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Americans are the fattest people in the world, and it’s probably because we can’t seem to make up our minds about what is healthy and what is not! One minute, artificial sweeteners are the answer to being able to eat all things sugary without gaining a pound, and in the next minute, a new study shows that sweeteners will make you a blimp! And most recently, other new studies show that you can gain a ton of weight without even eating anything at all. What the heck?
1. Stress: Having a stressful job used to be considered a good thing because it meant that people were working hard, and hard work is supposedly good. But if you investigate further into the genetic code of a human being, you would learn that stress is caused by the hormone Cortisol, which is triggered by our instinct for “fight or flight”, from way-back-when our ancestors actually needed those instincts. Stress “tricks” the body into thinking it is about to be harmed, so it releases the Cortisol, which gives one’s body that burst of energy it needs to run away or defend itself. But the downside is when the body receives this hormone too often, it messes with the metabolism slowing it down, allowing more calories to stick to the body.

Alarm clock2. Social Jet Lag: A new study has proved  that alarm clocks can make you fat. This happens when a person disrupts their natural body clock, i.e. waking up early during the week and sleeping in on the weekends. It is natural for our bodies to have a normal sleep cycle, so when we engage in social jet lag or when we are jolted awake before we are ready to be awakened, it disrupts other bodily functionsl, including our gut-busting friend Mr. Metabolism.

Delicious breakfast on the table
3. Skipping Breakfast: Well, since you’re up, why not challenge yourself with a double whammy? First of all, when you skip breakfast, you don’t allow your metabolism the start it needs to keep running efficiently throughout the day. And secondly, skipping breakfast or any meal for that matter, also tricks your brain into craving more calorie rich, sugary foods that make you fat. All those ads encouraging you to start the day with a good breakfast were right! Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day for you and your waistline.

Tap water pouring in glass cup4. Tap Water: Good grief! Now even water makes you fat! Tap water, depending on where you live and how your water is treated, often has a certain amount of fluoride in it. America’s water supply has been fluoridated for decades because it’s good for preventing decay in teeth and gums. Unfortunately, fluoride is also an endocrine disruptor which adversely affects the thyroid by blocking iodine. Without proper functioning of the thyroid, the metabolism will slow, the person will feel less energetic, and it will become more difficult to burn calories, which will be stored as fat instead of used for energy. The fact that it stays in your body for a long time is also a negative. My suggestion is to make bottled water your friend.

Woman blowing her noise
5. Allergies: This one can be thwarted with a little self control. Antihistamines have a side effect- causing the munchies, which can be dangerous if you are in the vicinity of anything yummy. So, when allergy season hits, be sure to stock up on some healthy snacks to foil  those snack attacks because they will surely happen.

Fast food salad with dressing on the side
6. Fast Food Salads: This is how the fast food restaurants get you, and they get you bad! They know what they’re doing when they advertise delicious, healthy-looking salads on those colorful window clings. However, if you do your research, you’ll find that you might be better off getting a “Big Mac” than that big hearty salad. Portion size is part of the  problem here, not because of the salad itself but because of all the delicious cheese, dressing, bacon and other toppings that make a salad so tasty! In fact, the calories on top of the salad add  up so fast it will make your eyes pop out. Plus, many of those same salads are also topped with that same high-calorie, greasy chicken that they use for the sandwiches. Fast-food is fattening and there are no loopholes no matter what you tell yourself.

Sweeteners in a basket
7. Artificial Sweeteners: There are a plethora of studies on the up-and-down sides of artificial sweeteners, and many of them report that people who use these products end up eating fattening, sugary foods later in the day. But no matter which side of the argument  you choose,  it is true that these chemical sweeteners do the same thing that nicotine patches do for smokers, in the sense that they help you reduce your craving for sugar. However, sooner or later these cravings come back with a vengeance! Because In the end, your body really does require glucose for energy, so denying it the sugar it needs could have results that are regrettable.  

In general, Americans have trouble saying “no” to too much of a good thing. They think moderation and sacrifice is for children and hippies, but then again, most hippies have small waste lines.

But here’s the silver lining: it’s OK to eat fat, and your body needs it. You get bonus points in your body in the form of extra vitamins and minerals when you eat “good fat” foods like avocado. Eating a couple avocado slices a day, or putting some guacamole on your sandwich instead of mayo can be a great way to give your body what it needs and stay fit too. / Issue 183 - September 0932
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