• Excess calorie intake; poor dietary choices
• Hormonal imbalances (high insulin; low thyroid, testosterone, DHEA, or growth hormone)
• Lack of physical activity
• Lack of sleep (increases appetite and promotes food cravings)
• Low metabolic rate (rate at which calories are burned at rest)
• Medications (antidepressants and hormones)
Foods to avoid:
• Processed and fast foods, candy, cookies, and sweets are high in sugar and fat calories and
low in nutritional value.
• Limit refined grains (white bread/pasta/rice) as these foods are broken down quickly into sugar, causing fl uctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can increase appetite and promote fat storage.
• Avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats, which are high in calories, promote weight gain, and are linked to heart disease and cancer.
• Reduce alcohol intake as these drinks are high in empty calories.
• Cut down on salt as using the salt-shaker and eating salty snack foods and processed foods can cause fluid retention.
• Stress (causes hormonal alterations that increase appetite and reduce metabolism)
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