Millions of Americans suffer with weight problems, and whether it is a pesky extra five pounds or severe obesity, losing the extra pounds is always a struggle. Research has shown that women have an even more difficult time losing weight than men. Health and fitness experts have consistently stated that regular exercise along with a healthy diet is the key to trimming the fat, and maintaining a healthy weight, but what if someone is doing all the right things and not losing the weight? Recent studies are raising the question: what exactly are the biggest reasons for gaining weight?
One of the biggest reasons for weight gain is a lack of sleep. In many cases people who are up late or unable to catch some Z’s will be more likely to hit the kitchen for some late night snacking. Obviously, this means more calories. When someone is not getting the hours of rest they need, hormone levels change in the body. These changes increase appetite and hunger. This also results in people not being full after eating, resulting in more food intake and more calories.
Stress is something that everyone experiences and it is a pretty difficult thing to avoid in today’s fast-paced world. If stress is not already annoying itself, it has been known to cause significant weight gain. One reason is that people who are stressed out tend to eat more than usual, adding a significantly increased number of calories taken in daily. Stressed people also tend to eat unhealthier foods for comfort. Also, when stressed, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes an increase in appetite.
When the body is missing or low in certain nutrients, such as magnesium, iron and vitamin D, energy levels and metabolism can be affected. Someone experiencing this may feel too tired to exercise, or reach for simple carbs, sweets and caffeinated beverages high in sugar to get energy levels up. Adding supplemental vitamins is an easy fix for this. Also, there are many foods rich in nutrients that can be added to daily diets.
Some prescription drugs also have the side effect of weight gain. Steroid medications are known to cause fluid retention resulting in extra pounds and an increased appetite. Many antidepressants have the unfortunate side affect of weight gain as well. Some antidepressants have been known to cause up to 20 pounds of unwanted weight gain. Medications for high blood pressure, migraines, diabetes, and anxiety can also cause people to gain weight. Talking to a doctor about side effects and working with him or her to treat the side effects is important, and can help alleviate the unwanted pounds.
There are many reasons people gain weight, but it definitely frustrating for someone who believes they are doing everything right and still gaining weight. It is important that if someone is experiencing this, they look at other areas of their lives in order to narrow down and figure out the reason or reasons behind the extra pounds. While these are not the only reasons people gain weight, they tend to be the most common culprits.
By: Rebecca Savastio