Doing More Harm than Good with Our Healthy Lifestyle?
- 1 Minute Read
- Feb 27, 2015
You've committed yourself to living a healthier lifestyle. You get to the gym early and go through your routine. You eat your vegetables and drink your water. But somehow the scale seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Why is that?
You've committed yourself to living a healthier lifestyle. You get to the gym early and go through your routine. You eat your vegetables and drink your water. But somehow the scale seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Why is that? Well, some of us may need to do a tune-up to our healthy behaviors to flip them from adding pounds to shedding them. Here's what to look for.
If you are taking prescription medications, for anything from anti-depression to blood pressure and diabetes, they may be causing some weight gain. In fact, there's a list of "13 Drugs That Can Make You Gain Weight" from Health.com. Anti-depressants impede serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that switches one's appetite on/off; and anti-inflammatory steroids slow metabolism and may even shift weight to unwanted places, like the neck, face, and abdomen. If you take medications, check in with your doctor to see if you're on the lowest needed dose or if there are weight-neutral alternatives.
You eat breakfast, but somehow you're still hungry, or hungry soon-after. Well, let's examine what you're eating. Is it a glass of juice and oatmeal, maybe with some fruit on top? A breakfast like that might seem low-fat and healthy, but it's laden with sugars, which spike blood sugar levels, giving us a rush, and then a crash. Good breakfasts include proteins (Greek yogurt, omelets, etc.), and they are low-carb. In fact, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, a high-protein/low-carb breakfast can help us burn 150 calories more per day. That's losing over an extra pound a month!
You've cut out sugars, but you replaced them with artificial sweeteners. There is substantial research that has shown artificial sweeteners may encourage us to eat more, which causes us to gain weight, and worse, may even alter our guts' microbes' responses to sugar. This can actually lead to acquiring type 2 diabetes. Consider getting all your sugar intake from whole fruits instead, especially berries, which are filled with antioxidants too.
You're at the gym, all day and every day, so to speak, but you're putting on the pounds instead of just moving them. Research has shown that when people over-exercise, think hour-long runs and elliptical marathons, our bodies respond by raising our levels of the stress-hormone cortisol, and that tells our bodies to store more fat. A better approach is to do interval training, which include short, intense bursts of exercise followed by active rest. Repeating this cycle for up to 20 minutes can help us burn more calories and lose more weight. Oh, and don't be tempted to "refuel" with sugary sports drinks and power bars after every workout. We may be consuming more calories than we actually burned. Instead, go for a glass of water and piece of fruit.
If you've been seeing the scale go up instead of down, try some of these and report back to us here or in our MyNetDiary Forum.Exercise->Health Weight Gain->Unwanted Weight Gain