It’s logical to suggest obesity is the result of eating a bit more and doing a bit less. However, if it were that simple everyone could fix the problem by doing the opposite. There are clearly other factors at play that make weight gain more likely to happen and tougher to reverse.

Fortunately, you can lose fat using the four following solutions to problems you probably didn’t even realize you had in the first place.


1. Your brain isn’t thinking healthy

Appetite and metabolism are controlled by your hypothalamus in your brain’s limbic system, not your gut, and it can get damaged if you eat shoddy frankenfoods, which affect the hormones leptin and grehlin. When they’re out of whack you get hungrier and are more likely to store the fat instead of burn it.

Fat cells can also create their own inflammatory hormones and begin to act like an independent endocrine organ, which means the fatter you are the easier it is to become overweight. Your fat cells get primed to suck up sugars like a sponge, leaving you sweeter from the inside out. It’s basic stuff, but the brain controls all.

The solution: Fight fries with fish

If you’re waffling burgers then counteract the resulting hormone imbalances with foods rich in DHA and alpha-lipioc acid. Think: oily fish like sardines and herring. You can also supplement with raspberry ketones to adopt a top-down approach to weight loss, which keeps these hormones in a healthy balance geared towards slimming down.


2. You weren’t taught healthy eating habits

Diets don’t work in the long haul. You’ll rebound eventually because ultimately behaviors govern actions. Learned behaviors from the environment and upbringing influence how you eat, what you eat and when you eat it. Sadly, there’s been a steady learning curve working against you because if each successive generation believes it’s healthier to weigh one or two pounds more, this is taught to their kids, who become adults and the cycle continues, until obesity is the norm.

The solution: Make small habit changes

Don’t diet, just list and adopt the behavior associated with being the person you want to become. Aside from knowing about how to control the intake of the right foods, here’s a list of dietary behaviors all lean people follow:

If things slip they reel them back in through checks and measures which normally keep them on track.
They approach challenging situations with a code or set of guidelines which limits their behaviors
They know how to deal with setbacks and work through routines rather than randomness.


3. Your plastic lunchbox is packed full of toxins

Your diligently-crafted packed lunches could be making you overweight if the containers you use expose you to plastics like bisphenol A. These plastic contaminants end up in your fat storage depots making you far more likely to become diabetic. They’re called obesogens and a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that even low doses of toxins caused weight gain. It may not be the food you eat but what it’s carried in that counts.

The solution: Sweat it out

Firstly, look at the bottom of the container to make sure it’s bisphenol A-free. To detox your system you’ll need to lose weight through old-fashioned sweat sessions. To help speed up the process you can also do things like having regular saunas, chelation therapy and infrared saunas. And if you must scoff fast food, pay attention to what the container it comes in is made out of, especially if you eat directly from it.


4. Your metabolism isn’t flexible

Metabolic flexibility is how well you can switch between burning fat or carbohydrates as a source of fuel. Often, people become dependent on burning sugars and less efficient at burning fat. This is due to how much you eat in terms of ratio of macronutrients – protein, fat and carbs – because if you’ve eaten yourself overweight with too many carbs there’s a good chance you’ll burn them before you burn fat.

The solution: Seek out carnitine

Eating plenty of carnitine-rich foods can go a long way to helping with this problem. And that’s because it not only helps curb appetite, but it also increases fat burning when you’re just kicking back on the sofa and when you’re doing high-intensity exercise. You can take it as a supplement or you can find it in delicious muscle-building staple foods like beef, pork and even bacon. Honestly, who could say no to bacon?


Find health and fitness advice and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.