5 Potential Causes of Weight Gain
f you’re gaining weight but you can’t seem to explain the cause, keep reading.
The most common contributor to weight gain is something we’ve all heard before - when calories in are greater than calories out (ie - we’re eating more than we are burning off). When the body takes in excess fuel that it doesn’t need, it stores that fuel as fat. This is what causes weight gain for many people. However, this isn’t always the case. Additional factors (aside from excess calories) can contribute to weight gain in otherwise healthy people.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through 5 potential causes of weight gain along with potential solutions.
You probably have a friend or family member who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight, correct? Or perhaps you know someone who is constantly battling their weight even though they consume a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Shockingly, 400 different genes appear to play a role in weight management. According to Harvard Health, these genes can influence appetite, hunger and fullness cues, metabolism, cravings, how we store fat in the body and whether or not we use food to cope with stress.
So what can you do about it? Even if you are genetically predisposed towards weight gain, weight does not have to be an indicator of your overall health. Many overweight people live healthy, thriving lifestyles without letting weight hold them back. Continue to focus on whole foods from all the food groups, eat mindfully and exercise regularly. Most importantly, don’t let your weight define you! For more information on weight inclusivity and The Health At Every Size Approach, click here.
Many of the hormonal changes that occur due to aging can contribute to weight gain for both men and women. After age 30, people tend to lose more of their lean body mass (muscle) and body fat tends to increase. However, diet and exercise can play a significant role in combating these changes. To ensure that you are aging healthfully, continue implementing healthy eating habits and regular physical activity to keep your muscle mass and prevent fat tissue build up.
Weight gain is a side effect of certain common medications. These medications can include steroids, diabetes medications, epilepsy medications, birth control or medicines that are used to treat mental health conditions (like depression and schizophrenia).
If you find that you’re gaining weight on a certain medication, consult with your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking the medication if your medical provider has not given you the go-ahead. Your provider may be able to change the brand or dosage to prevent weight gain.
4. Medical conditions
Certain medical conditions can cause weight gain. Some examples include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Depression or anxiety
If you’re finding that you’ve gained weight rapidly without an explanation, make sure to consult with your medical provider.
Perhaps one of the biggest culprits of weight gain is misinformation. Every day, there appears to be a new “superfood” or weight-loss fad that a celebrity is endorsing. Don’t believe everything that you read - weight loss fads might do more harm than good. Overall, the best tip for weight loss is to focus on a whole food, balanced diet with lots of exercise!
- Health, H. (2019b, September 25). Why People Become Overweight - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Retrieved September 4, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-people-become-overweight
- (n.d.). ASDAH: HAES® Principles. Retrieved September 4, 2020f, from https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=76
- (n.d.). When Your Weight Gain Is Caused By Medicine - Health Encyclopedia - University Of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved September 4, 2020g, from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=56&contentid=DM300