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.