There are many reasons why we gain weight, usually from overeating and not exercising. But did you know there are other hidden factors such as your friends and credit cards that subconsciously make us eat more? Here are three surprising factors for why we gain weight without even realizing it.
1. Your friends
In a New England Journal of Medicine study, for every 10 pounds a person gained, close friends of the same height gained an average of 1-2 pounds. It is similar to the idea of people having problems with the amount of food they eat when dining with friends – we all tend to eat more because we are surrounded by people that eat more.
I have written some coping strategies previously about dining out. Another thing you can do to combat this trend is to plan your socializing around physical activities instead of dining out. My friends and I like to get together for bowling, tennis, and Wii parties. The only problem is that we tend to go out to dinner afterwards as well, but at least it is not all about eating.
2. Your credit cards
Visa conducted a study of fast food transactions and found that people who pay with their credit cards end up ordering 30% more food. You can read more at this msn article.
In general, I notice that I buy more stuff when I use my credit card. It seems so easy to throw things in my cart when I am shopping since I do not have to worry whether I have enough cash to pay for it. I think it is typical of those in my age group to not have cash in their pockets. I use my credit card to pay for everything.
I have not use my credit card for fast food yet, but I have used it at Starbucks when I stop by occasionally. Since I only visit Starbucks once or twice a month, I end up getting a pastry with my coffee because they accept Visa.
3. Your medication
Taking pills for allergies, birth control, depression, or diabetics might lead to weight gain. If you look at the side effects listed in these medications, you will find ‘possible weight gain’ as one of them. Are we growing fatter in this country because we are taking more medication?
I know that I am 6-8 pounds heavier when I am on birth control pills. Once I stop taking the medication, I loose that weight within a month. I have heard enough stories from other women about birth control to know that I am not the only one gaining weight.
The more I find out about the surprising sneaky ways we can gain weight, the more I realize it is not just about how much we exercise.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by.
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