It’s so frustrating when you find yourself gaining weight.
Your clothes don’t fit well. You feel heavy and sluggish. Your confidence takes a hit. And what’s worse, you often don’t have an explanation for why it has happened.
Lots of factors can lead to weight gain. But there are some common reasons that I see again and again in patients who come into my wellness clinic. And these same reasons are backed by science.
Today, we’re going to break down these common reasons for weight gain. And I’ll also give you the solution that will make it easier to lose weight and keep it off.
Let’s get started…
Stress increases the body’s flight or flight response, resulting in a rush of cortisol. The stress hormone cortisol can lead to weight gain because it turns on fat storage by increasing insulin levels, which causes blood sugar levels to drop and that means cravings for sugar-filled foods.
When people suffer from anxiety and depression, some gain weight. If you eat more as a way to compensate for your emotions, it’s important you find another coping mechanism, such as therapy, talking to a friend, or exercise.
- Our (Junk) Food Supply
The food industry makes it very difficult to maintain a healthy weight. That may explain why adults gain an average of a pound or 2 per year, which may not sound like much until 10 years go by and you find yourself 10 pounds heavier than you want to be.
Fast food chains and processed food companies invest millions of dollars to make junk food irresistible and addictive. And it’s working. 58% of the average American’s daily calories come from highly processed foods and fast foods. And the worst offender is sugar.
Around 1900, people in America consumed 90 pounds of sugar per year. By 2012, that number had almost doubled to 170 pounds of sugar per year. And more than half of Americans ate a whopping half pound of sugar every day!
If that doesn’t lead to weight gain, I don’t know what does. Not only are people consuming more calories per day from all of that sugar, we’re also experiencing far higher rates of insulin resistance, which leads to over-eating, obesity, and diabetes.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep
Research links the amount and quality of the sleep you get with your weight. People who get fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night are more likely to be overweight than those who get more rest. Sleep helps prevent stress, and therefore the cortisol response. And if you’re well-rested, research shows that you’re more likely to resist tempting snacks that add extra calories to your diet.
A word of caution with this one – while genetics do play a role in obesity, that does not mean that gaining weight is genetically predetermined. In other words, you have power over how you look and feel, even if your genes make you more susceptible to weight gain than other people. Our environment, the food we eat, and the choices we make play much larger roles in our weight than our genes.
This is what we call EPIGENETICS, which means we can’t blame our genes for virtually anything anymore, from weight gain to even chronic inflammatory diseases like cancer.
- A Sedentary Lifestyle
Research shows a correlation between sitting during waking hours and weight gain, obesity, and even premature death. The opposite is also true – by simply increasing active hours and minutes during the day, you can reduce your risk of muscle loss, brain fog, and weight gain.
- Underactive Thyroid
As we age, too many of us – especially women – experience what we think of as a slowing metabolism, but is more accurately described as an underactive thyroid. The thyroid gland plays an important role in weight gain and loss, hormone function, and gut function. And a lot of environmental factors affect how well the thyroid operates, as we’ll discuss next.
So if you can’t explain weight gain, or you experience sudden weight gain, it might be time to visit your doctor or healthcare professional to check thyroid indicators.
But there is a caveat with this one. MOST doctors that check the thyroid gland, IF they find your T3 and T4 hormones out of balance, will most likely end up putting you on a thyroid medication. They are NOT treating cause, only numbers and symptoms.
Did you know that the thyroid gland is the #1 gland that becomes subjected to (attacked) by TOXINS in your blood! That’s right – toxins leak into your blood via the gut, and make your thyroid toxic. The pH of the gland lowers, and once that number is lower than the ideal 6.3-6.6 pH it needs to function at, it stops uptaking IODINE. Iodine is one of the biggest deficiencies in the body as we age, especially for thyroid health.
So fix the gut, detox the blood and body, and start taking in small amounts of iodine in the form of kelp or dulce (start with ¼ tsp daily).
Toxins like mold, yeast, bad bacteria, and heavy metals are bio-disruptors, leading to thyroid dysfunction, hormone problems, and a slow metabolism, all factors for weight gain.
At the same time, some chemicals and pollutants have been classified by scientists as obesogens, or endocrine disruptors directly involved in weight gain, including:
- BPA plastics
- Some pesticides
- Cigarette smoke
- Flame retardants
Different toxins contribute to weight gain in different ways – some increase the number of fat cells, some lead to fat cell growth in size, some affect appetite, some affect food preferences, and others slow the metabolism.
Toxins are FAT SOLUBLE, which means they hide out in your fat cells. In fact, the body innately does this so that the toxins cannot harm your more important organs.
You may be surprised to find out that inflammation, especially the type caused by food allergies and sensitivities, are a source of weight gain. It’s true, and I’ve seen over and over again with patients in my wellness clinic that if you remove the offending foods, you lose the weight relatively easily.
What happens is a downward spiral, starting with some chronic low-lying inflammation that leads to an intolerance to gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, or another food. Then whenever the offending food is eaten, it triggers more inflammation in the digestive tract, and often, an imbalance within the microbiome.
The delicate balance of good and bad bacteria and microbes that line your digestive tract have surprising power over your health and weight. If you have an imbalance of bad microbes to good, which can result from food triggers, medications, and/or environmental factors, it can lead to more sugar cravings, carb cravings, and fat-storage.
Why? Bad microbes feed on sugar and carbs, which makes you crave more sugar and carbs, and turns on the fat-storage hormones.
You can see how quickly this becomes a cyclone of spiraling weight gain. You feel bad, you gain weight, you crave sugar, you gain weight, and so on.
Here’s the good news if any of these 8 reasons have led to you gaining weight. Because many of these reasons for weight gain have acid and inflammation as their root causes, alkalinity is the answer for weight loss.
Stress is an acid problem. Junk food is acidic. Lack of sleep is a symptom and cause of acidity. Lack of movement causes acidosis. A malfunctioning thyroid is often rooted in acidity. And toxins are acidic. In other words…
Behind stress, junk food, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle, underactive thyroid, and toxins, you will find acid and inflammation.
When you boil it down to that, the solution could not be clearer. You’ve got to create a more alkaline environment if you want to lose weight more easily and sustainably.
How? Eat more greens. Drink more water. Enjoy your favorite veggies. Breathe deeply. Get up and get moving. Add these healthy habits to your lifestyle instead of focusing on what foods to take away, and you’ll start to see a difference.
A great place to start is with a simple scoop of Alkamind Daily Greens in water or a smoothie in the morning so you get 5 whole servings of raw super foods in less than 30 seconds!
Did you know that the #1 ingredient in our greens is organic wheatgrass? It’s actually over half wheatgrass. And did you know that wheatgrass has been clinically shown to increase weight loss results?
We’ve combined that with cabbage, collard greens, parsley, romaine, dandelion, beets, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, and celery. So by taking your Alkamind Daily Greens first thing every morning, you’re getting a dose of the most powerful, alkaline food on the planet!