Do you keep asking, “Why am I gaining weight?” It is natural to ask this question, especially when you believe you’ve been following a good diet and have been exercising a lot. However, from a hormonal imbalance to vitamin deficiency, many things can go wrong and make you gain weight in a secret way. Sometimes, you can even put on weight due to the use of certain prescription medications. Keep reading to learn more about some of the reasons why you have been putting on those excessive pounds.
Most people think they gain weight only when they live a sedentary lifestyle or eat all the wrong stuff. While it is true that these factors will lead to weight gain, they are not always the underlying causes of weight gain. So you may ask, “Why am I gaining weight even though I exercise a lot and eat balanced meals?” Here are some of the hidden reasons.
1. You May Be Depressed
If you’re on anti-depressant medications, you may end up putting on some weight. The weight gain could be from 5 to 15 pounds with gradual increase for as long as you keep taking these pills. Even if you’re not taking pills and have undiagnosed depression, you will gain weight more quickly as compared to those who don’t have depression. Depression may make you cut back your physical activity and eat more high-calorie comfort foods that will increase your weight. Try reducing your dependency on anti-depressants by taking other measures to reduce stress and depression. Try meditation instead or be a part of a social support group to learn how to be depression-free without affecting your weight.
2. You May Be Taking Certain Medications
If you’ve noticing an increase in your weight for no apparent reason, you may have to take a closer look at the medications you’re taking. In so many cases, except for the anti-depressant medications, steroids, birth control pills, beta-blockers for heart disease, anti-seizure meds, hormones for hormone therapy, mediation for rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer medications, etc.can be the real culprit. Some of these medications affect your metabolism, while others affect your appetite. Either way, you will end up putting on excess weight. Talk to your doctor if you suspect any of your medication is affecting your body weight.
3. You May Not Be Getting Certain Nutrients
Even when you think you’re on a balanced diet, you may not get enough of magnesium, vitamin D, or iron that can affect your immune system and slow down your metabolism. Some people opt for sweets, caffeine and simple carbs to feel more energetic, and that’s why they end up gaining weight. Add more spinach and red meat to your diet to get more iron, and eat almonds and Brazil nuts to increase your magnesium intake. Getting enough vitamin D is also important, but you need to know how much your body needs because too much of it may cause kidney stones.
4. You May Have a Slow Gut
Slow bowel movements and other digestive issues may account excess pounds. If you’re not having a bowel movement once or twice a day, medication, dehydration, low fiber and a lack of good bacteria in your gut could be to blame. Try probiotics if you often deal with constipation. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and add more fiber-rich food to your diet. Drinking a fiber powder mixed with water may also help to take fat globules out of your intestinal tract. If problem persists, you may have hypothyroidism or some type of a neurological issue that need to be checked and treated.
5. You Are Just Becoming Older
It’s natural for your body to burn fewer calories as you grow old and you cannot do much about it. Be sure to exercise more and pay attention to your diet to keep your metabolism running. Eat more lean protein to help your body burn calories. Also, reduce your carbohydrate intake because your body cannot burn carbs quickly when aging.
6. You May Have Plantar Fasciitis
Why am I gaining weight? It could be because you’ve developed a musculoskeletal condition called plantar fasciitis. Even hip pain and osteoarthritis can lead to weight gain. These conditions make you less active, which will increase your body weight. Work with your healthcare provider and develop an exercise program that you can do with your condition. Some exercises like swimming and biking work amazingly.
7. You May Have Cushing’s Syndrome
Before asking, “Why am I gaining weight?” look for other issues you may be facing. For instance, if your weight is increasing and you also have issues like osteoporosis and hypertension with noticeable changes to your skin tone, this could be due to Cushing’s syndrome. It means your body cannot process nutrients properly mainly because your adrenal glands have a cortisol-producing tumor. The syndrome is quite rare, affecting only 15 in every million adults annually. It usually causes uneven distribution of fat with more around your waist and less on your legs and arms. Go to see your doctor if you suspect you may have developed Cushing’s syndrome. They will confirm it with urinalysis and a blood test to check your cortisol levels. They will also ask for a CT scan of your adrenal and pituitary glands to confirm if you have a tumor. Your test results will help determine the most appropriate treatment option.
8. You May Have Bad Sleeping Habits
Even if you exercise regularly, eat balanced diet, and aren’t taking any medications, you may still gain weight because you don’t get enough sleep regularly! Instead of asking, “Why am I gaining weight?” check your sleeping habits. Are you not getting 8 hours of sleep daily? Then, make a move and get more sleep to see how it affects your body weight.
9. You May Be Gaining Muscle Mass
If your weight machine says your weight has increased in the last couple of months even though you’ve been spending hours in the gym, this could be because you’re putting on more muscles. You don’t have to worry about this type of weight gain. Muscle mass is good, and a pound of lean muscle mass is a lot smaller as compared to a pound of body fat.
10. You May Have a Specific Body Type
No matter what you do, you cannot lose weight or just keep gaining more pounds because of the way your body retains fat. This body type is called endomorph. It is easy for endomorphs to gain weight, but if you plan things properly and exercise more, you can gain muscle mass a lot faster as compared to other body types.