Unexplained Weight Gain: 5 Things That Could Be Making You Fat

You're aggravated beyond belief. You're doing everything you can to lose weight, but the scale isn't budging and you can't squeeze into your skinny jeans. What's wrong? Nothing.

A few small tweaks to your lifestyle can make all the difference. Here are five things that could be making you fat.

1. Stress

The Problem: Studies have shown that stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which may lead to weight gain when too much of it is produced. Also, when we become stressed, many of us are inclined to crave certain foods (French fries, donuts, ice cream), and a lot of them.

What to Do About It: Try to take a breather once in a while and simply relax. Snuggle up with a magazine, read a book, go on a walk, or take a bubble bath. Maybe take a yoga class at your local gym or practice meditation at home. Do whatever you need to do to let yourself unwind. And as for the uncontrollable cravings, learn to control yourself (and your mind) by adding more exercise to your schedule. Do anything you can to get moving, even if it's just a 20-minute walk in the morning. This will do wonders for your body in the long run.

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2. Trying to Save Money on Groceries

The Problem: With the economy not exactly going very well these days, people are doing everything they can to save money, even if that means ruining their diet. With prices going up, people are more inclined to buy cheap, bulk food like Mac and cheese or sodium-laded canned soups. The cheapest foods are the most sabotaging to our diets.

What to Do About It: Yes, things are more expensive these days. But a healthy diet is something you may want to consider splurging on. After all, it's for you and only you. So what if the fresh grilled chicken at your local market is a few bucks more than the chicken sandwich at McDonald's. Your body will be thanking you later. And if you really don't think you have enough money to spend on fresh, healthy food, maybe you need to reconsider if you really need that manicure next week.

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3. Unhealthy Friends

The Problem: We all at least one friend who eggs you on to eat one more slice of pizza or skip the gym today to grab a drink. Well, I'm sorry to say it, but these kinds of friends may be derailing your weight-loss goals. Not only do many people tend to give into the peer pressure, but studies also show that we are likely to mirror the habits and lifestyles as our close friends. That means if your friends are lazy, fast food junkies, you may quickly turn into one too.

What to Do About It: No, I'm not going to tell you that you need to break up with your friends because of their unhealthy habits. But, you may need to let them know that you take your fitness and diet goals seriously, and that you'd like them to support you. Or even better, try to get them to live a healthier lifestyle by hosting a healthy BBQ or signing up for a 5K together.

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