‘Tis the season of brooding over the extra pounds that we normally pack on during the holidays and tend to hang on thereafter. When I do achieve a weight I am comfortable with, my body refuses to allow me to stay there! It’s time to get back on my simple program. It’s not a “diet program” but a way of eating and living healthier. After all, Spring is around the corner and I need to be in shape for all the activities I will be participating in with my five-year old grandson, which includes putting on a bathing suit! yikes!
Soon, again I hope, I will be bragging again about my weight loss, not my weight gain!
Why Do We Gain Weight?
1. Lack of Sleep – Michele May, MD, author of “Am I Hungry? What to do When Diets Don’t Work”, says “When you don’t get enough sleep, your body experiences physiological stress and you store fat more efficiently.” Also, when you are tired, you tend to eat more as a coping mechanism. You may be taking in more calories from late-night snacking.
2. Stress – It puts us into “survival mode”. May explains, “Our bodies store fuel, slow down metabolism, and dump out chemicals which are more likely to cause obesity in the abdominal region. It is a combination of things, not just one factor, that causes us to gain weight”.
3. Medications – The most common types of medications that cause weight gain are: Steroids, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Antiseizure medications, Diabetes medications, High blood pressure medications, and Heartburn medications.
When I was prescribed a low-dose birth control pill for endometriosis, that many of us living with fibromyalgia have, it was a miracle drug to me. It took away a lot of the pain and heavy bleeding that I had been plagued with. To me, I was willing to live with the extra ten pounds for the relief I felt.
Antidepressants, which can also add extra pounds, are also used to assist with sleep and pain control.
If you believe your medication is causing weight gain, speak with your healthcare provider to see about changing your prescription.
Beware of the dangers of quitting a medication without medical advice. I did not know this could be dangerous years ago when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was prescribed an antidepressant and stayed on it for a year. Because I didn’t feel it was making a difference, I just stopped taking it!
At my next checkup, my doctor asked why I did that and had a look of concern on his face. Consult your healthcare provider before quitting a medication! Lesson learned.
4. Medical Condition – The most common condition that causes us to gain weight is hypothyroidism. A deficiency of thyroid hormone can decrease metabolism, causing appetite loss and weight gain. If you are fatigued, lethargic, swelling, hoarse voice, intolerance to cold, sleeping too much, or headaches, you should see your doctor for an easy test to determine if you have hypothyroidism.
Menopause and Estrogen
Menopause is another condition that all of us women go through. Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, Assistant Director of the UCLA Center for Human NUtrition, says, “It is multifactorial. When women go through menopause, they lose estrogen, causing their shapes to change—usually a loss of hip and thigh weight. They start to gain more in the middle.”
Bowerman explains that estrogen favors fat deposition in the lower body, and when you lose this hormone, fat is more likely to be deposited in the midsection (much like men). This fat is labeled, the “menopot.” The key to avoiding this extra belly fat is to maintain and increase the amount of lean body mass, which will, in turn, increase your metabolism or calorie burn rate.
Find what works for you. My routine is chair yoga, which I attend weekly, and can be practiced at home. I also have a dog that takes me on walks. Plus, caring for my grandson has also helped. My doctor told me I was “deconditioned” before my grandson came into my life.
Obesity Has Many Consequences
If you are obese and have unhealthy eating or activity habits, you have a higher risk of gallstones, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke and sleep apnea, among other conditions. Cancer has also been implicated with obesity.
One study, using National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, estimated that in 2007 in the United States, about 34,000 new cases of cancer in men (4 percent) and 50,500 in women (7 percent) were due to obesity.
Malnourishment Can Also Cause Weight Gain
Did you know that malnourishment could be the reason for someone being overweight? Yet, people will look at what they can take away from themselves instead of looking what they can give their bodies—the nutrition it craves!
Though you may be eating a variety of foods, you need to be able to absorb those precious nutrients from them. Your body, then, will feel satisfied and won’t be constantly craving those extra calories.
Afa blue-green algae has two unique keys for those seeking to lose weight:
**Suppresses Hunger Naturally (without stimulants)
**Corrects Sense of Taste to naturally gravitate toward fresh, life-giving foods.
Most people find they have less hunger urges when eating or drinking afa blue-green algae because it provides extraordinary nutrition for the body. By meeting numerous nutritional needs of the body, the sense of hunger is naturally lessened and with it the urge to compulsively snack and eat larger portions. There’s no need to use stimulants to lessen hunger!
Probiotics – the “Good Guys” in your gut – the “Warriors”
They are the Warriors, always defending your gut from pathogenic invaders. Since most of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, we need to keep it healthy. The immune system can only do it’s job of defending, protecting and healing the body, when given the nutritional support it requires. We do this by repopulating our guts with the beneficial microflora, probiotics, that:
*Normalize bowel elimination and promote regularity
*Fight harmful bacteria, molds, fungi and viruses
*Support healthy liver function
*Help prevent intestinal tract infections
*Clean the intestinal tract, purify the colon and promote regular bowel movements
Digestive Enzymes – “The Spark of Life”
Enzymes are the “spark of life'”! Without enzymes, our bodies do not properly break down food; therefore we do not absorb vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are the basis of health. Our immune system, bloodstream, liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas especially depend upon enzymes for proper digestive function.
Without proper enzymes, our white blood cells try to perform the purpose of the enzymes, usually leaving one feeling tired after eating, and compromising the immune system. Enzymes are responsible for every biochemical reaction that occurs in living matter! All life depends on enzymes! The more processed foods we eat, the less enzymes we have and the more difficult it becomes to digest the food we eat. It is what we can digest and absorb!