Weight gain is sneaky! We get so comfortable with the tiny changes every day that we only really realise that things are out of control when it’s ‘too late’…
And then it always seems like such a surprise! How on Earth did the weight get there?! Have you ever had one of those moments? Maybe you’re in a changing room, and you find that you don’t fit into your usual pants size? Or that winter jacket that you haven’t worn since last season feels way more ‘snug’ than it used to!
We always want to lose weight in record time, but we often forget how long it took for the weight to get there in the first place. Our bodies work best when we give them time… and all the vitamins and minerals they need to function optimally. Weight loss over time is far more effective than a crash diet.
So what makes us gain weight over time? Yes, the usual culprit is too many calories! BUT there are a few other reasons that you could be gaining weight. Here are some of the more surprising reasons you may have gained the weight, and what to do about them.
1. Are you on steroids?
Not the body-building, bulging muscles, sports-cheating kind…
If you’re taking anti-inflammatory medication (like prednisone) on a regular basis you may have fallen victim to weight gain, particularly around your face, back, or torso. If you’ve been on them for a while, DON’T stop cold-turkey, but see your doctor to find out about alternatives to these drugs as they can certainly contribute towards unwanted weight gain over time.
If your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones then your weight has probably gone up steadily over time. You’re also probably tired, weak and cold all the time. If this is you, see your doctor to get your levels checked, and possibly get medication to help you get back on track.
3. You did something really healthy!
If you’ve quit smoking recently then you may be experiencing increased appetite due to the decreased nicotine levels in your system.
You are also probably eating more because your lack of smoking has left gaps in your schedule and you also have nothing to do with your hands and mouth when they would be occupied with a cigarette. If this is you, tough it out. It’ll stabilise as soon as your diet gets back on point. Well done on making a healthy choice for your future! I know you’ll continue to do so!
4. Other medications
Medicines such as anti-depressants, blood pressure meds, the birth control pill, and all sorts of others can cause weight gain.
Medications can cause different reactions in different people. If you find that you’re struggling with weight gain while taking certain medications, DON’T just stop taking them! Chat to your doctor about finding an alternative prescription. There are usually a number of options from which to choose.
5. Too much stress and too little sleep
If you’re stressed out, your body is in storage-mode. If you’re also not sleeping enough then your body is not working at optimum levels to process everything it needs to deal with. Between these two factors you’re in the ‘perfect storm’ of weight gain. Deal with your stress as best you can, and try to train yourself to sleep better.
Try to get involved in a stress-relieving hobby. Crossfit, running, kickboxing, or some sort of exercise that helps you release the tension and frustrations would work wonders. It also leaves you physically tired so that you get a better night’s rest.