You may be sweating yourself thin at the gym, abiding by a strict low calorie diet and continuously resisting sweet temptations, yet still struggling with stubborn extra weight and watching with sorrow your favorite dress go out of fashion year after year. Seems like a familiar scenario? 70% of you are nodding their heads with frustration right now! Before you blame the coach or the dietitian, kindly read along as we uncover some of the hidden causes that throw away all the efforts you spend trying to lose those extra kilos.
Check your medications!
The reason behind some creeping extra kilos may be the medications you have been prescribed. Some may be increasing your appetite or slowing down your metabolism, which eventually results in weight gain. These include some contraceptives, cortisol, steroids, and other drugs that treat depression, diabetes, anxiety, high blood pressure, seizure, migraines, and allergies. If this is the case, make sure you notify your doctor.
Soak your gut in water!
Despite the recurring reminders by physicians and health specialists to drink your 8 glasses of water a day, most people still give it the cold shoulder. Here’s a valid reason to soak your gut in water: dehydration may lead to weight gain. When the body is dehydrated, it retains water as a lifesaver mechanism, which translates into bloating. What to do to break the vicious cycle? Drink more water and decrease your salt intake (table salt, processed food, canned goods, fast food, pickles, soy sauce, etc.) because excess salt leads to water loss.
Get an 8 hour good night sleep!
Are you getting your full 8 hours of sleep a day? Well, no matter what the late night TV program you would be missing is, you should be! Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can decrease leptin and increase ghrelin – the two hormones that regulate your appetite. The end result is more stubborn extra kilos! Now you’ve got one more reason to get a good night sleep. Oh, and for the TV program you missed, it’s fine, you can later watch the re-run!
Ditch the “random shopping” habit!
If you are among the many dieters who fill their trolley with low fat products thinking it is the best way to lose weight, watch out for that marketing trap! Low fat is not always the equivalent of low calorie. Often, food products labeled as low fat have more sugar added to boost the flavor, which may end up giving you the same number of calories or sometimes even more. A recent study has shown that drinking 2 cups of low fat milk a day, for example, would exceed the recommended amount of sugar for women, and 3 cups would do the same for men. What to do? Ditch the “random shopping” habit and avoid any product that lists sugar as one of its top 3 ingredients.
Take a lab test to assess your thyroid!
A possible reason for weight gain is the inability of your thyroid gland to produce enough of the hormone thyroxine, which leads to slowing down many of the body’s processes, including your metabolism. This often leads to tiredness, constipation, dry skin, feeling cold, and gaining weight. If you have these symptoms, make sure you take a lab test to assess your thyroid function.