Let’s keep it simple: You’re gaining weight. Why?
There could be several reasons for your weight gain. The first thing I want you to do is identify how long it has taken for this weight gain to happen. Was it over the course of a couple months, a year, or a few weeks? This answer can help identify the cause.
If you have had a very sudden weight gain, it’s best to look over the past few weeks and see what has been different in your lifestyle. If the weight gain has come on over a longer period of time, it can be more difficult to remember everything you’ve done but you can probably notice some changes.
Next, if you are concerned your weight gain may be health related I recommend you see a doctor. If you have seen sudden weight gain without any lifestyle changes, it is very important you take precaution. Thyroid issues, intestinal problems, diabetes, and a slew of other health issues can cause weight gain. It is best to rule out any medical complications before making a plan to lose weight.
Assuming you are healthy, here are five reasons you might be gaining weight. Luckily, the solution can be found within the problem.
- Excess of calories
Eating over your recommended daily calorie intake will result in weight gain. You can eat a lot over or a little over and you will still gain weight. Your body burns a certain amount of calories on it’s own everyday and when you add in exercise and activity your body burns even more calories. When you eat more calories than you expend, you will gain weight. The simple solution is to gradually start reducing your intake.
- Lack of activity
As I said before, your body burns a certain amount of calories everyday. Less active people tend to burn fewer calories doing every day tasks. This is what people refer to when they say someone has a “slow metabolism.” More active people have a faster metabolism. This is one way activity can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you suddenly stopped exercising or have become more sedentary this could be a reason for your weight gain simply because your body is used to more movement. Solution: get moving!
- Losing muscle
The more muscle you have in your body, the faster your metabolism is. Your body burns more calories doing every activity when your muscle mass is higher. If you have stopped working out and lifting weights, you have probably lost some muscle mass, which will naturally make it hard to keep the fat off.
- Major life changes
Stress, whether it be good or bad stress, can affect your weight big time. If you recently moved, got in or out of a relationship, started a new job, or lost a family member, your body will carry more weight. Stress releases the hormone Cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone and increases the insulin levels in your body. This in turn makes you crave sugary, fatty foods. This is why most people overeat when they are stressed out or anxious. Try to find ways to de-stress, whether that be reading, exercising, or spending time with a pet!
- Sleeping too much or too little
Getting too much and too little sleep both cause your metabolic functions to slow down dramatically. Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night is the best way to maintain a healthy weight.