Our bodies are extremely complex and sometimes weight gain isn't as simple as eating too much of the wrong type of foods. Here are 5 big drivers of weight gain that aren't so well known.
Your liver is sluggish
Our liver plays a vital role in our overall health, weight included. It carries out a number of important functions such as removing toxins from the body, aids in digestion, regulates blood sugar and insulin levels and produces bile needed break down fats. However, if your liver is overloaded with toxins (alcohol, medications, food additives) and struggling to keep up, these functions are compromised and fat starts to build up in the liver (fatty liver) as well as other areas of the body driving weight gain.
When we are stressed, our adrenals pump out the stress hormone, cortisol. The role of cortisol is to help us get ready for action against a threat, making us feel more alert. Our blood sugar levels rise, our blood vessels dilate and our heart beat increases ensuring the sugar in the blood is effectively transported to all the cells to use as fuel. We’re set up to handle short-term, acute stress very well, which is great when we need to run away from something life threatening. Unfortunately in today’s day and age, most people are faced with ongoing (chronic) stress caused by everyday worries. This coupled with an increasing sedentary lifestyle results in increased fat storage that favours the belly region. This belly fat can be incredibly tough to get rid of unless you learn to manage your stress. If you are interested in having your cortisol levels tested, get in touch.
Your thyroid is underactive (Hypothyroidism)
Thyroid disorders are becoming increasingly common and the scary fact being that most people don’t even know they have one. The most common medical test used by GP’s to detect thyroid disorders falls a step short. Many people have issues converting their thyroid hormone into its active form, which this test doesn't detect. Our thyroid is responsible for regulating our metabolism and one of the key signs of an underactive thyroid is weight gain as well as fatigue, constipation, cold sensitivity, muscle aches and weakness, hormone imbalances and poor mood. Thyroid function can be impaired for a number of reason such as high stress, nutrient deficiencies, poor diet and impaired liver function. If you are interested in having a comprehenisve thyroid hormone profile test done, get in touch.
Your gut bacteria is out of balance
The 100 trillion of bacteria that live in our gut alter the way we store fat, break down and absorb our nutrients, regulate our blood sugar levels, produce serotonin and appetite regulating hormones that make us feel hungry or full. These little guys also have the power to manipulate our food choices, the bad bugs driving bad food cravings and the good bugs influencing us to make heather food choices that will support their survival. The wrong mix of microbes can put you on the path to obesity and diabetes from the moment of birth. Our inner ecosystem is first established as we exited our mums vaginal canal. Studies have shown that both formula-fed babies and infants delivered by cesarean section have a higher risk for obesity and diabetes than those who are breast-fed or delivered vaginally. Antibiotics are one of the biggest disruptors to our gut flora, but the good news is diet is the single most important factor in shaping the gut ecosystem and can be shifted to favour bacteria that will support weight loss. Learn more.
You're not eating enough good fats
So many people fear that fat will make you fat but the truth is it’s the lack of good fats in the diet that is driving the obesity epidemic. Having the right type of fats in the diet such as avocado, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and fatty fish such as salmon not only keep us satisfied and feeling fuller for longer reducing overall caloric intake, they don’t cause an insulin response which is the hormone responsible for storing fat.