by Dani Stone
If you’re watching your diet and sticking to an exercise routine but the pounds don’t seem to be coming off or worse, you’ve gained a few, the problem may not be what’s in your refrigerator, it may be in your medicine cabinet. Common prescription medications used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, seizures and even depression could be adding those unwanted pounds.
When prescription medications cause weight gain, sometimes as much as 10 pounds in one month, it happens for a variety of different reasons, depending on what the drug is being used for and how the body reacts to it. Corticosteroids like prednisone, used by many patients for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, allow the body to retain salt and fluid, increasing fat stores. Mood disorder drugs including antipsychotics (Clozaril, Zyprexa, Seroquel) and antidepressants (Paxil, Zoloft, Elavil) have a hormonal component. When patients feel better, their appetite returns.
When patients correlate the weight gain to their medications, they often quit taking them and that can be dangerous. Whether the drug is an oral contraceptive, seizure medication, high blood pressure medication, steroid, or any other long term drug, they cannot be stopped abruptly without having serious side effects. Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center advises, “Even if a medication causes weight gain, an extra 10 pounds may be worth the trade-off of what that medication is doing for your overall health.”
It’s not uncommon for Hollywood starlets to change their bodies drastically for a movie role. With studios providing personal trainers and dieticians to make sure they get the job done, the transformation is often amazing. The actress loses weight, the movie makes a few million dollars and everybody goes home happy, right? Well, not exactly. As Mila Kunis recently admitted in a Harper’s Bazaar interview, when the weight comes back, it’s not always where you’d like it to be.
Last year, Mila Kunis twirled and grand jete’d her way across the screen as Natalie Portman’s ballet rival in Black Swan. Though she was already thin, Mila lost 20 pounds in just a few short months to play the fame-obsessed ballerina. About her Black Swan body, Mila reveals, “I was muscles, like a little brick house, but skin and bones. When I gained it back, it went to completely different areas.”
Health experts say redistributed weight is a common problem associated with rapid weight loss. As fat is lost, unfortunately so is muscle tissue. When the weight comes back on, it comes back as fat. Where it lands depends on your genetic predisposition, not your opinion of where you’d like it to go. Though Mila would’ve preferred to put some meat back on her chest and derriere, instead she says, “All the weight that left my chest, went to my side hip and my stomach.”
Anna Watson, University of Georgia cheerleader, doesn’t allow things like being the only girl in the weight room or putting on some muscle intimidate her. She welcomes the challenge. She even claims her faith in God and wears it boldly. Even when she was denied a lucrative fitness modeling contract because she didn’t want to take the legal steroid Anavar—to put on more muscle—she stood strong in her convictions. “It was definitely something I was tempted with more than one time,” she said. “[The agent] made it sound as good as he could.”
“I don’t serve a modeling agent. I serve the Lord,” Watson said. “I’m not going to compromise my morals and my beliefs just to take pictures. I believe that my body is a temple and a beautiful creation, so I don’t want to put anything into it that can harm it.”
Brittany Mullins is the author of the blog Eating Bird Food, where she proves that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring or bland by sharing her recipes, fitness activities and tips. Having lost 20 pounds five years ago and kept it off since, she loves to inspire and motivate others by showing that small changes can create a big impact!
It has been proven that women tend to gain a considerable amount of weight after getting married. Being a woman who just recently got engaged, hearing stats like this is quite scary!
No one is certain why it happens, but some speculate that it may be due to a decrease in activity, indulging in rich meals together, eating the same amount as your man even though men naturally require more calories, eating “guy foods” like beer and pizza, skipping the gym to hang out with your honey, or even paying less attention to your weight because you’re no longer on the prowl.
Whatever the reason is, there are definitely ways to prevent it! Here are a few of my favorite tips that can help you stay on track as a newlywed:
Get physical. Stay active together by finding fun activities that you and your man enjoy! If that’s not possible, be sure to make time for yourself to stay active. My guy hates the gym, but I love it so I typically workout at the gym and he plays ultimate Frisbee, runs outside, or works in the yard.
If you quit smoking for your New Year’s Resolution, good for you, Quitter! This is one of the single greatest things you can do to improve your health. Dropping a nasty nicotine habit can be tough work, and most people end up replacing the oral fixation of smoking with something else oral- chewing and swallowing junk food.
On an average, people tend to gain 5 pounds during their quitting process. The action of lighting up, bringing the cig to and from your mouth and inhaling and exhaling the smoke is one that many people become addicted to just as much as the chemical addiction to harmful nicotine. In addition, when you smoke a cigarette, a chemical reaction occurs in the body and sugars are released into the blood stream. This is why many people consider cigarettes as an appetite suppressant. When cigarettes are removed, a former smoker may fiercely crave sweets.
The oral and chemical addiction can make quitting smoking a tough process, but there are things you can do to keep the cigarettes away and weight gain at bay.
Aimee E. Raupp is the author of Chill Out and Get Healthy– a no nonsense guide for women on improving their health now. As well she is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist with a masters of science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. For more information visit AimeeRaupp.com.
Everyone’s talking about gluten these days. Is it just hype or are wheat and other gluten containing foods bad for us? The short answer is yes.
Let me explain. Gluten is a large, water-soluble protein that makes doughy things doughier. It is comprised of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin and is found in grains like wheat, rye and barely (click here for a concise list of gluten containing foods.) As well, since gluten is such a good thickener, these days we can find it in most packaged and processed foods and candy. Gluten has become a staple of the American diet and our health is suffering because of it.
“How?” You ask.
Gluten is a very inflammatory substance that is difficult to digest and causes damage to the walls of your intestines. When this damage occurs, your intestinal walls become leaky and are unable to carry out their expected task of digesting necessary nutrients and filtering out toxins and hence, toxins make their way back into your bloodstream causing an autoimmune reaction. This autoimmune reaction manifests differently in each person, but ultimately, it predisposes you to many diseases and often leaves you feeling unwell, bloated and fatigued.
When it comes to gluten reactions, there are people with Celiac disease and there are people with gluten intolerance. About 1% of the population has Celiac disease—a genetic condition of severe gluten intolerance and then there are the other 30-40% of the population who have a more mild form of gluten intolerance.
Jenna Edmiston loves spending time in the kitchen with her six year old daughter creating healthy, wholesome meals. In between balancing family, work and her personal life, she tries to keep a healthy lifestyle with an open mind and heart. Head over to petitfoodie.com where she shares her thoughts on food, body image and children.
The New Year is finally here. With it came the extra pounds added during the holidays and freezing temperatures. I don’t know about you but I’m craving healthy, warm foods. Comforting foods don’t mean sacrificing your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
Here are a few of my very favorite tips I live by during the dreary days of winter:
- Starbucks can be addictive. Think of the high-calorie drinks as a special treat and only get them once a week. Always ask for skim milk. Your waist line and wallet with both thank you.
- When you are craving a fabulous warm drink, try drinking a huge mug of warm lemon water. Most of the time your craving will pass and you will feel energized.
- I crave mashed potatoes on the regular. Instead of making them with heavy cream and butter try adding chicken or veggie broth. This will enhance the flavor making them creamy and rich without the extra calories.
- Soups don’t have to be cream laden. The best soups can be made with fresh veggies and broth.
- Making a big batch of soup on the weekends is perfect for all you busy folks out there. The left overs only get better with time and make for great lunches.
- Serve a small salad at dinner every night. EVERY NIGHT. Don’t make excuses ….just do it.
- Embrace winters citrus fruits. Oranges and clementines are to die for right now. They are as sweet as apple pie. Is there anything more refreshing, really?
Millions of Americans are working extremely hard to lose the weight they’ve gained in middle age. Thankfully, there is an enjoyable way to prevent needing to join in this crazy rush to lose those extra pounds.
According to a study published by Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, people of middle age who participate in a regular yoga practice are less likely to put on pounds in mid-life compared with those who do not practice yoga at all. Alan Kristal, co-author of the study could not fully explain how practicing yoga helped people avoid weight gain because, “Except for very strenuous yoga practices, you don’t really burn enough energy to make any difference in terms of weight.”
In contrast to the highly sought after mega-calorie burning, sweat inducing, weight management benefits of vigorous exercise, yoga offers indirect ways to help you avoid weight gain, and the following explains why.
For many years, parents, teachers and the media have warned college freshman to watch what they eat and their level of activity when going off to college to avoid gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15.” That is still good advice, but now a new study conducted on over 7,000 students shows that most college students only gain 2.5 to 3.5 pounds during their freshman year and that this weight gain is typical for all young adults and not exclusive to college freshmen.
The study, co-authored by Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research, also revealed that the only factor that made a significant difference between students’ weight gain and non-collegiate peers’ weight gain was heavy drinking. However, those students that drank heavily still only gained less than a pound more than non-student peers who didn’t drink as much. The average student doesn’t even gain a total of 15 pounds by the time they reach graduation. The typical woman gains between seven and nine pounds, while men gain between 12 and 13 pounds over their college career.
Christina Aguilera has been getting slammed lately regarding her recent weight gain. Along with the media spotlighting her extra pounds, Kelly Osbourne is jumping in with her own feedback.
It’s no secret that these two have gone back and forth about weight and now Kelly Osbourne is getting her revenge. “She called me fat for years,” Osbourne recently stated on E! Fashion Police. This recent tirade is the second time in two months that Kelly has lashed out at Christina regarding her figure. “She called me fat for so many years. So you know what? You’re fat too,” Kelly said in September.
All of this negative weight publicity stems from Christina’s recent appearance at a Michael Jackson tribute concert where she wore a tight and unflattering outfit that showed off her larger physique.
Osbourne lost 48 pounds while she was competing on Dancing with the Stars in 2009 and has managed to keep most of the weight off. She did regain one dress size back in March and made a commitment to hit the gym to lose that weight.