There are numerous reasons individuals might be overweight that range from bad genes, to medications that cause weight gain, to lack of exercise, or simply eating too many calories.
At the same time, many researchers attribute our world-wide obesity epidemic to a landslide effect that is actually the culmination of many factors: an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, increased crime causing individuals to stay more indoors and less outside, over-reliance on convenience products and technology decreasing our need for movement today, and increasing consumption of hidden sugars, refined starches, trans fats, and fast food.
Taking medication can make you gain weight daily. Daily. Medications such as antidepressants, pain meds, fibromyalgia medications, and other medication increase inflammation in the body, can have an exaggerating effect upon the appetite, and can cause weight gain as well. Some medications also decrease one’s desire for exercise.
The medications that are most associated with weight gain are anti-depressants, antipsychotics, diabetes medications (ironically), corticosteroids, blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and antihistamines.
2. Lack of Nutrients in Foods Today
This may sound odd to you at first glance, but researchers today are focusing upon how decreasing nutrients in our produce connects with the skyrocketing obesity rates around the world. Scientists believe that a lack of key minerals and vitamins in our food causes us to experience heightened and constant cravings for food, making us overweight and still nutrient deficient. Minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium are literally vanishing from our produce. A stalk of broccoli has only 30% of the nutrients it had 30 years ago. This is why looking to plant based minerals, mineral rich whey protein powder shakes and foods like natural protein bars, as opposed to synthetic supplements, can help us get more of the nutrients we need naturally and stop incessant food cravings as well.
3. Too Little Sleep
People all over the world today get less deep wave sleep today than they did 40 years ago, before the internet revolution and the technology boom changed all of our lives forever. Today
researchers are finding a strong correlation between insomnia, lack of sleep, and obesity. Deep wave sleep is the third wave of sleep that happens right before every cycle of REM sleep. We need 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night to reach our full night’s requirement of deep wave sleep. Since the slow wave/deep wave sleep cycle is the only phase of sleep when fat burning and muscle development and repair from exercise happens, without sleep, you’ll gain weight, release more cortisol, and get a big belly as well.
4. Fast Food: And it’s Not Just the Carbs and Trans Fats
MSG is some pretty bad stuff as you’ll learn if you do your research, and you should if you list among your favorite foods chicken nuggets and French fries.
You might not know this, but it’s not just Asian that’s loaded with MSG. MSG is in literally every fast food product all the big fast food chains sell. It’s what makes the food so addictive. But MSG is also a killer when it comes to causing obesity, in a long list of ways. spiking insulin, which leads to inflammation, obesity, weight gain, and the inability to burn fat off the body.
In a recent study analyzing 10,000 Chinese adults, those who ate 5 mg. or more of MSG a day were 30% more likely to be obese. Researchers believe that the weight gain causing component in MSG are two-fold. First, as one of the researchers on the study notes, “MSG consumption may cause leptin resistance,” so the body cannot process the energy it receives properly. This could explain why people who consume more MSG gain weight, irrespective of their calorie intake.
Secondly, MSG affects your satiety signals, which we all know from eating Chinese food and getting hungry an hour afterward. This is because MSG does enhance appetite. As MSG reveals on their website,
“Studies have found that adding MSG to certain foods, such as soup and mashed potatoes has been successful in increasing the food intake of institutionalized elderly populations.”
5. Foods Engineered to Be as Addictive as Street Drugs
Today, we are far from the hunter and gatherer societies we evolved from. We have “hyper palatable” (addictively tasty) foods being engineered in labs and produced in factories, specifically designed to hit every single pleasure center in our brain for flavor, fat, salt, and sugar.
As Authority Nutrition notes
“Many of these products don’t contain much real food at all. Some of them contain highly refined ingredients like wheat flour, corn syrup and vegetable oils. They are then made palatable using artificial flavors and various processing techniques. Everything is done to maximize chances of repeat purchase and minimize cost. The health impact these foods have is secondary.”
These super addictive foods are packed with sugar, calories, empty carbohydrates and fat. Either way, they cause weight gain while our bodies remain starving for nutrients, and we continue to eat more to satisfy these cravings.
When ingest foods that are little more than chemicals with a little genetically modified corn starch, our bodies don’t know how to interpret these “unnatural” contents in our stomach. We end up with leaky gut syndrome, a stomach that cannot absorb nutrients, and constant food cravings as our bodies cry out for more nutrient rich food—leading us to keep on eating.
Although I haven’t mentioned exercise today, moving more and eating nutrient dense foods is key in winning this unceasing war against obesity – and finally crushing obesity.
When you get more nutrients, protein, and minerals into the diet, constant cravings for foods, especially unhealthy food, will literally disappear, and you can focus on eating clean, nutrient dense, and designing a diet for health and weight loss that works.