“I'm addicted to you, do not you know that you're toxic?” Aside from me has accusedly quoting a Britney Spears lyric, today's article is going to revolve around one of the reasons that Americans are getting fatter and having greater trouble losing weight: toxic parabens.

Body fat accumulation can be attributed to 3 main causes. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Malnutrition
  2. Stress
  3. Toxins

We all know that pounding a box of twinkies every night before bed will probably lead to quite the spare tire around one's midsection, and it's becoming more well known that a lack of sleep, poor eating patterns, and anxiety is not great for trimming up your waistline, but how many people know what a paraben is or how it affects your body's ability to metabolize fat?

Paraben is the collective name for a group of chemicals all-too-commonly used in many cosmetics and beauty products. They're basically dirt-cheap preservatives that allow companies to keep their products on the shelves for longer periods of time without the risk of bacteria ruining the product. While it sounds great in theory (especially to those who have a strong aversion to germs), parabens are actually doing more harm than good. When a toxin enters your body, it is stored in your fat cells. The more toxins that enter your body, the more fat cells are made and the larger they become in order to effectively store the increased toxic load. That is an oversimplification of the process, but I will not get into the scientific jargon that will leave you with a glazed over, drooling stare at the computer screen. These parabens, once inside your body, can mimic estrogen and bind to estrogen receptor sites, leaving your own estrogen metabolism useless and instantly putting you at greater risk for cancer. Parabens have been found in many tumors and are being pointed at as one of the causes for breast cancer and the earlier and earlier onset of puberty in females.

So what products contain parabens? Unfortunately, all cosmetics have parabens in them including lip glosses, lotions, shampoos, facial scrubs, sunscreens, foundations, eye liners, you name it. Men, you're not off the hook either, because parabens can be found in shaving cream, aftershave, lotion, and cologne as well. So what's the solution? Are you expected to wake up every morning and go to work looking like a caveman or cavewoman? The answer is NO. All it requires is a little bit of extra effort on your part to purchase your cosmetics. Many natural companies are coming out with great cosmetics that are paraben free (usually found in what I call the “granola-head” section of the grocery store). Also, not all cosmetics have them to begin with, so often just a simple glance over the ingredient list before you make a purchase will help you avoid these harmful chemicals. When looking at ingredients, simply avoid anything that has the word paraben in it. Now, it may be a compound, such as methlyparaben or propylparaben, but a careful glance at the ingredient list should do the trick.

I hope this simple tipave you some good information to help you in your fat burning efforts. Many times this can help quite a bit if you feel like you're doing everything else right but seemed to have hit a fat loss plateau