You’ve cut back on the fries, you’re going to the gym every day and you’re doing everything else right, so why are the numbers on the scale still going up?
Your healthy habits could be the reason why the weight keeps piling on. That’s not to say you should ditch the whole grains and forgo exercise, it just means that you may have to make a few minor tweaks to your lifestyle.
To help you along, here are six healthy habits that could cause weight gain:
1. Cutting out sugar. We all know that too much sugar can lead to weight gain but swapping it out for artificial sweeteners may not have the desired effect. Studies found that a common ingredient in most sweeteners, phenylalanine, could affect your metabolism and lead to weight gain, The Sun reported.
2. Quitting dairy. More and more people are cutting out dairy in hope that they will shed the extra weight but research shows a calcium-rich diet could actually help your body break down fat more efficiently, Women’s Health noted.
3. Increasing your exercise regimen. Exercise is a great way to burn off extra calories but if you are overdoing it, you might actually start gaining fat. This is because when your body is put under stress, which could include a tough workout, it releases cortisol — the stress hormone. This can interfere with your hormones and trigger weight gain, according to The Sun. You also may be overestimating how many calories you burned during your workout and could be overeating as a reward.
4. Increasing intake of healthy fats. There is nothing wrong with eating avocado, peanut butter, and other healthy fats but they are high in calories so moderation is key. Women’s Health reported that the average person underestimates their calorie intake by 50%, or around 800 calories. It is important to pay attention to portion sizes.
5. Hitting the snooze button. There are multiple health benefits that come from getting a good night’s sleep but research suggests that too much sleep could actually cause your body to produce more belly fat, The Sun noted.
6. Eating more protein. Some people swear that a diet high in protein can promote weight loss. The theory is that it can boost your metabolism, however, Women’s Health reported that people who eat too much protein have a 90% greater risk of gaining weight.
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