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Beat These 4 Hidden Causes of Fat

You’re doing everything right, yet your waist keeps expanding. The trouble might be your hormones, say Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., authors of YOU: Losing Weight: The Owner’s Manual to Simple and Healthy Weight Loss.

1. Thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism like a tricycle slows down speed compared to Lance Armstrong on a racing bike. You can’t burn calories like you used to.

2. PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. This accounts for unexplained weight gain in 20 percent of women. It’s insulin resistance caused by abnormal secretion of a hormone by your darned ovaries.

3. Testosterone drops. These can occur in older men and postmenopausal women if you gain belly fat, because belly fat converts testosterone to estrogen. Some say that’s why fat single men hang out with guys and drink beer in bars — no libido and no aggressiveness even to try a line on a woman. But women with belly fat develop the problem too, as testosterone from their adrenals is a leading stimulator of libido. And less testosterone means less muscle mass, which makes it harder to burn fat (leading to weight gain). The cure: resistance exercise. The sign your testosterone levels are dropping: if you have to shave less often than you used to.

4. Growth hormone dips. This can decrease as you age when you don’t sleep at least ninety minutes at a time because you have to get up to pee, leading to weight gain. The best way to boost it naturally: get the right amount of sleep and exercise.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., author of YOU: Losing Weight: The Owner’s Manual to Simple and Healthy Weight Loss (Copyright © 2006, 2009, 2011 by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Oz Works LLC, f/s/o Mehmet C. Oz, MD), is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and cofounder and originator of the popular RealAge.com website.

Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., author of YOU: Losing Weight: The Owner’s Manual to Simple and Healthy Weight Loss (Copyright © 2006, 2009, 2011 by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Oz Works LLC, f/s/o Mehmet C. Oz, MD), is also a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of The Dr. Oz Show. He is professor and vice chairman of surgery at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and the director of the Heart Institute.

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