1. Stress – When the adrenal glands are stressed they produce hormones than contribute to weight gain. People who are depressed often have decreased serotonin levels in the brain, causing cravings for sweets and starchy foods.
2. Genetics – Children born to overweight parents are at risk of being born with more fat cells, so keeping the weight off is not impossible, but it will be more of a challenge.
3. Skipping Meals - Many people think if they skip a meal their body will use fat for fuel. Nothing could be further from the truth. When there is no food for fuel, the body holds onto fat and uses lean muscle tissue, which is a cleaner burning fuel for the body. Consequently, we lose muscle mass and become soft and spongy. Going any longer than 3.5 hours between meals also causes blood sugars to drop which can lead to hypoglycaemia and in some cases, diabetes.
4. Food Choices – Foods high on the glycemic index (sugary or refined foods) contribute to weight gain. Overeating, and food sensitivities lead to leaky gut syndrome which impairs good digestion, stresses the liver, contributes to weight gain.
5. Metabolic Rate – Low thyroid function makes losing weight more difficult. Thyroid hormones control our metabolic function. The thyroid and adrenal glands work very closely together.
6. Liver Dysfunction – The liver processes hormones, eliminates toxins, cleans the blood, metabolizes proteins and carbs into energy, manufactures bile to help break down fats, and hundreds of other functions. It’s important to keep the liver squeaky clean.
7. Hormones – Any disruption of liver detoxification contributes to excesses or imbalances of hormones, particularly estrogen. Often referred to as “Estrogen Dominance” which contributes to fat around the abdominal area – “Jelly Belly.”
8. Lack of Exercise – Exercise burns calories and builds muscle, both of which are required for maintaining a healthy weight.
9. Medications – especially anti-depressants contribute to weight gain.