Why am i gaining weight so fast | Surprising Reasons You're Gaining Weight
Surprising Reasons You're Gaining Weight
Overdoing Artificial Sweeteners
If you want to lose weight, you should drink diet soda, right? Well, not necessarily…too much may have the opposite effect. Research shows that people who have diet drinks regularly may be more likely to gain weight and develop metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes having excess belly fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. One theory why: Taste signals how many calories are in a particular food and helps your body judge how they should be used, explains Terry Davidson, PhD, director of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University in Indiana. Loading up on sweet drinks with no calories interferes with that signal, making it difficult for your body to determine how much you really need to eat.
Avoid It:Water is always an ideal choice, but you don't have to go cold turkey on the diet soda. Limit yourself to one a day, and be careful not to compensate with high-calorie beverages like fruit juice or sports drinks.
Judging Fullness with Your Eyes, Not Your Stomach
One difference between the French (whose obesity rates are low) and Americans (whose obesity rates are rising) is that the French say they stop eating when they're full, says Dr. Wansink. "We see the food in front of us, and we eat it," he says. "We tend to eat for volume, not to be full."
Avoid It:Use smaller plates—you won't be able to fit as much on them, and chances are, you'll eat less. Never eat from a carton or a bag, because you can't gauge exactly how much you're having. At meals, take a break when your plate is half empty, and think about whether you want to continue.
Not Recalibrating Your Eating Plan
As you lose pounds, your body needs even fewer calories to keep going (or maintain the weight loss). Unfair, we know, but the lighter you are, the fewer calories you need.
Avoid It:For every 10 pounds you lose, go to CalorieControl.org, type in your new weight and find out how many calories you need to either keep losing or maintain that weight. Also take a look at what you're eating to see if you can get more caloric bang for your buck. Replace low-fiber foods and sugary snacks with high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains; they'll help you feel fuller longer for fewer calories.
Giving Up Fat and Replacing It with Carbs
"Over the years, our caloric intake has gone up almost exclusively due to carbohydrates," says Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, a nutrition and exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut. "We've lowered the amount of fat we eat, but we've replaced it with simple carbohydrates—foods that are typically high in sugar and calories but lacking in other nutrients." Simple carbohydrates like white breads and white pasta are digested quickly and stimulate your body to produce insulin, which can lead to weight gain.
Avoid It:Stick to healthy carbs and fats. That means complex carbs (including whole grains, fruit and vegetables) and monounsaturated fats (the kind found in fish, avocado and nuts, rather than the saturated fat found in butter, ice cream and mayonnaise). Pasta's not off limits; just keep it to two or three times a week, limit your portion size (making it with lots of veggies helps make the serving look bigger) and go for the whole-wheat kind.
Having Syndrome W
When Harriette Mogul, MD, associate professor and director of research of adult endocrinology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, evaluated patients who were gaining weight at midlife despite dieting and exercising, she found they had elevated insulin levels. Several studies later, she has identified Syndrome W, a set of symptoms (including elevated insulin) that cause changes in your metabolism that make it hard to lose weight even if you're active and eating healthy. "Women with Syndrome W usually have normal blood glucose levels but elevated insulin—and doctors don't routinely test insulin unless you ask them to," explains Dr. Mogul.
Avoid It:Women who have the classic and common version of Syndrome W are usually thin for most of their lives, but as they age, they start to put on weight only around their waists. (Some women with lifelong weight struggles also have it.) If you suspect you're at risk, ask your doctor to test your insulin levels in addition to doing a blood sugar/diabetes/fasting glucose test. Dr. Mogul treats her Syndrome W patients with the diabetes drug Metformin, and a diet high in fruit and vegetables that limits carbohydrates to late in the day. Check out Dr. Mogul's website for information.
Expecting Too Much From Exercise
Who hasn't thought,I just walked for 30 minutes, so I can have that piece of chocolate cake tonight. But remember this: "It's much easier not to eat a candy bar than to burn 300 calories exercising," says Jennifer L. Temple, PhD, assistant professor of exercise science and nutrition at the University at Buffalo. "People frequently overestimate the calories they're burning during exercise," she says. For example, let's say you walk for an hour each day (for the average 150-pound woman, that burns about 200 calories). That's abouthalfof the calories in a piece of chocolate cake—which you could all too easily eat.
Avoid It:"Focus on cutting calories, and think of exercise as a way to help you do that instead of looking at it as, 'I did this much activity, so I can eat this many calories,' " says Dr. Temple.
Always Doing the Same Workout
"Muscles have memory: They get used to your routine and don't work as hard each time you do it," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, senior fitness executive at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts. "This means that over time if you don't change things up, you'll burn fewer calories." Another thing to add to your workouts: resistance training, whether it's resisting your own body weight, or using resistance bands or free weights. It's key to building muscleandboosting your metabolism, since muscle burns more calories than fat.
Avoid It:To boost your current workout, walk faster for 1 minute, then return to walking at your regular speed. Repeat this every 5 to 7 minutes. Also add resistance training to your usual routine two to three times per week.
Being a Motivated Eater
What would you do to get a snack? Get off the couch at 10 p.m., change out of your pajamas and drive through a frigid night to buy ice cream at the grocery store? Then you're a motivated eater and it can be harder for you to resist indulging your cravings, says Dr. Temple. "Non-motivated" eaters would rather not eat anything and just stay put on the couch.
Avoid It:Stop, drink, reevaluate. Next time you find yourself craving Ben & Jerry's at midnight, have a tall glass of water (or seltzer or decaf iced tea) first. If you've still got a monster craving, have a small serving of your treat. Better yet, make it a lower-in-calories-and-fat version: ½ cup lowfat ice cream, one granola bar or cookie. And if you want to drive through a blizzard for ice cream, at least make yourself wait until tomorrow!
Eating Too Much Sugar
Sounds like a no-brainer—eat too much sugar and you're sure to gain weight. But what if you don't even realize how much you're eating? It's a real possibility these days, since so many foods—even ones you wouldn't think need to be sweet—contain added sugars. The problem is that the more sugar you eat, the more you crave. Sugar can cause your blood sugar to spike; when it drops down again, you want more of the sweet stuff and can end up eating more calories, says Dr. Temple.
Avoid It:Carefully read food labels before you purchase a product, and limit the ones with predominantly added sugars. Some of these include corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, honey and molasses. The higher up on the ingredients list the sugar is, the more of it there is in the product.
Video: The Surprising Reason You’re Gaining Weight
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