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3 things you think make you skinny but actually make you fat!

There are hidden (and not so hidden) dangers in numerous staples of our diets and regimens that may undo some of our hard work in other areas, writes Elizabeth Gageler. 

Here are three things you must be aware of that can counteract the effort you are putting in to stay healthy and happy: 

Diet drinks

A drink with zero calories and all the flavour sounds fabulous, right? While in theory it all sounds great, when you look into the ingredients that make up your zero sugar yet sweet tasting sugar water, you might want to reconsider chugging one down with your next meal.

When our tongues taste sweet flavours, our body's response is to produce insulin. Therein lies the issue, when the sugar never comes as within the case of artificially sweetened beverages, it stuffs around with our metabolisms. Our brains also get thrown off by this too – our taste buds get excited by sweetness and demand more!

The more sweet stuff you eat, the more sweet stuff you crave! It is worth noting that artificial sweeteners (and even Stevia) are significantly sweeter tasting than their real sugar rival. What this means is that you are likely craving more sugar after consuming.

As your body is now expecting more sugar and the chemical nature of the artificial sweetener has thrown off your metabolism, we have a double-edged sword where you are more likely to store fat from the calories you do actually eat while at the same time experience a spike in sugar cravings. 

Chewing gum

I know you probably think you are chewing gum to help curb your appetite, but alas, it actually has the opposite effect. When you chomp on gum, your brain thinks your body is going to receive an influx of food, so it sends a signal to your stomach to start producing gastric juices.

These juices produce that grumbly, churning feeling that will leave you hanging to eat and, if nothing else, very conscious of your hunger pains.  

Cardio over weight training 

We have been taught for so long that to lose weight, you need to eat less and move more. This is true to some degree, but we need to consider that different types of movement will produce different adaptation in the body and, therefore, different body composition results.

It's no lie that going for a long ass run will burn a chunk of calories... but what happens after the run? Your body is sent a signal that you are becoming very efficient at using up calories and, therefore, can down-regulate your metabolism – meaning that your base metabolic rate will decrease to maintain the same body weight. You end up in this cycle of either having to eat less or keep increasing your exercise to keep seeing the weight go down.

On the contrary, weight training has the opposite effect. You will likely see increase in your metabolic rate, meaning you will burn more calories throughout the day! Muscle tissues burn two to three times more calories than fat tissues, basically the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.

Elizabeth Gageler is a powerlifter and wellness blogger with over 60,000 followers on Instagram (@cheekycoconuts). Check out more of Elizabeth's work here

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