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This Is Why You’re Fat: 10 Really Surprising Reasons

We all know that eating too much and exercising too little are sure-fire ways to get fat and unhealthy. But did you know that things like your marital status, coffee, and pesticides can influence your weight, too? Here, we'll take a look at 10 surprising reasons why you might be overweight.

  1. You're not sleeping enough. You may be gaining weight due to a lack of sleep. Your body experiences stress from not getting enough sleep, which causes you to store fat more efficiently. Little sleep also contributes to stress, which may make you turn to food for coping.
  2. You're married. Many couples gain an average of 5 pounds within two years of marriage. Together, your food choices are compromised, and your eating habits change. When you have someone to eat dinner with every night, you're more likely to have a large meal with multiple courses rather than skip it or just have a salad for dinner.
  3. You're taking prescription drugs. Certain drugs can cause weight gain, fluid retention, and increased appetite. Read the fine print on your prescription and talk to your doctor about how your drugs can impact other areas of your health. If you must take a prescription with these side effects, talk to your doctor about what you can do to balance them out.
  4. You're stressed out. As you cope with life's demands, you may also be adding to your waistline. Many people reach for food to deal with stress. Additionally, the fight or flight response that happens with stress triggers a process that causes our bodies to store fuel and slow down metabolism.
  5. You drink too much. Even infrequent binge drinking can contribute to abdominal fat. Four or more drinks on one occasion, even just once a week will likely cause weight gain. People who drink small amounts more regularly are significantly less susceptible to weight gain from alcohol. Hard liquor drinkers are especially at risk, so next time, just stick to wine if you've got to have more than one.
  6. You gave up coffee. So, you cut out caffeine for your health, but now you find you're packing on the pounds? That's because caffeine acts as a stimulant and lessens your appetite. It also acts as a diuretic, flushing out water weight. If you stop drinking coffee, be prepared to watch your portion control and be a little more hungry than usual.
  7. You're starving yourself. Although eating less food is a good way to lose weight, taking it to the extreme is harmful. When you deprive yourself of food, it is counterproductive. Starvation causes the body to store food and slow your metabolism, which in the long run will cause you to gain weight. Instead, you should eat small, regular meals.
  8. You weren't breast fed. At this point, there's nothing you can do about it, but bottle-fed babies (who grow into adults) have an increased obesity rate. You can't change your past, but if you decide to have children, you should breastfeed them if you are able.
  9. You're going through menopause. As women reach menopause, they experience a natural slowing of metabolism. Menopause's hormonal changes can also bring on depression, hunger, and insufficient sleep. Estrogen favors weight gain in the lower body, so with a loss of this hormone, women going through menopause often gain more weight in the middle.
  10. You're ingesting "obesogens." Obesogens are chemicals that alter your metabolism hormones and cause us to gain weight. They are also known as "endocrine-disrupting chemicals." Common obesogens are Bisophenol A, found in plastic, can linings, and baby teething toys; PFOA and PFOS on non-stick pans, stain-resistant clothing, carpets, and more; phthalates in soft plastics, fragrances, and other consumer products; as well as pesticides found in food and other products.