We all know the usual suspects for gaining weight or being obese; sedentary lifestyle, sugary drinks, fried foods, alcoholic drinks and even genetic predisposition. Likewise, we know too well measures to avert excess weight; exercise, low fat diet and overall lifestyle change.
In some cases, however, these measures don’t seem to work very well in real life. I mean; some people work out every day and cut back on junk food, but only seem to gain more weight. Others live a sedentary lifestyle and have never really been overweight—like a friend who eats sugar all day and never seems to gain a pound.
Are you among the people who regularly go to the gym, religiously follow a weight-loss diet or take weight loss pills yet the numbers on the scale keep creeping higher? Well, it’s time we delved a little deeper and unveiled the mystery. The mystery is not about the usual suspects; it’s about unthought-of causes. Finding that magic bullet will take away all the frustration but, as we shall see, requires a different approach.
Stress and Depression
Nobody told you that getting depressed will gain you pounds and it is not just for those who are heartbroken and have turned to ice-cream. Indeed, some stressed people regard food as something that brings comfort or something that can be used as a coping mechanism. Additionally, suffering physical or emotional trauma will lead to weight gain in a characteristic way and so will persisting in a stressful environment. That’s because a stress hormone—cortisol—is secreted and, as a result, your appetite increases. The phenomenon also happens to those who are stressed at work and being active does nothing to curb the weight gain.
It is always important to figure out what is causing your chronic stress or you may end up with Cushing’s syndrome. Getting therapy will lead to a more effective fight against weight gain as the battle won in the mind will be reflected on the body. Men and women are affected by different kinds of stress that lead to weight gain. Sometimes all that is needed is a vacation to recharge your batteries and become able to deal with the same pressures that used to depress you.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep triggers a stress reaction in the body’s physiology that results in active storage of fat. At the same time, insomniacs may snack more during the night to kill idle time. Lack of sleep, moreover, may cause changes in hormone levels thus increasing appetite and hunger and you may feel not as full even after eating.
Medication such as anti depressants may have an unfortunate side effect—weight gain—depending on the individual and the dosage. Now this has nothing to do with a lifestyle change and is solely the effect of popping pills. Slight changes in the body’s metabolism and increase in appetite lead to noticeable increase in weight over a month.
It is worth noting that the situations that surround the prescription of drugs have something to do with stress or do cause physiological stress. It is slightly disturbing when you realize the list of weight adding medications seemed so harmless at first; such medicines as heartburn medicine or high blood pressure prescriptions. The calming effect of the drugs is thought to contribute to weight increase. Always consult your doctor if you suspect your medications are causing weight gain.
Use of steroids
Use of weight gain steroids will of course bring about weight gain but this may not be the desired effect in the case of anti-inflammatory steroids such as prednisome. Increased appetite and fluid retention are the main reasons. The amount of weight gained usually depends on the length of time on the drug and the strength of your doses.
Taking steroids for lupus, arthritis and asthma may unfortunately result to cushing’s syndrome, a condition in which you are highly exposed to hormone cortisol. This hormone, as we earlier said, increases appetite. Weight gain may occur prominently around the neck and face.
Conditions like diabetes will also cause weight gain in patients. The insulin in diabetics is not produced optimally causing sugar to be turned to fat uncontrollably. Another underlying cause of weight gain is hypothyroidism. This means that the body has a below average metabolic rate since the amount of thyroid hormone produced is inadequate. Gaining weight becomes easy since not enough calories are burned daily.
Plantar fasciitis can also result to unintentional weight gain. That’s because the condition can force you to cut back on your exercise leading to weight gain.
Treating these problems may reverse some of the weight gain. Also, modifying your exercise programs to avoid weight-bearing exercises may help you avoid pains due to plantar fasciitis.
This may also be a result of medication but is also seen as part of post natal depression. Another cause of hormone imbalance is menopause. Women stop producing much estrogen after menopause and begin to pile up fat around the abdomen. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is another hormonal problem mostly in women of childbearing age. Women with this condition, unfortunately, are resistant to insulin thus leading to weight gain.
These are effects that can be reversed or delayed as long as they are identified and accepted. Hormone therapy may be called for in extreme cases. It is actually easy to tell which is to blame, hormones or diet. If hormone levels are normal both men and women have fat deposits away from the tummy and arms. They still have a good figure but more pronounced by the fat on their curves.
You are getting older
This unavoidable condition results to a slow metabolism; the amount of calories burned is less at 50 than at 20. Aging also causes changes in lifestyle. Your exercising, for instance, may slow down.
You have inadequate essential nutrients or your gut is slow
Inadequate amounts of vitamin D, iron or magnesium can affect your metabolism or reduce your energy levels such that you’ll find it difficult to take healthy-lifestyle steps. As a result, you may feel weak to exercise and you may turn to sweets and simple carbs to boost your energy levels. Digestive issues such as slow bowel movements may compromise your digestive system leading to excess pounds.
It is important to assess the above reasons to know if you are on a level playing field with that runway model you so admire. Sometimes the condition may be as simple as water retention or gained muscle mass causing recorded weight gain. It goes to show, weight gain is caused by more than meets the eye. This partly explains why when looking for a weight loss program, it should be tailored to an individual’s root cause of weight gain.