15 Unknown Causes of Weight Gain that you must know about!
16-05-2017 | Posted By: Kumkum Sharma | 5671 View(s)
Are you worried about those extra pounds on your body?? Maybe your face looks chubby, or perhaps you have those love handles which come in between you and your favourite dresses. Many people feel depressed when they see that those pair of skinny jeans do not fit them anymore. Then they feel uncomfortable when they see that they have put on weight unexpectedly. The exercises and dieting then come into play. Most people do not know the specific reason for their weight gain which is why they find it difficult to lose weight even after changing their lifestyle. Unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activities are not the only causes of Weight Gain.
There is, of course, a strong relationship between eating habits and weight gain- you eat in excess and then don’t exercise, just waste time by sitting in the front of the television changing channels ending up doing absolutely nothing, and you gain weight! Eating junk food is one of the major causes of weight gain and there is no doubt about it.
When people eat more calories than they burn, their weight increases. Therefore, people exercise so that they can burn extra calories and maintain optimal weight. Our eating habits and our lifestyle undoubtedly can lead to weight gain. However, one cannot say that lifestyle habits are the only causes of Weight Gain.
We all know that ‘Health is wealth.’ But how many of us put in extra efforts to take care of our health? Being obese is not good for your health because it gives rise to more severe problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, PCOS, and so on. There are many factors that lead to gain weight. Let us explore them one by one.
What are the Causes of Weight Gain?
1. Lack of Fluid in the Body
Not drinking enough water is one of the top causes of weight gain. We all are aware of the fact that water is essential for survival. However, water and other healthy fluids also help in maintaining an optimal weight. Water not only gives us energy, remove toxins from the body but also help us to feel full. It also helps to improve brain function, promotes healthy skin, improves digestion and enhances mood.
Studies suggest that drinking one glass of water before each meal could assist in losing weight. If we do not drink enough water, we will not be able to feel full and feel hungry now and then. It would make us eat excess calories and will lead to weight gain. We must drink 8 – 12 glasses of water every day.
One can also take other healthy fluids like lime water, orange juice and other fruit juices. One must stay hydrated to be healthy and fit overall.
2. Avoiding Health Check-Ups
Obesity is a health problem that is caused by many factors such as Depression, Stress, Thyroid Problems, medications and so on. When we start to gain weight, we make a presumption that unhealthy lifestyle habits are causing weight gain and seldom think of the other factors that might contribute to the problem.
Rarely, people consult a Doctor to find the cause of their weight gain which in turn leads to more health concerns.
Thus, everyone must refer to a Doctor if they are gaining weight and get a Health Checkup done to know the exact cause of their weight gain.
Going for regular health checkups can help you detect diseases at an early stage and get treated for it at the right time. You must get a full body checkup done on a regular basis to keep health conditions at bay.
3. Overeating Healthy Foods
Many times, people just focus on eating healthy foods and not the portion of it. Yes, eating healthy foods is good for our body and mind, but one must know the quantity in which those foods should be taken. For instance, many healthy and nutritious foods like oatmeal, dark chocolates, and nuts can cause weight gain if eaten in an excess amount.
One must not make an assumption that healthy foods are always low on calories. For instance, nut butter is good for health; however, make sure that the amount of nut butter taken is appropriate; else it can lead to weight gain.
4. Depression and Stress
A leading cause of self-loathing, anxiety and low self-esteem, depression is difficult to fight with. It arises due to any kind of pressure or death of a loved one or an unfortunate incident.
Depression and stress are one of the leading causes of major health problems these days, including obesity. When we are stressed, we tend to eat junk food to calm our senses, which in turn leads to obesity. Those who are taking antidepressants may face weight gain problems. Studies suggest that many anti-depressants medications result in weight gain.
These medicines may cause food cravings and increase people’s appetite. Also, these drugs sometimes affect metabolism in a negative way which leads to weight gain. Another theory is that depressed people lose their interest in food. And when their antidepressants medicines become effective, they regain their appetite and start overeating.
Anti-depressants are not the only cause of weight gain. Studies find that people who feel lonely and sad tend to gain weight more quickly than those who are happy and cheerful. It is because depression makes them eat high-calorie comfort foods which make them put on weight. So you must learn to manage stress to stay healthy and fit.
Listen to music, talk to a friend, go for a walk, give time to your hobbies, and practise meditation to beat stress.
5. Problems in Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ and is located at the base of the neck. It is a gland which regulates our metabolism and other body functions. Sometimes, due to certain reasons, the thyroid may become under-active and lead to hypothyroidism. One of the symptoms of this condition is weight gain.
The unfortunate part is that this condition develops slowly and so many people do not notice the symptoms of the disease at the initial stage. If the thyroid problem is a cause of anybody’s weight gain, then no matter how much effort he or she makes in reducing weight, it will be near impossible to shed the pounds.
Thus, if someone has suddenly put on weight without any apparent cause, they must get a health checkup done and consult a physician so that the medical professional can detect if it is a thyroid issue or some other problem.
6. Bad Quality of Sleep
We all love watching movies and texting our friends and family till late at night. But, this is one of the bad habits that make you fat. Our bodies need to sleep so that it can rebuild cells and boost our energy levels. When we do not get enough sleep, our metabolism slows down, which in turn to leads to obesity. Also, lack of sleep increases the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the body which increases our appetite and adds calories to our diet. So, shut down your laptop, keep your mobile phone away, and get proper sleep every night to keep those extra pounds away.
It is also because when we do not sleep, the hunger hormone ghrelin increases and the satiety hormone, i.e. leptin decreases.
When the level of leptin decreases and satiety increases, it makes us feel that we are hungry and we do not feel full. Our brain then responds more strongly to the junk food as when we are sleep-deprived our brain is not efficiently able to practice portion control. And then we munch on fried chips and cold drinks which make us put on weight.
Getting quality sleep is crucial for our overall health. Listen to music, read your favourite book, stay away from phones and laptops when you are about to sleep- follow these tips to get proper sleep.
7. Relying Only on Workouts
Most people rely on workouts when it comes to maintaining an ideal weight. If a person is still on his or her ice cream and burger habits- exercise alone will not undo the harm done by eating these junk foods. Thus, one of the leading causes of weight gain is that people focus only on exercises and keep eating foods which are unhealthy and fattening.
One more theory is that some people do not know the right exercise and thus they just confine themselves to doing the same exercise every day at the same pace which does not help a lot in reducing weight.
Studies suggest that regular activities such as running at the same speed for one hour can increase appetite in the long term. Thus, to maintain weight, exercise and also avoid junk foods. Also, do heavy workouts that help in maintaining weight without increasing the appetite. You can follow tips to control appetite and get amazing weight loss results.
8. Less Intake of Protein
Protein is highly essential for our body as it digests more slowly than the refined carbohydrates and prevents overeating, and also it helps in maintaining lean muscle mass. If there is a lack of protein in the body, the body will end up breaking down muscle to access the nutrients it needs which causes trouble.
When someone has less muscle mass, their metabolism slows down which later can lead to weight gain. Thus, include protein foods in the diet. Foods rich in protein are yoghurt, cheese, eggs, milk, almonds, chicken breast and oatmeal.
9. Ageing Process
As we grow older, we start losing muscle mass, and the result is that our metabolism slows down. When the metabolism slows down, and we continue to eat the same type and amount of foods as we did when we were younger; it leads to weight gain.
Ageing is a process which cannot be prevented. The best thing one can do to maintain an ideal weight is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. If a person at the age of 50 eats healthily and do exercise on a regular basis, it will help in preserving his or her body mass and will also boost the metabolism.
You must have watched many advertisements that show ‘Alcohol consumption is bad for health.’ But how many of you quit drinking alcohol? Yes, it is hard to limit the consumption of alcohol, but you should give up alcohol because the consumption of alcohol can make you gain weight. Alcohol consumption also makes you overeat that adds extra calories to your diet and make you obese. It is one of the major causes of weight gain.
11. Eating Junk Food
Indeed, this is one of the most known causes of weight gain. Junk food tastes delicious, but what it does to your body is beyond your imagination. Foods such as fried chips, sugary drinks, etc. are high in calories which add weight to the body. Junk food not only makes you fat, but also contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, infertility, depression, diabetes, liver failure, kidney problems, and cancer.
Eating these junk foods once in a while is fine. However, one must not depend on satisfying their hunger from these foods as they are highly unhealthy. Eat a diet rich in minerals, good carbs, vitamins, and proteins and limit the consumption of junk food if you want to prevent obesity. When someone feels hungry, they can have fruit juice, fruits or low-fat chips to satisfy their craving.
12. Eating in Front of the Television
Yes, it is fun to watch our favourite television show while eating. However, this habit creates a lot of health problems too. When we eat, we must focus on our meals so that we get all the nutrition of the foods. When we are distracted while eating, our brain does not realise when it needs to stop eating and causes you to eat more. This, in turn, leads to obesity. Avoid watching TV while you eat because it is one of the leading causes of weight gain. Enjoy your food and chew your food slowly to stay fit and healthy.
13. Skipping Breakfast
This is one of the top causes of weight gain. You should never skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. It boosts metabolism, gives you energy and lowers cholesterol levels. It also suppresses your appetite which stops you from consuming extra calories throughout the day. All in all, eating a healthy breakfast every day will help you curb junk food cravings and maintain an ideal weight.
14. Lack of Exercise
Lack of physical activity is one of the major causes of weight gain. If you want to stay healthy and happy, then you must exercise. Exercise prevents mental health problems, strengthens muscles, boosts metabolism, reduces the risk of diabetes, burns calories, and keep many health conditions at bay. It does not matter how much busy you are; you must give at least 20 minutes every day to exercise. Some of the easy and effective exercises that can help you stay healthy and fit are walking, jogging, skipping rope, and swimming.
15. Medical Conditions
There are many medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, PCOS, stress and depression can also lead to weight gain. Go for a health checkup on a regular basis to monitor your health and keep health conditions at bay.
These were the top causes of weight gain. Now let us see what can weight gain lead to.
What can Weight Gain lead to?
1.Hypertension: High blood pressure can lead to other complications. Excess fat deposition can lead to blockage in the arteries which hinder blood flow thus leading to hypertension.
2.Cardiovascular Disease: Stroke and heart attack are enough to damage the heart. Cholesterol lodges in the arteries and affects the heart health.
3.Insulin Resistance: The reason for diabetes begins with obesity. Over a period, the insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the beta cells fail to keep pace with the body’s increased need for insulin. Without enough insulin, excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes.
4.Arthritis: Excess weight can cause an excess load on joints of knees leading to joint pain and arthritis.
So what to do before these diseases consume you?
1. Consult a nutrition expert: A dietitian plays an integral role in the life of a patient. Eating good food is like building a good body. To start with a new and a proper lifestyle, consult a nutrition expert!
2.Exercise: Going out for a walk half an hour a day not only helps to reduce your blood pressure but also sheds those excess pounds from your body.
3. Eat Healthily: I am not saying that you should eat salads every day, but make sure you are eating healthy.
4.Self-talk: A positive self-talk is necessary to make sure you feel motivated on your journey to weight loss.
5.Meditate/Yoga: Yoga is the supreme remedy for all diseases as it calms the body and mind.
6. Go out: Being obese can often make a person ashamed of his or her body weight. It does not make a difference if you have extra fat around your belly or face, but it does make a difference when you become conscious of it. The more confident you are, the more people will love being around you. Obesity is often linked to the psychology of the mind. As in a prolonged period of sadness or depression leads to weight gain and weight gain leads to low self-esteem, which is vice versa. A kind of vicious cycle!
Obesity is a disease if you treat it like one. If you work towards a healthy body and maintain a fitness regime, nothing can stop you. It just takes a proper mindset, a regular schedule and getting yourself out of the comfort zone and most importantly addressing the causes of weight gain at the earliest to avoid future complications.
So just in case if you are not able to get over the issue in spite of best efforts do not hesitate to Consult a Doctor. Also, next time, you see yourself gaining weight; do not be convinced that you have gained weight due to unhealthy eating habits. Ponder over other causes of weight gain also and if you think there might be some other reason for your weight gain- Do consult a Physician and get a health checkup done.