It’s easy enough to blame that muffin top on all those holiday goodies, but what’s the excuse come the end of January when, after you’ve religiously worked out and eaten all the right things, that muffin top and those love handles are still hanging around? It’s not uncommon for this phenomenon to happen and it leaves many people frustrated and tempted to give up on healthy living. So, to prevent all that discouragement, here are some reasons you may be holding onto those extra pounds despite your best efforts because knowing why is half the battle toward being able to doing something about it.
- Hypothyroidism: Your thyroid is in charge of regulating lots of hormones that control weight gain and loss, mood and energy, to name a few. When your thyroid is not functioning up to its full potential, aka hypothyroidism, you may feel weak, cold, tired and have difficulty losing weight.
- Stress: Cortisol, the stress hormone, tends to cause increased appetite and decreased fat burning because your body is trying to keep you alive by sending you into survival mode. You are also more likely to use food to soothe your stressful mood because the very act of eating releases the feel-good chemicals, endorphins.
- Quitting Smoking: January is the most common time of year for smokers to attempt to give up cigarettes, but for many reasons, it’s not easy. The least of which is the frustration that comes with mysterious weight gain most people experience when they quit. The average person gains about 10 pounds when they quit smoking. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant so you may feel hungrier without it. In the time after a person quits smoking, food begins to taste better, stress increases and metabolism decreases. All these factors add up to some legitimate difficulty losing weight.
- Lack of Sleep: If you only sleep for 4 hours a night, that leaves 20 hours in which you’re up and awake and have the opportunity to eat. Whereas if you sleep for the recommended average of 8 hours, that’s 4 fewer hours of eating time. Plus, when you’re sleep deprived, your body tries to get more energy by telling you to eat sugary, simple carbs like donuts and lattes to make you feel better. These cravings are harder to resist when your brain is working on too little sleep, therefore if you get the urge to nibble a little or a lot, you might consider taking a quick power nap instead.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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