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Medical marijuana has many benefits. Amongst them: pain relief, anxiety reduction, sleep promotion and appetite stimulation. But as is so often the case, too much of something good can become something bad.

Medical cannabis can be so effective at appetite stimulation that a patient can quite easily end up eating too much and gaining weight.

Eating and drinking can be extremely arousing and enjoyable to a person who is under the influence of MMJ – flavors are enhanced, textures are more pronounced and the sensation of fullness often seems to go AWOL. All of these factors make overeating a very easy trap for medical cannabis card users to fall into.

Luckily, you do not need to be a slave to this overeating tendency. You are not helplessly destined to become fat due to California medical marijuana card use. It is not written in stone that you must get rounder, softer and heavier as the years of medical marijuana use tick by. You can put lifestyle structures and habits in place that will make sure you stay on the right track, getting healthier, slimmer, fitter and stronger as time goes by.

Here is our list of 6 ways to keep the weight off and stay healthy while you use medical marijuana. Try a few of these out and you will be amazed at the positive results you get!

Lifting heavy weights is an excellent way to build discipline and keep off weight when using medical marijuana.

Lift Heavy Weights

Heavy lifting will burn fat and build muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat you may actually get heavier from weight-lifting. However, you will be heavier because you have more muscle on your body. This fundamental change in body composition (more muscle, less fat) will increase your health levels across the board – from cardiovascular fitness to structural integrity to bone strength.

Weight-lifting burns calories, so consistent weight training will lead to fat loss (provided you are not consuming so many calories that the effects are offset – it can be easy to reward yourself after a tough weights session with an eating binge – don’t do this if you want to lose weight).

So, lift heavy weights in order to build bigger, stronger muscles and keep fat levels down while using your medical marijuana card in California.

Do Cardio/HIIT

Doing cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming is great for your overall health – especially lung capacity, heart health, psychological well-being (nothing gives you an endorphin blast quite like finishing a tough cardio session) and fat loss. A regular schedule of cardio sessions (especially if paired with some consistent weight training) will keep your fat levels low (again, provided you don’t undo all the good work with massive overeating).

Long sessions of moderate, consistent cardio (30 – 60 minutes) are effective, but if you are stuck for time short blasts of intensely effortful cardio (HIIT – high intensity interval training) are also very effective. Three 60 second blasts of top effort on a stationary bike or sprints, broken up with a minute or two of soft strolling, will be enormously beneficial, not very time consuming and will make sure that you stay slim while medicating with your California MMJ card.

Take Up a Sport or Physical Pastime

If you are the type of person that just can’t stand formal exercise or gym environments, you can still get good exercise in by taking up a sport such as volleyball, soccer, or a physical pastime such as yoga, dancing or hiking. Regular participation in a sport or physical pastime will mean you are working hard, using your body and keeping your weight levels down while using a California medical marijuana card.

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. People have been using fasting as a way to control weight and increase general health since time immemorial, and now the science is catching up with the anecdotal evidence. A fasted period gives the body a chance to reset itself, often dipping into a state of ketosis (a beneficial state in which the body burns its fat stores for fuel because it’s run out of the carbohydrates you’ve been eating).

When you fast, after an initial spike in hunger, ghrelin (the hunger-inducing hormone) actually decreases, so not eating gets easier as time goes by. Fasting gives your body the chance to devour its own fat. Fasting also increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels.

One of the most popular fasting methods is 16/8, which means you fast for 16 hours and feed for 8 hours. Some people find it easier to fast in the morning (essentially skipping breakfast) and some find it easier to eat until early evening and then fast until breakfast. People report increased mental clarity during the fasted state, increases in exercise performance and decreased weight from fasting.

If your illness permits, give fasting a try; it may be a very valuable weapon in your battle against a bulging belly.

Cut Out Sugar and Simple Carbs

Unfortunately you can’t always have everything you want in life. Trade-offs always need to be made. Many of the most appealing and delicious foods and beverages are also the most fattening. Simple carbohydrates, of which sugar is the simplest, tend to be exceedingly fattening to most people. Sugar, in the form of cakes, biscuits, ice-cream, white bread, pasta and beer will put fat on your body.

There’s no way around it (unless perhaps a Michael Phelps-style training regime). For mere mortals (who are not Olympic athletes or genetic freaks) eating simple carbs will lead to weight gain, so to avoid putting on weight while using MMJ… lay off the sugar.

Being extra cautious and responsible while shopping for food is a wise way to make sure you don’t put on the pounds when using medical marijuana.

Shop for Groceries Wisely

Last but not least, shop wisely. Often when you are under the influence of cannabis your ability to be disciplined and “just say no” to fattening foods and drinks is severely compromised. To offset this don’t shop while high and also try not to have unhealthy foods in your house. This means that when you are at your least disciplined you will not be able to make the kinds of food choices that would make you fat.

You may regret not buying those Oreos when you are rummaging through your cupboards hungrily late at night and under the influence, but you will thank yourself in the morning!

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