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8 Reasons you could be gaining weight and cannot lose it!

Weight gaining is a growing problem which is suffered by many people in the world. It becomes really problematic when the cause of weight gaining is unknown. 

Our diet is the major culprit in gaining weight. But there are many other causes which keep us gaining weight such as stress and inadequate sleep. 

Let’s have a look on different causes you could be gaining weight and cannot lose it. 

1. Overconsumption of unhealthy food

Today when we enter into a supermarket, we can find many unhealthy food types which keep us gaining weight. Sugary and highly salted food, microwave dinners and fried food belong to this category. 

These food many contain harmful ingredients to the body. Artificial colorings, preservatives and unhealthy fat are all unfavorable for the health. 

Many studies show that there is a close link between unhealthy food consumption and weight gain. More the people consume unhealthy food, they many suffer from obesity. 

In a study done in 2019 among 19 393 Canadian participants, it was found that the people who consumed more unhealthy food are 32% more like to have obesity compared to people who consumed less unhealthy food. 

Unhealthy food is having larger proportions of calories. They may be lack of healthy ingredients such as fibers and protein. These nutrients are the ones which help us to feel full. 

In a study of 2 weeks among 20 individuals, participants who had an unhealthy diet had got 500 more calories per day than participants who had a healthy diet. 

Thus in order to lose weight and to maintain a healthy body weight, we should be focused on avoiding unhealthy food as much as possible. 

2. Unhealthy levels of sugar in the diet 

Today there is trend towards sugary food and beverages. These things may alter the healthy dietary habits. Chocolates, cakes, soft drinks, toffees, and ice cream contain large amounts of sugar. Consuming those food causes sudden increase in body weight. 

According to many recent studies, sugar consumption many not only cause weight gain but also will increase the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. 

In United States, consuming sweetened beverages is the primary source of added sugars which prevents weight loss. 

Sweetened beverages have increased the risk of obesity and weight gain not only among adults, but also among children. 

In a study among 11 218 females, it has found that the consumption of one sugary soda daily may cause increase in body weight by 1 kg over 2 years. Therefore avoiding sweetened beverages will help in weight loss. 

One who is willing to lose their weight may gradually reduce the intake of sugary food. 

3. Having an inactive life style 

This is a common reason for weight gain as well as for many chronic illnesses.

Continuous use of computer, driving, typing jobs and watching television falls into the category of inactive activities. 

In a study among 464 individuals who are over weighted or obese, has found that their daily sitting duration was 6.2 hours on working days and 6 hours on non-working days. Sedentary jobs are the major cause behind this. 

Simple life style modifications such as following an exercise plan and reducing the amount of sitting hours may have great benefits. 

There was a surprising result in a study done among 317 workers in 3 months. Just replacing 1 hour of sitting with 1 hour of standing during their job had caused a significant reduction in body fat mass and an increase in lean body mass. 

There are many researches to prove that people who are having more screen time a day will gain more weight unintentionally. 

People who wish to reduce their weight should add small modifications to their daily lives. Taking a small break to stand and relax during working, taking stairs to climb up without using the elevator, having a little walk during the lunch hour are few examples. 

4. Having a healthy diet plan 

Healthy diet planning will help to lose weight and to maintain a healthy body weight. But this method will have a risk of gaining weight over time. 

In a study conducted among 2785 individuals, it has found that the people who had dieted in the previous year had increased body weights compared to people who didn’t undergo dieting. 

The reason behind future weight gains among people who follow dieting and restrict their eating may be the physiological changes in the body. There may be changes in the hormone levels which control our hunger and fullness. 

Also researches have proved that many people will gain the same amount of weight within 5 years which they reduced by restrictive dieting. 

The most effective way of maintaining a healthy body weight is adding life style modifications. Exercising, preventing from unhealthy food and adding more proteins and fibers to the diet are few healthy life style changes. 

5. Having an undiagnosed medical condition 

There are some medical conditions which prevent us from losing weight. Following are few of those conditions. 

  • Hypothyroidism - This affects the thyroid gland and alters the production of thyroid hormone. People with this disease may gain more weight despite they eat less. 
  • Depression - People with this mental health problem may unintentionally consume large amount of food and increase their body weight. Depression is also linked with obesity. 
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - This affects the women in their reproductive age. There will be an imbalance in hormones which makes it difficult to lose weight. 
  • Binge Eating Disorder - People with this condition cannot control the amount of food they eat. Therefore they are easily ended up with overeating.
  • Diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome also belong to this type of diseases. Therefore it is important to have a proper medical diagnosis before going for weight management. 

It is important to notice that there are some medications which cause weight gain. Most of the antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs belong to this category. It is better to contact a health care professional if one suspects that their medications increase the body weight. 

6. Inadequate sleep and rest 

Having an adequate sleep is an important component of a healthy life. Lack of sleep may cause adverse effects on one’s health. Weight gain is one of those adverse consequences. 

In a study among 92 females, participants who had a sleep of less than 6 hours a day had a higher body mass index (BMI) compared to those who had a sleep of more than 6 hours a day. 

There are studies to show that having an adequate sleep will help in the reduction of body weight. Those who wish to reduce their body weight should increase their sleep time. 

Another study demonstrates that sleeping for more than 7 hours a day is associated with 33% increased likelihood to lose weight. 

To increase the quality of sleep we can follow simple steps. Reducing the caffeine consumption, having a regular time to sleep and reducing the screen time at night are some of those simple measures. 

7. Inadequate intake of whole food 

Whole foods are important for a healthy life. It is the time for us to switch our dietary habits from unhealthy food to whole food. This will not only help in weight reduction, but also may have other health benefits. 

In a study, 609 adults who are over weighted were divided into groups that followed a low fat diet or a low carb diet which was continued for 12 months. 

Both groups were asked to add more vegetables to their diet and avoid from sugary and fatty food. They were instructed to prepare their meals at home as much as possible. 

The outcomes of the study showed that both groups were having similar amounts of weight loss. Low fat group had lost 5.4 kg and the low carb group had lost 5.9 kg. This demonstrated that the diet quality is an important factor in weight reduction. 

We should practice to increase the amount of whole food in our diet. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs are important whole foods which boost our health. 

8. Mental stress 

Having a higher level of stress may adversely effect on body weight. 

When a person is having continuous stress, the body will secrete more cortisol hormone. This hormone will increase the hunger and the individual may tend to consume large amounts of unhealthy food. 

According to the current studies, there are higher levels of cortisol in the blood of people having obesity compared to people with healthy body weight. 

It had been found that the stress management will help in weight reduction. 

Relaxation techniques including deep breathing will help in stress management. Practicing those techniques will aid the people with obesity to manage their body weight. 

There are several evidence-based relaxation techniques which are beneficial. Meditation, yoga exercise and keeping some time to explore nature are few of those.

9. Following a high calorie diet 

Overeating is the leading cause of weight gain. 

If a person takes more calories than the amount which is required by the body, excess amount will be deposited and cause increased body weight. 

Frequent past food meals, poor food choices and eating outside the home are associated with intake of high calorie diets. 

There are simple ways to avoid overeating hence preventing excessive calorie intake. Healthy diet habits, mindful eating, consume adequate amount of water per day, adding more fibers and proteins to the diet are such simple measure which help to control calorie intake.

If you feel like you would like some help reach out to one of our team at our diet & nutrition clinic here