You may have noticed that you have to wiggle a little more to get into your favourite pair of jeans. Or you cannot zip that dress or button that shirt you could have sworn you bought in your size. You get on the bathroom scale, and the figure on it is not as it was the last time you were on it. You have packed on some extra pounds. Before you blame it on some dark magic, check out some of the reasons you might be gaining too much weight:
You are eating too many calories
You may have decided to cut off all the unhealthy foods from your diet, but the weight is still increasing every time you weigh yourself. The issue could be that you are eating large portions of food. Too much of even a good thing can bring unwanted effects. Healthy foods like whole grains, avocados, yoghurt and salads are great, but you should have them in moderation.
Just because you are eating the cleanest, dietician-approved meals does not mean it is safe to overindulge. The calories do not magically disappear because they are from a healthy source. Try to pay attention to your hunger and satiety symptoms. Serve modest portions and wait for half an hour before having additional bites. Your hormones may take a while before they register that you are full.
You are not moving enough
It is no secret that physical activity helps keep the extra pounds at bay. A sedentary lifestyle is a sure way to pack unwanted kilos. It also contributes to chronic disease. If you work a desk job or spend all your time on the TV or computer, the weight will creep in without your notice. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. The workouts do not need to be too intense for them to count. Find moderate-intensity activity training that you can do even in the comfort of your home. Simple lifestyle tweaks like taking the stairs and packing your car a little further from your destination make a difference and counter weight gain.
Some medication causes rapid weight gain as a side effect. Medicine treating diabetes, seizures, high blood pressure, or depression could be causing your weight gain. If your weight gain coincides with the use of a specific medication, you may want to discuss with your doctor possible alternatives. Do not stop medication without consulting your healthcare provider.
Your hormones are imbalanced
The endocrine system, responsible for your hormones, is vital for overall health. Hormones affect several body processes like growth, metabolism, reproduction, sexual function etc. Hormonal imbalances have various effects, weight gain being one of them. Your unexplained weight gain could be the result of hormonal imbalances. Schedule a hormone test if you notice rapid weight gain to check if your hormone levels are where they need to be. You can have hormone therapy to minimise or eliminate the imbalances if any.
Stress is getting to you
It is normal to stress about things here and there. That is the human experience. However, mulling over your worries and troubles for too long could lead to hormonal changes which impact your metabolism. See, stress pumps up ghrelin and cortisol hormones. That increases your appetite and makes you crave carbs. You end up indulging more than you need to, causing you to gain weight. Manage your stress using meditation and deep breathing techniques. Exercise also helps reduce stress levels.
Lack of sleep throws off your metabolism rate and hunger cues. Changes in sleep cycles impact mood and eating patterns. That makes it easier to overeat. Also, without enough sleep, your energy levels decline. Your body then starts to crave carbohydrates to meet its energy needs. That leads to an overindulgence which causes unwanted weight gain.
Ensure that you get enough sleep every night. Practise good sleep hygiene. Put down your devices an hour before bed, create a sleep-inducing environment in your bedroom and practise meditation and relaxation techniques before bed.
You are getting older
Age is a factor in weight gain. Well, your basal resting metabolism (the rate at which your body burns energy when at rest) slows down as you age. Also, most people become less active and too tired to do anything the older they get. Furthermore, you tend to lose muscle mass as you age, making it harder to burn calories.
You may be eating the exact amount and type of food you were in your 20s but still notice considerable weight gain. Your age might be the factor at play here. Counter the weight gain with exercises that build up your calorie-burning muscles. Maximise weight training and throw in some cardio in your exercise routine.
Weight might sneak up on you, leaving you wondering what the cause could be. The reasons above could explain the love handles and that double chin you have been noticing.