The Sneaky Ways You Gain Weight by Chris McKee

How ironic that as I write this piece, I’m having  fried food because I’m on the road down south, and food options are few and miles between.  Excuses.

However, that’s not sneaky, that’s outright dietary civil disobedience.  “Anarchy! Anarchy!” to quote Walker and Texas Ranger, Ricky Bobby’s sons in Talladega Nights.

The thought of eating a cold salad in 16 degree weather was insupportable.  But that was a healthier option than warm, fried foods.  Sometimes you just gotta take the hit to be healthy.

Using nicotine as a weight suppressant has been prevalent for centuries. It is true that nicotine contains appetite-suppressing qualities, and smoking was promoted helping you stay thin by the tobacco companies. Thankfully, recent research has shown that smoking cigarettes, with its 7,000-plus chemcials, actually leads to weight gain by interrupting the body’s metabolic function and causing insulin-resistance; this holds for those exposed to secondhand smoke.

The advertising and promotion of smoking as a weight loss mechanism was created in the 1920s for the brand Lucky Strike, whose “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet” campaign was developed to give women a reason to smoke.

This amazingly successful campaign was followed by “For a Slender Figure—Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet” campaign.  Smoking was also promoted to expectant mothers looking to hold onto their figures while pregnant.

Another lesson for us all; just because advertising says it’s good for you doesn’t mean it is.

Working the night shift affects your health in a number of ways: It messes up your sleep cycle, promotes eating out of boredom over the long night and you have to sit or stand in one place for long periods of time.  So what can you do?

Night shifters—go to the gym after you get off, just like day shift workers.  Bring exercise bands to work.  They’re portable, inexpensive, and most importantly, effective.  Use them for squats, bicep curls, shoulder presses, upright rows, side steps, triceps pulls, side stretches. Try to get in some exercise during down times, on your meal break, or when customers are scarce.

Overestimating how much calories you burn and then giving yourself a license to eat them back up is deadly.  I’ve seen entries from friends on MyFitnessPal (a great app for counting calories, recording your exercise and for healthy recipes) that they burned 500 calories doing this, that or the other.  Probably not.  In any event, if you burn 300 calories you shouldn’t eat 300 calories as a reward.

Losing weight is a see-saw—even weights on both sides of the fulcrum make a horizontal line.  Eat fewer calories than you burn and you’re up, or actually down!

Alcohol.  Who doesn’t like a cold one or a glass of wine before dinner, or during dinner or after dinner and any combination thereof?  But now you eat more because alcohol lowers your willpower and affects your judgment (ever woke up somewhere you weren’t supposed to be?) and that’s a breeding ground for calorie injection.  Plus it has calories too.

Your best defenses against unwanted pounds are to eat healthily and participate in a consistent, challenging exercise routine like the ones developed by The Boot Camp Girl.  Check out her website at

Get moving.

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