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Toxins that Make us Fat and How to Avoid Them!

Have you ever heard of the term obesogens? 

[LISTEN TO MY PODCAST: How to Avoid the Chemicals that make us Fat]

It's a relatively new term that describes chemicals that influence and promote obesity in humans or animals.

They can be pharmaceutical and/or industrial compounds, like herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals used in beauty and household products that literally alter metabolic processes and predispose people to gain weight! 

If you haven't noticed, obesity is on the rise. 

Almost 50% of all adult Americans are obese and almost 20% of children ages 2-19 are considered obese. 

This is just insanity! 

Many people think that food and inactivity are the only culprits that contribute to obesity,  but toxins in our food, air, and homes can significantly alter how the body gains and holds onto fat. 

A biology professor at the University of California coined the term "obesogen" in 2006 when he discovered that tin-based compounds known as organotins predisposed laboratory mice to weight gain. 

Through more research scientists discovered that: 

"The main role of fat cells is to store energy and release it when needed. Scientists also now know that fat tissue acts as an endocrine organ, releasing hormones related to appetite and metabolism. Research to date suggests different obesogenic compounds may have different mechanisms of action, some affecting the number of fat cells, others the size of fat cells, and still others the hormones that affect appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism.15 Some obesogenic effects may pass on to later generations through epigenetic changes, heritable modifications to DNA and histone proteins that affect when and how genes are expressed in cells, without altering the actual genetic code.15,16,17" (Source)

You read that right!

Obesogens can actually alter genetics of future generations! 

So hopefully we are all on the same page and want to rid our lives of these toxins that mess with our hormones and make us fat... AND potentially can do the same to our offspring. 

So what are the major toxins that have this effect on our health? 

Well let's start with the most obvious.


Plastic is a HUGE source of these "bad guy" chemicals. 

Plastics have plasticizers, and phthalates which are not just found in food and water containers but in air scented items like fresheners, laundry products, and personal care products. 

The most popular plastic chemicals that have had lots of attention are BPA AND all of it's cousins, BPS, BPF, BPM, and BPP. 

When BPA was discovered to be highly toxic and banned from baby products, companies decided to use BPA's cousins instead since there were no research on them, yet they are ALL toxic chemicals, with similar negative health effects,  and can found in plastics, food and beverage can linings, and other consumer products. 

BPA has been shown to mimic estrogen in animals which lead to cancer and major reproductive issues. 

I get how hard it is to limit plastic, and this subject deserves a WHOLE podcast and blog post, yet even just small changes can make a huge difference! 

Here are a few tips to avoid plastic: 

  1. For starters, stop drinking out of plastic water bottles!
  2. Try and buy as much food in glass containers
  3. Avoid canned foods as much as you can. 
  4. Don't touch thermal paper receipts! 
  5. Store left-overs in glass containers
  6. NEVER microwave or dishwasher wash plasticware, as it breaks it down and leaches into your food and drink even more! 
  7. Don't always trust BPA-Free labeling as it is not strictly regulated in the US

If you do use plastic, the best choices are those marked with recycling codes #1, #2, #4, and #5 as they do not contain BPA which can be less toxic but could definitely contain it's toxic cousins. 

Just do your best! 

I want to share this resource with you so that you can become even more informed on the 10 Toxic Household Products You Should Banish from Your Home. This video is by one of my favorite holistic doctors, Dr. Axe. He has SO many videos that talk all about this and tons of resources to help you rid your home of toxins and replace with cleaner and healthier options. 

If you don't want to watch the video, here is the list of the Top 10 Most Toxic Household Products: 

  1. Bleach
  2. Antibacterial Chemicals
  3. Scented Candles & Air Fresheners 
  4. Talcum Powder 
  5. Dry-Cleaning Chemicals 
  6. Vinyl
  7. VOC's
  8. Flame Retardants
  9. Pesticides
  10. Nonstick Chemicals (Cookware) 

All of the items listed above are toxic to our health in one way or another, and each one has chemicals that are considered obesogenic! 

Remember it's not about being perfect, but slowly making shifts to create a safer and less toxic home. 

A few more tips you can implement that can help are: 

  1. Choose organic as much as you can! Don't forget to use my Top 5 Grocery Shopping Resources to avoid chemicals and toxins in your food! 
  2. Take your shoes off before you walk into your home because it's been proven that this is one of the biggest sources of exposures! 
  3. Choose nontoxic cosmetics and household cleaners (more on this soon!)
  4. Clean you house! Vacuuming and dusting is key to keeping these chemicals from staying in the home as many of them off-gas from furniture and other household items. 
  5. Read clothing labels! Clothes are often sprayed with flame retardants that are known to be endocrine disruptors, usually clothes made of polyester. So opt for natural and untreated fibers like cotton. 
  6. Open the windows and clean up your indoor air! Check out this article on the best indoor plants that filter your home! 

There are so many simple things we can do to upgrade our environments and I get how it can feel super overwhelming. 

Just take baby steps!!! 

Chose that one thing that calls to you and just do that! 

It's not about how much you do, it's about the mindset propelling what you do. 

So take an easeful and graceful approach and just move forward! 

Okay, that's it! 

In love and light, 

Becky Wells 
The Hippie Moms, LLC
[email protected] 
The Hippie Moms Podcast


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