There may be hidden reasons you’re gaining weight that can be corrected by making a few lifestyle changes. Weight gain can be ultra frustrating when you’re exercising regularly and eating healthy foods. Gaining extra pounds after having worked so hard to become healthier can be demotivating, and make you want to quit moving ahead with your weight-loss journey.
Are you continuing to gain weight despite exercising and eating healthy? Here are six hidden reasons you may be gaining weight, and some tips for overcoming these obstacles.
1. Prescription drugs
All prescription drugs interfere with the body’s normal processes in unique ways, and produce various side effects that may trigger weight gain. Some medications cause fluid retention, some increase your appetite, and some have sedative effects that decrease energy levels and slow your metabolism. If you’re using any prescription drugs, talk to your doctor about other medications that won’t trigger weight gain, or about alternative treatments that allow you to stop using prescription drugs completely.
When under stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that triggers an imbalance in hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. Stress can cause you to overeat and crave junk foods in the form of fast food, desserts, and other unhealthy options. If you’re suffering from chronic stress, work on eliminating the stressors in your life, or try relieving stress using healthy techniques such as yoga or walking outdoors.
3. Lack of sleep
Your body needs sleep to repair and rejuvenate itself, and to perform healthy functions that aid in weight loss — such as producing melatonin, which only occurs at nighttime. Lack of sleep increases your body’s production of cortisol, leads to overeating and junk food cravings, and slows your metabolism so your body can maintain resources. If you’re not getting enough sleep, start going to bed earlier or make changes to your bedroom as needed to promote a good night’s sleep.
4. Poor digestive health
Many times, weight gain is caused by poor gut health and digestive issues. Factors such as dehydration and a low-fiber diet can lead to bloating, constipation, and irregularity. If you’re not having bowel movements at least once or twice per day, start drinking more water, increase your fiber intake, and consider taking probiotics or supplements like Fiber Support Pro to improve your gut health and lose weight.
5. Nutritional deficiency
Certain nutrients have the power to boost your metabolism, increase your energy levels, and strengthen your immune system. Low levels of these nutrients can prevent your body from functioning at an optimal level and effectively fight off illness, fatigue, and weight gain. Ask your doctor about safe nutritional supplements you can take like Vitamin D and Max Energy B12 so you can get back on track with weight loss.
Exercising too frequently for long periods of time, also known as overtraining, is actually detrimental in that it increases cortisol production and can lead to weight gain. Limit your workout sessions to between 20 and 60 minutes, and take one to two days off per week from exercising to allow your body and muscles to repair. Do a combination of cardio and strength training exercises to see faster weight-loss results.
Need a little extra help meeting your weight-loss goals? Garcia Weight Loss offers personalized weight loss programs designed to help you look and feel your best. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on September 20, 2017