Monday, October 4, 2010

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogens

You may have heard of a new buzz word in the weight loss community which is getting a lot of attention – obesogens. What are obesogens and how can we prevent ourselves from being exposed to these nasty chemicals which are causing us to be fat?

It can be quite discouraging when you are training your ass off and eating right and yet still seem to not affect any weight loss from your trouble spots.


Therefore in this article we’ll dive into 4 of the most common obesogens and expose their sources so we can stay far away and start to see better results from our healthy diets.


Definition of Obesogens
Without getting into the crazy details of obesogens, think of them as harmful chemical compounds which disrupt our hormonal balanace and negatively affect the way we store fat.


The main way these compounds really mess around with our fat storage is by disrupting our energy balance by disrupting the natural function of our endocrine system (which is responsible for metabolism).
The 4 Obesogens discussed in this article are BPA’s, PFOA’s, PVC’s and Phthalates…ok so where are these chemicals found?

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #1
You may remember me mentioning BPA’s and their harmful effects in my article “What is BPA?“, but let’s look at a quick summary.

BPA’s around mostly found in plastic containers and the shiny lining you see in most cans. The problem with these chemicals is that they have direct exposure with the foods and drinks we consume so over time you can only imagine how much of them get stuck in our digestive tract and wreak havoc.


Look for containers which have the number 7 recycling code on the bottom which indicates that they are BPA free, and remember to never heat any kind of plastic in microwaves as this is when they seep out into our food the most.

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #2
You are probably wondering what the heck PFOA’s are? Well they are a synthetic compound which has been found to be toxic and cancer causing in animals. The ridiculous thing is that corporations have kept research on these chemicals from being exposed to the public and have therefore deemed them as being insignificant to humans. Seriously?

Were are PFOA’s found? They have been detected in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, carpet cleaning liquids, microwave popcorn bags and unfortunately the water we drink and the air we breathe. Pretty scary stuff if you ask me and only public awareness can ever bring any light to this matter.

There are class action lawsuits against corporations who use PFOA’s such as DuPont since their chemical plant leaked PFOA’s to the surrounding community and the people have complained of major health problems.


PFOA’s are also related to the chemical we find in non-stick cookware known as PTFE’s. There are numerous long term studies being conducted on the harm these chemicals cause to our endocrine and hormone system and I’m sure you know what the results are going to show.


Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #3
PVC’s are found in heavy duty plastics including plastic wrap that you buy your meat in. Luckily PVC’s aren’t found in the plastic wrap we buy in the grocery store but the durable ones used for wrapping meat are unfortunately found to have been identified as  an endocrine disruptor as well as possible carcinogens.
The solution? Try and get your meat wrapped in paper that meat deli’s often use.


Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #4
If you use products like Febreeze or air freshners then you have definitely come across the chemical Phthalate. The problem with these guys is that we breathe them in and since they contain volatile organic compounds they are of major concern with anyone who has breathing problems or is prone to headaches/migraines and sinus infections.


That in itself should be enough reason to stay away but scientists are now warning that the level of accumulation that we are now seeing in humans is much higher than previously thought of and there is new concern of their accumulation affecting our hormones and possessing a threat as carcinogens.
One other issue is that they are usually disguised in the labeling of packages since they are listed as “fragrance”. Instead of these artificial chemical sensory overloads try essential oil candles and diffusers

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogens

It’s already a good challenge trying to manage healthy eating and training on a daily basis but to have these chemicals accumulate and cause us further distress with our weight loss efforts can definitely create a lot of frustration.


Hopefully with the knowledge of this information we can influence corporations through our buying power and we can prevent long term health complications for us and our families.
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