5 Unexpected Reasons for Weight Gain

Weight gain – it’s not something any of us wants to do, and that’s why we try to diet and exercise as much as we can. But the battle of the bulge is sometimes not as straightforward as we think it is. It becomes harder with age and a sedentary lifestyle, but even if you’re young and dedicated to your diet and workout program, the possibility of weight gain sneaking up on you always exists. And even though each of us is different physiologically, the basic reasons for unexpected weight gain are:

  • Drugs: Some medicines like antidepressants and mood enhancers are known to cause weight gain, especially around the waist and hips. Besides these, birth control pills, non-steroidal anti-inflammation medication, diabetes drugs, hormone injections or pills, and steroids are also causes for unexpected and sudden weight gain.  Consult your doctor to see if the prescription drugs you’re taking could be a cause for your unexpected weight gain, and if it they are, ask about remedial measures.
  • Hormonal imbalance: In women, the diminishing production of estrogen by the ovaries as the body ages is a cause for concern. In order to compensate, other sources of estrogen like body fat, skin and a few organs are tapped for this hormone. So in this struggle for hormonal balance, your body tends to hang on to every bit of fat it can get and you gain weight. Women over the age of 35 are prone to hormonal imbalance, so it’s best to get yourself checked regularly.
  • Stress: This is one of the most common reasons for unexpected weight gain for both sexes. We lead extremely stressful lives, and to add to this, we don’t watch what we eat when we’re preoccupied with work and other issues. The hormones that our body secretes when we are stressed block weight loss because we go into what is called the starvation or famine mode – the body thinks it is not going to get enough food in the near future and so holds on to every fat cell that it can to tide it through supposedly lean times. The same mechanism takes place when you starve and deny your body the nourishment it needs.
  • Insulin metabolism: When you eat a diet that’s very low in healthy fats (like those found in almonds, flaxseed oil and fish) and high in carbohydrates, your body becomes resistant to insulin over a period of time. So it tends to retain fat and prevents it from burning even though you exercise regularly.
  • Medical conditions: Ailments like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s Syndrome cause you to gain weight because your thyroidal hormone and others like cortisol fluctuate and cause you to gain weight in unseemly ways. Your face and stomach bloat up and you generally feel lethargic and unhealthy.

If you experience sudden or unexplained weight gain, consult your doctor and take adequate curative steps before it’s too late.