By: Sylvia Anderson
Even if you eat well and exercise as much as you can, your weight might still be affected by the chemicals in your environment.
These chemicals are referred to as obesogens, and are defined as foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which in some cases, can lead to obesity.
Essentially, they may trigger your body to store fat, even if you're restricting calories.
Obesogens work in three ways: they increase the number of fat cells you have, expand the size of fats cells, and influence appetite and cravings and how your body burns calories.
Even if you're naturally thin or lean, you can also be affected.
Obesogens are found in dietary, pharmaceutical and industrial compounds and you're exposed to them via plastics, dust, air fresheners, cookware, furniture, fabrics, toys, and food packaging... just to name a few.
Certified Green Building Expert, Lisa Beres, says there are five main categories of obesogens.
BPA makes plastic shatter-proof. It's also found in canned food lining and cash register receipts. It increases insulin resistance and makes your fat cells bigger. Exposure can even start in the womb.
Phthalates are used to soften PVC plastic (they are identified as #3 on the bottom of plastic materials). They're found in toys, lunch boxes, back to school products (backpacks), shower curtains, fragrances, cosmetics, and air fresheners. Phthalates lower testosterone and decrease your ability to burn fat.
Tributyltin (TBT) is a highly toxic biocide that has been used extensively to prevent the growth of marine organisms on the hulls of large ships. It's become a problem in the aquatic environment because it is extremely toxic to other organisms, such as fish and seafood, which humans then consume.
Perfluorooctanoic acid is found in many industrial products, such as non-stick cookware. It affects your thyroid gland, which is responsible for regulating your metabolism.
Flame retardants are found in everything from older mattresses to electronics and building materials. They also interfere with thyroid function.
From fruits and veggies to your tap water, pesticides are becoming more rampant. They slow your thyroid's function, and thus slow your metabolism.
The best way to combat the chemical influence on your waistline, says Beres, is to aim to reduce your exposure to all of these chemicals as much as possible.
In the accompanying audio segment, Lisa Beres joins Naturally Savvy hosts, Andrea Donsky and Lisa Davis, to share more about the chemicals that are making you fat.