Gain Weight Despite Your Best Efforts
Let’s face it — nobody, and we mean nobody, likes being overweight. Unfortunately, the universe often has different plans for us. Blame it on age, a slower metabolism, or gravity. Whatever the case may be, many of us gain weight no matter how hard we try to stay fit. And while it’s fair to say eating too much and exercising too little are the problem, there are other factors that come into play. Whether you live a healthy lifestyle or not, consider these five reasons you’re doomed to gain weight.
1. You’re sleep-deprived
People who say you should “sleep when you’re dead” have obviously never had a busy day in their lives. Some people simply get far less sleep than they should. And there are a bunch of unpleasant side effects that accompany not catching enough Zs at night, including weight gain. Michael Breus, Ph.D., sleep specialist, and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, tells Life by Daily Burn it doesn’t take a significant amount of sleep deprivation to affect your weight. As little as 30 minutes will do it, according to his research.
Furthermore, Breus says, “The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.” And when you’re tired, hungry, and grumpy, chances are you won’t be reaching for a salad — quick and easy junk food without much nutrition is far more likely to satisfy your craving.
2. You’re eating the wrong foods
This may sound obvious, but it’s still worth addressing. Some people think it’s just about the amount of calories you’re consuming, but it’s actually all about the kinds of calories you consume. In an article published by The New York Times, Dr. David Ludwig, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and author of Always Hungry?, discusses the importance of addressing the underlying drivers of weight gain, which he describes as fat cells stuck in “calorie storage overdrive.”
He explains simply reducing calories doesn’t address the problem. “That doesn’t change biology,” he said.” To change biology, you have to change the kinds of food you’re eating.” For the last several decades, many people have been consuming a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. As a result, insulin levels are raised, which causes fat cells to store as many calories as possible. And that’s not good for anybody.
3. Certain prescription drugs
It’s no surprise prescription medications come with some serious side effects.. In the case of certain antidepressants, Psychology Today says they can contribute to weight gain. Additionally, some commonly used prescription drugs, including those prescribed for mood disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, and seizures, can also lead to an expanding waistline. So, it’s imperative you ask your doctor about each and every possible side effect when being prescribed any medication.
4. Your friends are overweight
You are what you eat, and you are the company you keep, too. So, can the two go hand in hand? Maybe. Research suggests your friends’ weight could also affect your own. Think about it: If you surround yourself with people who aren’t active and indulge in huge meals every night, you’re probably doing the same. In a large study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers studied 12,067 people over the course of 32 years. The findings suggest obesity could, indeed, be contagious. In fact, they found a person is 57% more likely to become obese if a friend does.
5. You have unresolved digestive issues
It’s a topic not many people like to talk about openly, but it’s an essential part of your overall health, and discussing any digestive issues with your doctor is an important step in finding a resolution that works for you. According to Prevention, you could be experiencing weight gain as a result of slow bowel movements. If you typically need to hit the restroom a few times per day, you’re probably in the clear. However, if you’re not so lucky in the bowel-movement department, it’s time to start investigating. Chief culprits behind irregularity include dehydration, medications, low fiber, or a lack of good flora in your gut.
Of course, every person, and body is different. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, don’t resign yourself to the theory nothing can be done. Discuss your health history and fitness goals with a professional — maybe you’re not doomed after all.
Article by Julie Peirano for Cheat Sheet.com.