Ever since humanity has become aware of the health-related disadvantages of being overweight, people have also become more cognizant of the need to maintain a healthy weight.
Ideally, unnecessary weight gain is to be avoided, but it happens to a lot of people because they consume more calories or energy than is burned or needed by their bodies. Sometimes, however, you can put on the pounds even though you might think that you’re not really eating too much. Why does this happen? Read on to find out the factors that could be contributing to the problem.
- StressYou might think that constant stress could make you lose some weight, but it can actually do just the opposite because people’s bodies react differently to chronic stress. In response to such situations, the human body produces too much of the “stress hormone” cortisol, which can trigger increased appetite in some people and result into binge eating. The favored food items are usually sugary and high-calorie snacks that people eat as comfort food when they are stressed out.
- Medical conditionsMany people blame lack of discipline or overeating as the cause of weight gain, but sometimes, being overweight comes as a result of already existing medical conditions. Take hypothyroidism as an example. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, is responsible for producing thyroid hormones, which is essential to the metabolic process. When you have hypothyroidism, this gland can’t produce enough thyroid hormones, rendering you prone to weight gain. One remediation procedure you can look into is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which will replace the deficient thyroid hormones in your body to help bring it back into balance.Another condition that can cause weight gain is Cushing’s Syndrome, which also causes the body to produce too much cortisol. There’s also Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal problem that occurs in many women of childbearing age. Because of the cysts that grow in their ovaries, these women experience hormonal imbalances that can lead to weight gain. Make sure to work with your doctor to determine an appropriate treatment plan for conditions such as these.
- MedicinesThe contents of your medicine cabinet can also cause weight gain. A lot of drugs and medical treatments actually have this side-effect. For instance, insulin, a hormone taken by diabetes patients to help control their bodies’ sugar levels, is known to cause weight gain. Other treatments that can cause a similar side effect include antidepressants, anti-inflammatory steroid drugs, antipsychotic drugs, as well medications used to treat high blood pressure and seizures. If your medicine is causing you to gain weight, ask your doctor if there are any alternative treatments that you can opt for instead. Never discontinue a prescribed medication until you get a go signal from your physician.
- Sleep DeprivationStudies have shown that lack of sleep can trigger weight gain as well. This is because sleep deprivation can cause levels of the “satiety hormone” leptin to decrease while those of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin shoot up. The imbalances in these hormones cause increased appetite, which often leads to eating more and gaining weight. People who love staying up late also tend to eat snacks at night or early in the morning, completing the vicious cycle of increased appetite and uncontrolled eating.
While it might be tempting to reduce weight gain to just an issue of eating too much and not having the will power to exercise, it is often not that simple. With the right medical advice and appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes, you can achieve your goal of maintaining a healthier weight.