Do you exercise, watch your calorie intake and still not lose weight? The reason for this could be various fattening foods that have no calories.
Diets, exercise, healthy nutrition – despite these promising measures, the extra pounds just don’t want to go away in some people. In these cases, those around you often start whispering and complaining about the supposed lack of discipline.
But what is behind it when the body ignores any incentive to lose weight? The fact is: Many fattening foods have no calories at all and are therefore weight loss traps that you don’t even notice as such at first glance.
1. Fattening: Stress
At the top of the “non-calorie fattening foods” list: is stress. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hectic at work or in your private life – persistent and stressful situations of stress promote the release of the hormone cortisol. This hormone can make people feel hungry and encourage them to eat more than usual.
In addition, food has a calming effect on some people. In order to relax, they often eat more food than necessary. A tip for all “stress eaters”: Take your time and think about how you can counteract the stressful situation. In many cases, relaxation exercises serve as an introduction to more peace and serenity.
Chronic stress often leads to more belly fat, some studies have shown. Stress often triggers people’s craving for unhealthy food, the so-called “comfort food”.
For example, try to bring more calm into your life with meditation, yoga, mindfulness exercises, or less caffeine.
Stress stimulates the release of cortisol, a hormone that can make you feel hungry.
2. Fattening: lack of sleep
Too little sleep also prevents effective weight loss. Studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to a reduction in the level of leptin in the blood. This hormone regulates fat metabolism and suppresses appetite. Some studies have shown that obese people in particular do not respond to the hormone, i.e. are resistant to leptin.
In order to keep the concentration of leptin in the blood high, those who want to lose weight should make sure to go to bed on time. You should avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages before bed. Fatty and heavy meals are also taboo.
One study looked at the sleep patterns of over 68,000 women and showed that those women who slept less than five hours a night were at greater risk of gaining weight than those who slept seven hours or more.
Also, people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more belly fat, especially visceral fat. More visceral fat increases your risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
If you want to lose weight, you should make sure you get enough sleep, because lack of sleep is a fattening factor.
3. Fatteners: ingredient lists
Some people neglect to look at the ingredients list of groceries when they go shopping. The higher the fats are in the list, the more there are in the product. Incidentally, this also applies to other ingredients such as sugar.
Tip: It’s worth taking a critical look when shopping. Even supposedly low-calorie dishes require a review of the list of ingredients.
In addition, it is helpful to write a shopping list in advance. This not only saves money and time but can also prevent impulse purchases of unhealthy snacks or groceries. In fact, studies have shown that people who write grocery lists are more likely to eat healthily, maintain a healthy weight, and save more money.
When shopping, it's worth checking the list of ingredients more often: the higher up food is, the more of it contains. This also applies to sugar and fats.
4. Fatteners: Fragrances
Delicious smells and scents are buzzing around everywhere. However, some restaurants and supermarkets produce them on purpose to whet the appetite of their customers and entice them to eat and shop.
Tip: If you want to lose weight and counteract this fattening variant, you should never go shopping on an empty stomach. Better yet, have a friend go shopping with you and have a look around.
Appetizing smells quickly tempt people to buy and eat. Therefore, you should never go shopping on an empty stomach.
5. Fattening: Hypothyroidism
Some people suffer from what is known as an underactive thyroid. The thyroid is responsible for metabolism. If it produces too few hormones, the metabolism slows down. As a result, energy consumption decreases, and weight gain can occur.
Only a doctor can check whether someone actually suffers from an underactive thyroid. It is therefore advisable to consult your family doctor if you suspect it and have your thyroid function checked. Medicines can compensate for the lack of hormones if necessary.
An underactive thyroid can make you fat unintentionally. If you suspect it, have it checked by a doctor.
6. Fattening: Drugs
Medications are also among the non-calorie fatteners: beta blockers, antidepressants, insulin, and cortisone often lead to weight gain. Taking the pill can also put more weight on the scales since some birth control pills cause more water to be retained in the body.
Cortisone use has been linked to faster weight gain. This is because cortisone reduces energy expenditure while increasing appetite. The stress hormone gives the body the signal that it needs more food.
Medications can also be fattening, as they can lead to water retention or reduced energy expenditure.
7. Fattener: Dude
With increasing age, the daily calorie requirement decreases. This means that if you don’t adjust your eating habits accordingly and eat the same amount as you did 20 years ago, you will automatically gain weight – so age is also a fattening factor. And shedding those extra pounds isn’t as easy as it was when I was younger.
As we age, the muscle becomes less and is replaced by fat cells instead. However, fat cells burn fewer calories and the metabolism is already slower at the age of 30 than in the early 20s. As the daily basal metabolic rate decreases, as a result, excessive calories build up faster and it is more difficult to shed the pounds again.
The only way to counteract this process is strength training and an adequate protein intake. Endurance sports should not be neglected either, as this helps to keep your musculoskeletal system supple.
Old age can be a real fattening factor: Rich foods set in faster and getting rid of the pounds is no longer so easy due to a slower metabolism, among other things.
Knowledge to take away
Some fattening foods are not only lurking in the diet – because there are also some that do completely without calories. These include medication, hypothyroidism, stress, lack of sleep, age, lists of ingredients, and also fragrances.
It is precisely these hidden fattening foods that are tough, as they are often not immediately associated with weight gain. For example, stress increases cortisol levels in the body, making you feel more hungry, and not getting enough sleep also increases the risk of weight gain.
Tip: Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach, because the delicious smell of food is also a real fattening factor and tempts you to buy and eat food. Certain medications can also cause weight gain or water retention in the body, which can also increase the number on the scale.