Why do we gain weight easily even if we barely eat?
Having a unique body structure comes with its own set of challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Knowing your body size and shape, along with its strengths and weaknesses, is essential to create an individualised food plan tailored specifically for you. This means that understanding one's unique body type is important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It can also help in developing mindful eating habits for long-term health. From calculating BMI to taking into account your dietary needs, here are some tips on making the most of your unique body structure and achieving healthy weight goals.
It's a common temptation to look around and compare our progress on losing weight with that of others. However, this often leads to frustration because everyone is in different starting positions and progresses at different rates. People always ask me why I am gaining weight when I don’t eat much? There can be various causes for weight gain. However, focusing on ourselves, following the right diet plan for us, and trusting the process are the keys to losing weight successfully.
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to dieting and we must be mindful of this as we set out on our journey towards better health by shedding those extra pounds. We should customise our weight loss plan before embarking on our unique weight loss journey to achieve the results we are looking for.
Many people struggle with losing weight and feeling low energy levels as they go through their daily life. Gaining weight is not always caused by unhealthy food choices. It can be just as much caused by factors like a low-calorie diet, hormonal changes, lack of exercise, and even stress. Additionally, side effects of medicines, mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and disruption in immune system function caused by inflammation.
Our bodies possess different tendencies like retaining water, gaining fats instantly, losing muscle easily, not being able to digest fibre, not being able to tolerate lactose, and many such things. One should understand their body, accept it and respect it.
In this article, we will explore the 6 reasons behind unintentional weight gain.
Reason #1: Poor Diet & Nutrition
Poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of unhealthy weight gain. When we don't get enough of the essential nutrients our bodies need, it can lead to a range of health problems, including obesity. Poor diets are often characterised by over-consumption of processed foods and a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. This type of diet can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals, which can cause us to gain weight as our bodies try to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Unhealthy eating habits such as skipping meals or overeating can also contribute to weight gain.
The double burden of malnourishment
We often fail to recognize the calorie-dense foods that we consume daily. These foods are usually high in fat, sugar, and salt, and can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. Unfortunately, many of us don't realise how many calories these foods contain until it's too late. Making healthier choices and avoiding weight gain requires us to be aware of the calorie-dense foods we consume. In calorie-dense foods even if we eat in fewer portions yet we consume higher calories. For example a glass of soda, a piece of cake, or just one biscuit. Etc. These types of food are not stomach-filling but yet add lots of calories to our bodies. These types of foods create a spike in insulin as soon as we eat them. Many times such food is high in calories and sugars and has poor nutritive value. If we consume such food for a longer duration we might suffer from various deficiencies such as D3 deficiency, B12 deficiency, and Calcium deficiency. However, we gain weight instantly and suffer from obesity-related diseases such as diabetes. This is called a double burden of malnourishment. In such conditions curing deficiencies and losing weight should go hand in hand.
Reason #2: Lack of Exercise & Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of unhealthy weight gain. It is characterized by a lack of physical activity and exercise, which can lead to an increase in body fat and a decrease in muscle mass. This can have serious consequences for our health, as it increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Furthermore, it can also lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and take steps to reduce them.
Reason #3: Stress & Anxiety
Stress can have a significant effect on a person’s body weight. Studies show that prolonged exposure to stress hormones can cause changes in the way people eat, making them more prone to unhealthy eating habits. This can lead to an increase in appetite and eventual weight gain. Furthermore, excess weight like this is likely to be stored in the abdominal area, increasing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
It is thus very important to control stress levels by taking the necessary measures such as creating healthy habits; adequate exercise; and building support systems of family, friends or professionals. By doing so, one could reduce stress levels and consequently improve one’s overall health and well-being.
Reason #4: Sleep Deprivation & Insomnia
Sleep deprivation is a major contributor to weight gain. When we don't get enough sleep, our bodies produce more of the hormone ghrelin, which increases our appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Additionally, when we are sleep deprived, our bodies produce less of the hormone leptin, which helps us feel full and satisfied after eating. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.
In addition to fatigue and a lack of motivation to exercise, sleep deprivation can also lead to a lack of motivation to engage in physical activity. This further contributes to weight gain as it reduces the number of calories burned throughout the day. Furthermore, poor sleep hygiene can lead to insomnia symptoms. Our circadian rhythm and metabolism can be further disrupted if we have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
It is important to understand how sleep deprivation causes weight gain to take steps towards improving your sleep hygiene and getting adequate rest each night.
Reason #5: Hormonal Imbalance & Thyroid Issues
Hormonal imbalance is a common cause of weight gain. Conditions such as hypo or hyperthyroidism, Diabetes, PCOD, etc., are associated with hormonal imbalances. PCOS is a common reason for weight gain in women. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance include fatigue, mood swings, irregular menstrual cycles, and difficulty losing weight. Understanding the causes and symptoms of hormonal imbalances can help you take steps to address them and prevent further weight gain.
Reason #6: Medication
Weight gain is a common side effect of many medications. While some medications can help you lose weight, others can cause you to gain weight. It is important to understand which medications can cause weight gain so that you can make informed decisions about your health and well-being. If you are on antipsychotic medicines, steroids, antihistamines, insulin, Beta-blockers etc., can cause weight gain. In such conditions, diet and exercise regulation should be precise and consistent. Do not alter dosage or stop the consumption of prescribed medicines before consulting the physician.
Weight gain can be a common sign as we age. As we age from our 20s to 30s, we will observe a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in fat if we are not regular in exercise. Also, the metabolism rate decreases as we age. The double burden of malnourishment can occur if we do not take good care of ourselves as we age, as we can suffer from nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and fat gain at a time. Especially in females weight gain is common during menopausal age due to hormonal change and a vast decrease in the metabolism.
These were the common causes of weight gain. Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below. Until next time Rewrite your Mind & Relive your Life.