We are all obsessed with our bodies and try to keep them in fine shape. Understandably, it is frustrating when you gain weight, especially if you don’t know the cause. A snack here and there, skipping leg day at the gym, and more harmless behaviors may increase the pounds. As a Rockville cholesterol expert advises, we look at seven sneaky causes of weight gain and what you can do about them.
1. Not Getting Enough Zzz
Sleep energizes you for the next day while also keeping you slim. Less than five hours of sleep can increase BMI and weight gain. Sleep is linked to changes in hormonal levels such as cortisol, insulin, and hunger hormones that control your food intake and digestion. Studies show that women who sleep 6 hours or less have a higher BMI despite dieting than their counterparts who sleep 6-7 hours daily.
2. Eating from Large Plates
If you are served on a large plate or bowl, you are likely to eat twice as much as you would on a smaller plate without even realizing it. Food on a larger plate appears smaller, and your brain thinks you haven’t had enough. Normalize eating on smaller plates and only go for seconds if you are still hungry.
3. Getting Calories from Beverages
The brain processes calories from beverages differently from foods. If you sip your fruit juice, you will most likely eat more to compensate for the calorie deficit your brain induces.
4. Eating Too Many Healthy Oils
Olive oil is an excellent cooking oil with lower cholesterol. However, adding more tablespoons of oil to your food quickly bumps the calories. Avocados, too, can cause weight gain and an increase in cholesterol if you eat too many of them. Make a habit of getting healthy oils from whole foods rather than cooking oil and avocados.
5. You Binge-Watch While Eating
Time spent binge-watching Jeffrey Dahmer on Netflix is obviously not a flat belly move. However, binge-watching while eating does twice the damage. Eating before a screen does not allow your brain to process hunger signals. The divided attention will cause you to eat more and add on the pounds.
6. You Eat Based on Your Moods
We’ll say this once and for all: eating anger does not make you feel any better. Some individuals might disagree, but eating based on your moods causes you to ingest more calories. While your brain processes your moods, it won’t manage your eating, and you will chomp even after satisfaction. Eating based on our moods makes us likely to eat ice cream, burgers, chicken wings, and other “yummy” foods that increase cholesterol and cause cardiovascular problems.
7. Eating Low Fat Processed Foods
Marketing will have you believe low-fat foods are the best, especially when managing weight. But the low-fat foods replace the fats with slow-performing carbs that cause hunger to rebound, necessitating you to eat again. You may eat up to 3 packs of low-fat food, which is about 2.5 times the calories in a single pack of protein.
Weight and cholesterol gain do not spell doom. Watch out for the above sneaky weight gain causes. If you suspect you have high cholesterol, head to Quality Primary Care and request a lipid test. Suresh Malik, MD, and the team at Quality Primary Care in Rockville, Maryland, will develop a personalized solution to reduce cholesterol levels and avert cardiovascular complications. Reach out today.