There are certain types of foods that can contribute to weight gain. Sometimes, weight gain creeps up on many of us as we age and get busier. But this doesn’t have to mean making your dinner plate smaller to lose weight.
In short, the key to nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight is eating smarter. So, learning which foods you should eliminate, can dramatically increase your odds of overcoming weight gain.
In this article, we’ll explore the the importance of cultivating a balanced lifestyle to reduce stress. And foods to steer clear of that may contribute to weight gain.
Can Weight Gain Be Linked To Your Lifestyle?
The short answer is yes. Poor sleep, insufficient water intake, stress, unexpected life circumstances, and stressful relationships all lead to imbalances in the body. Any one of these factors, though usually a mix of some, causes the body to enter a state of survival mode.
When the body becomes stressed out, cortisol increases. It stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism and creates a surge of energy. This surge of energy is a vital process of the sympathetic nervous system that allows one to defend themselves against attacks. In other words, the body enters fight or flight mode. Elevated cortisol levels then increase appetite and enhance cravings for sweet, fatty, and salty foods.
The common problem in today’s world is that the body often enters survival mode when it’s not really under attack. Things like relationship problems, moving, issues at work, and chronic pain are major stress factors that can trigger fight or flight responses. It’s the continuation of such symptoms, day in and day out, that eventually lead to weight gain.
Therefore, cultivating balance in all areas of your life is always the key. You can mitigate stress through lifestyle changes like practicing yoga, meditation, taking more time to slow down, setting boundaries, exercising, etc.
Avoiding foods that create harm and may be contributing to weight gain is one sure way to start bringing balance to your life. Ultimately, we can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control much of our health through our diet.
5 Foods That May Contribute To Weight Gain
The easiest way to avoid sudden weight gain is to eliminate or reduce these 5 foods.
1. Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love a scoop of delicious ice cream on a hot summer evening? Ice cream becomes a problem, though, when it becomes a staple in the diet. This is because ice cream is extremely high in sugar and fat.
If you aren’t ready to part ways with this sugary sweet, consider making your own ice cream with frozen bananas and Greek yogurt. Or, shop for a healthier option with less sugar than popular brands.
Pizza is high in fat, refined carbs, and calories. Traditional pizzerias also use excessive amounts of cheese, unhealthy processed meats, and oil.
We’re not saying to cut it out of your diet altogether. But, if you want to avoid weight gain, only eat it occasionally. Try making your own at home with healthier ingredients or finding a pizzeria that uses whole-grain crust and unprocessed protein.
The truth is that soda is extremely high in sugar and calories while lacking minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. If you’re like many Americans who incorporate soda drinks into their diet daily, be sure to research the effects on health.
Consider limiting your intake of soda to 12 oz. without making it a daily habit. Or, choose sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks.
4. Baked Goods
Cookies, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, pies, and cakes contain very high amounts of sugar, refined flour, fats, and calories. It’s essential to keep your portion sizes appropriate. Otherwise, you’ll be inviting weight gain directly into your body.
5. Fast Goods
French fries, potato chips, hot dogs, hamburgers, deep-fried fish, and other processed meats are heavy on our systems. They are high in saturated fat and sodium making it very hard for our bodies to digest.
French fries, for example, are high in fat and salt and served in excess, making them easy to over-consume. Usually, they’re paired with other highly processed and refined foods and sauces.
What you can do instead is oven-bake fries and chips at home. Buy your own grass-fed beef for home-made burgers, and throw out the hot dog altogether for a chicken sausage instead.
Jane’s Cafe Is Here To Help!
We understand how frustrating unexplained weight gain feels and how confusing nutrition may be for individuals and families. We offer pick-up meals that are nutritionally diverse. Our aim is to make healthy meals easily accessible and help you obtain an optimal weight while boosting your overall health. Visit Jane’s Cafe in Mission Valley, or order online.
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