Hidden Causes of Weight Gain

Several things should be considered if you are gaining weight while watching calories and being physically active. More than likely, it’s a variety of things working together that have resulted in the weight gain.

Here are four factors that can cause the scale to creep up when you least expect it:

1) You May Be Gaining Weight Because of Lack of Sleep

The body functions best when well rested. When you’re tired, you also don’t handle stress as well, so you may reach for food as a coping mechanism. Furthermore, you may be taking in extra calories from late-night snacking. Some people think eating might help them get back to sleep, but all it really does is add more calories to their daily total. When you develop good sleeping rituals and get regular exercise, you will eventually sleep better.

2) You May Be Gaining Weight Because of Stress

We live in a society that demands we do more, and achieve more. Stress moves us
forward and helps us cope with life’s demands, but is also affects our mood and
emotions. Many people reach for food to help ease the stress. But, of course, this doesn’t work in the long run. Food is a temporary fix because it does not deal with the real stressors that must be addressed in order to reduce the trigger for eating and
fix the problem. Try relaxation techniques as well as exercise, which also burns
calories and provides other health benefits.

3) You May Be Gaining Weight Because of Medications

Some prescription drugs may cause weight gain, from a modest amount to as much as 10 pounds. For example, some steroids, hormone replacement therapy, and even oral contraceptives may cause gradual weight gain. Even if your medications are the cause of your weight gain, you still need to be mindful of eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. If you think medication may be a cause of your weight gain it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider for options.

4) You May Be Gaining Weight Because of Menopause

Women reach menopause at a range of ages, most are in midlife and are often less physically active than when they were younger. Along with aging comes a natural slowing of metabolism. Because of this, fat is more likely to be deposited in the midsection. The key to avoiding this extra belly fat is to maintain and increase the amount of lean body mass, which will, in turn, increase your metabolism or calorie burning rate. Women need to understand how important weight lifting and strength training is to their health. Exercise also helps offset bone loss that can come with menopause. A combination of exercise and a healthy calorie-controlled eating regime is the answer to thwarting weight gain.

“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.”

Carol White, Personal Fitness Specialist

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