weight gain: when you eat more calories than you use, you put on weight. We might accept that the opposite is true. This is the basic rule of weight loss: when you eat less calories than you metabolize, you drop excess weight.
So why doesn't weight management seem this simple? And how many of us really count the calories we eat and keep track of how many calories we burn?
We did a little investigation of current medical and nutrition research and uncovered many, many factors that contribute to weight gain. Here are 10 ways we gain weight, each of which have nothing to do with counting calories.
Not enough fat in our diet.
That is, not enough of the right fat. Essential fatty acids, also known as the omega-3 and omega-6 good fats we find in flaxseeds, fish, nuts and seeds, actually are essential. In addition to providing nourishment, fats fuel the body's metabolic rate. The higher our metabolic rate, the more calories we burn doing standard daily activities. Here's information on how to tell the difference between good fats and bad fats.
When you don't properly digest the food you consume, that food will get stored as fat. Poor digestion is a essential factor in weight gain, particularly for people who eat a good diet.
There are internal side effects that are known to directly and indirectly promote the appearance of weight gain. Bloating in the digestive track does not prompt fat production, but it will fatten your waistline.
An obscure disease that affects as many as 25% of the population, insulin resistance causes the body to overstimulate insulin production in order for the insulin to be effective. Since insulin stimulates the body to metabolize glucose in the blood instead of fat, too much insulin will trigger the body to hold on to fat, even when the fat might otherwise be used for energy.
The thyroid gland is is involved in regulating our metabolism, the pace at which our body expends calories. If you have a sluggish thyroid, your metabolism could be adversely affected.
A few prescription drugs are known to promote weight gain. They include antidepressants (particularly Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft), steroid anti-inflammatories (prednisone), drugs prescribed for bipolar disorder, and medications given for hyperthyroidism.
Muscles are our primary engine for burning calories. Any physical, whether walking in a shopping mall or jogging on the treadmill, will use more calories if there are more muscles performing the activity. Better muscle mass also increases our calorie burn when the body is resting. The larger the muscles a person has, higher the rate of metabolism.
When the body doesn't have enough water to function, it retains the fluid it does have. This stimulates water retention in the cells, which adds inches to our body.
Beware of the substitute sweeteners that boast zero calories. There are two reasons why they may cause weight gain to the unsuspecting dieter. A 2008 research study by Duke University found that Splenda contributes to weight gain and destroys good bacteria in the digestive track. There is also mounting evidence that substitute sweeteners elevate insulin levels, which causes the body to store fat. Find out if you are allergic to Splenda.
Improper Food combinations.
There is medical research that shows that the ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat directly affects our insulin levels, which in turn, affects how much fat our body burns. This relates to every meal, even snacks. If you consume a snack of a rice cake with sliced banana, you are getting all carbs -- no protein and no fat. Although your calorie intake is roughly 150 calories, your insulin levels will spike as though you just ate a few donuts. The key to keeping insulin levels low is to always include a little protein and fat with every carb you eat. Learn about the Zone Diet.