So you noticed that you are gaining weight even though you’ve been obsessively monitoring what you eat. On top of that, you are exercising like a madman. But still, the pounds are coming in, and you are going nuts trying to figure out why. The thing is, there are other reasons for weight gain that has little or nothing to do with your food intake.
This might bring you some comfort (or not), but at least you can identify the possible culprit and possibly make adjustments to gain control of your weight again. The current environment we are right now, with the pandemic and all, makes it trickier to have a healthy lifestyle. Stress, irregular eating, and gym shutdowns are only some factors why your health is on a delicate balance right now.
These are some possible causes of your “unexplained “weight gain:
1. Hormone Issues
Hormones control a fair amount of things in a woman’s body. It’s no surprise that a woman’s mood is totally at the mercy of her current state of hormones. Hormones are also a probable cause behind your unexplained weight gain, something you should check with your doctor. Typically, you have to go through laboratory tests to find out what’s going on.
Five key hormones can affect one’s weight. If the balance gets upset, it can result in weight gain, as it triggers the storage of fat.
- Low thyroid — your thyroid function greatly affects your metabolism. If you’re gaining weight rapidly, your thyroid hormones could be low. This slows down your metabolism considerably, which brings on the weight gain. Low thyroid problems can be regulated by medication, which your doctor should confirm.
- Insulin resistance — this hormone regulates your blood sugar. If your body does not respond to insulin properly, you have insulin resistance.
- Elevated estrogen — when your body registers unusually high estrogen levels, it shows a host of symptoms, which includes weight gain.
- Elevated cortisol — cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High amounts of it cause weight gain. This is why you are likely to put on the pounds when you are stressed.
Speaking of which, we all know too well how stress can wreak havoc on our body’s normal functions. Stress affects how your hormones function, which affects weight and sleep.
Women are prone to prolonged low-grade chronic stress and the current situation only triggers it more, with the majority of women having to manage working and taking care of the kids while stuck at home. This takes a major toll on a woman’s adrenal glands, which produce hormones that aid in regulating metabolism, blood pressure, and the immune system.
In relation to stress, not eating enough contributes to weight gain. When you skip meals and become dependent on coffee, your body does not get enough micronutrients, which triggers the hormones. Add other factors – poor sleeping habits, over-exercising, and working the night shift – can mess with your hormones.
You may have preexisting health conditions that require you to be on maintenance medications, which in turn can cause side effects, one of which is weight gain. These include blood pressure meds, diabetes meds, and antidepressants. If you’re taking meds and gaining weight, visit your doctor and ask for substitutes. She may make you change meds or at least alter the dosage.
Everyone ages, and there’s nothing we can do about it and the health issues that come with it. A lot of people will eventually gain weight as they age. The body’s basal metabolic rate starts to decline, leading to a decline in muscle mass. This is why you find it twice as hard to lose weight during middle age than when you’re in your 20s.
The only thing you can do is to watch your diet even more carefully and work harder on the exercise without injuring or over-exerting yourself. In this stage of your life, it’s important to increase protein intake and incorporate more strength training into your fitness regimen. This is a good way to lessen the effects of aging on your bogy processes.
5. Poor Sleep
Do you notice that you tend to overeat when you only have a few hours of sleep? Or worse, you tend to crave junk food to make yourself feel somehow better. You know where this is going. Also, a lack of sleep truly messes with your hormones, too, leading to the hormonal problems mentioned above.
A visit to the doctor is important to keep your unexplained weight gain in check. Make the necessary adjustments and don’t skimp on proper eating and adequate exercise.