Is your shower curtain sabotaging your weight loss efforts?

Obesogens. How’s that for the word of the day? These are chemicals that can program your body to put on weight no matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. Under certain conditions and in certain quantities they can send your hunger hormones into overdrive. And direct your body to create more fat cells.

And they are everywhere.

But let’s take a closer look at exactly where the biggest threats are. (Those that rank a 6 or higher on the “Threat Level” scale.) And how you can avoid them.

Threat Level 6

  • New car smell. This is one of the things people love about buying a new car. But that signature scent actually contains 275 chemicals. And any one of them can be an obesogen. And they can linger at high levels for up to six months. But heat helps release the chemicals quicker. So leave your car in the sun with the windows down as often as possible. You can also place a box of baking soda in the car for the first six months (like I did when I bought my car). This will help soak up some of the chemicals.
  • Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. If you only take one piece of advice from this message, let it be this: Throw these chemical-laden monstrosities away. They contain triclosan which is a serious hazard. Not only does it contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, but it can also disrupt your body’s delicate endocrine system. Just wash your hands with regular soap and water. It accomplishes the same thing without the added risk.

Threat Level 7

  • Shower curtains. Many of these-especially the liner-are made from PVC, which releases at least 108 known chemicals into the air. And dozens of those are obesogens. The heat from a shower releases them even more. I would recommend opting for a glass shower door. But if that’s not possible, at the very least, opt for a curtain made from “EVA” or “PEVA” is another option.
  • Teflon cookware. Yes I know they don’t stick and are easier to clean. But nothing magical comes without a price tag. These contain perfluoro chemicals. Do what I do and use cast iron or stainless steel cookware. And use grass-fed butter and macadamia nut oil to keep your food from sticking.

Threat Level 9

  • Personal care products. For me, this is the biggest conundrum I face on a daily basis. It’s hard to pass up all those exotic smelling products. But every time you use a shampoo or lotion with a fragrance, you coat yourself in phthalates. These chemicals aren’t just obesogens. They’ve also been shown to contribute to diabetes. Blood tests show a dramatic decline in these chemicals when you avoid scented products. The only solution is to forego cologne, aftershave, and perfume, and stick to fragrance-free products.
  • Plastic bottles. I would rather go thirsty than drink from plastic. One week of drinking from certain plastic bottles can result in a 70% increase in levels of BPA. And it’s not just your waistline at risk here. BPA has been linked to numerous health problems-including cancer. Always check the bottom of the bottle and never use recycle number 7. Better yet, get everything in glass bottles.

Threat Level 10

Cash register receipts. These are another potent source of BPA. And it only takes 10 seconds for it to transfer to your skin. Crumpling the receipt speeds up the process even more. If you work directly with receipts, wear gloves. If not, tell cashiers you don’t need your receipt. (You can use bank card and credit card receipts as proof of purchase.)

I will leave you with one last item for this list. Some “food for thought,” so to speak…

Most cardboard pizza boxes contain high levels of an obesogen called diisobutyl phthalate. And that innocent looking piece of wax paper in the bottom of the box? It’s coated in a grease-repelling obesogen chemical known as PFC. Yet another reason why pizza is so bad for you.