Reasons for Putting on Weight and You’ve Tried Everything? Insights into Sudden Weight Gain.
For many men and women, dealing with weight gain is a normal occurrence. Remember human beings aren't made of stone we are made of water, muscle, tissue, fat, bone etc and many factors applies to why the weight crept up on you over time or if it quickly piled on.
You're counting calories, working out.. but the numbers on the scale are still creeping up! even when you think you're doing everything right, the weight gain can leave you feeling disheartened and taken aback. You ask yourself, "why am I gaining weight?" Could there be some other factor at play?
When you're stressed, you’re drawn towards comfort foods rather than healthy beneficial nutritional foods. So, when people dive in for those sugary and fast foods, that's when the weight gain can appear.
Lack of sleep:
Not getting enough sleep time may be a reason for sudden weight gain A recent study found that nearly 40 percent of adults that sleeps less than 6 hours or less a night had increasing weight issues and 38 percent of those in the study were classified as obese.
Chris Brantner, a Certified Sleep Science Coach, advises, "One thing people often overlook when it comes to weight gain is sleep. People who sleep six hours or fewer on average consume an additional 300+ calories per day as a result. This is largely due to the fact that sleep deprivation causes an increase in levels of Ghrelin, a hunger hormone, and a decrease in levels of leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full."
Not Drinking Enough Water:
Water is crucially important of everything we do for our body. Incorporating more water into our lifestyle is the best thing we can do and gives our body a clean slate to run on every day.
A study from the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism found the following: "In 14 healthy, normal-weight subjects (7 males & 7 females) we assessed the effect of drinking 500 ml of water on energy expenditure and substrate oxidation rates by using whole-room indirect calorimetry. The effect of water drinking on adipose tissue metabolism was assessed with the micro -dialysis technique. Drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30 percent."
It’s recommended to drink at least 1.5litres of water daily and experts advise to put yourself on a schedule when trying to drink more water such as drinking a certain amount in the morning, before lunch, before dinner, etc.
Not Enough Protein:
Having a low protein diet can cause your energy levels to be extremely low as well as be a sign of weight gain. Protein is amazing for our bodies because it is more satiating than carbohydrates and trans-fats.A study was done by NCBI, the focus was on high protein diets and men, and the effects of a low-calorie diet. The study concluded: "Overweight men were put on a 12-week low-calorie diet and randomized into two groups. One group was given a diet consisting of 25 percent protein and the other was given a diet with 14 percent protein. Compared to the lower protein group, the high protein group felt fuller throughout the day, had less desire to eat at night, and were less preoccupied with thoughts of food."
The bottom line is if you replace snacking on crisps, biscuits and other non-healthy foods with high protein foods like nuts and natural peanut butter, this will help set your body up not to overeat.
Many people use sugar substitutes as a weight-loss aid, but these sweeteners may actually contribute to weight gain. A study found that "mice fed saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame developed glucose intolerance, a metabolic condition associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The artificial sweeteners altered the animals’ gut microbiomes towards a balance of bacteria associated with metabolic diseases."
When we don’t release our bowels regularly, waste, toxins and even hormones that our body is trying to rid itself of can get reabsorbed into our body and hormonal imbalance leads to weight gain. The toxic waste also hardens and sits in the pockets of our colon. Rotting waste helps parasites, bad bacteria and fungus thrive. All of this leads to inflammation, diseases and weight gain.
Too Much Salt:
If you've been eating a lot of foods with added salt, this could be causing your body to retain water and hold onto excess weight. Be cautious of ready-made meals and take-aways which are normal high in table salt. When dining out at restaurants also be mindful, because salt may be hiding in foods you don't expect. for example, when ordering salads with dressing or sauces already mixed in it. Common dressings, sauces and other toppings in a single sitting can be of over 500 calories and more. If you're eating out daily or ordering takeaways the weight can add on quite quickly.
If you’re starting a new training program or exercise on a regular basis, its normal to have tears and strains in the muscles. The muscle fills with water, causing temporary additional weight gain as your body adjusts and begins to redistribute muscle and sculpt all over.
When trying to get back into a fitness routine, we find ourselves thinking, "I just ran two miles so now I can go eat some French fries or treat myself with a burger". Unfortunately, that's not how it all works. Many people have good intentions and start working out and running to trim some fat. They may feel because they have exercised now its ok to have a slice of cake, sweet treat or fizzy drink? while in reality, the calories they have consumed during the activity are less than the calories they are eating as a reward for such activity.
When finishing up your workout, rather than grabbing something naughty, go home and prepare yourself a nice protein shake to help your muscles and aid in recovery.
Leptin is another hormone that plays an important role in weight gain and obesity. It is produced by fat cells and its blood levels increase with higher fat mass. For this reason, leptin levels are especially high in people with obesity. Leptin resistance makes you eat way after you are full. In healthy people, high leptin levels are linked to reduced appetite. When working properly, it should tell your brain how high your fat stores are. The problem is that leptin isn't working as it should in many overweight and obese people, because for some reason it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIBS):
Studies show that inflammation can cause weight gain and difficulty losing weight. CIRS is a form of chronic inflammation that can alter the leptin receptors in the hypothalamus that affect satiety. CIRS can cause other chronic pain disorders such as Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, mould-related illness, chronic Lyme and others. Inflammation is linked to several diet and lifestyle factors which can be changed to gain better health.
Magnesium is crucial for healthy weight loss because it activates hundreds of enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It will be difficult to lose weight if our metabolism and our energy production aren't working efficiently. Even though we are not aware of what’s going on at the cellular level within our bodies, our cells produce energy in the mitochondria. So, if we are experiencing low energy most of the time, it means our cells aren’t working as efficiently as they should, and weight gain can happen.
Emulsifiers are super common and found in everyday foods like, ice cream, mayonnaise, margarine, chocolate, chewing gum, and sausages etc. The results in a study found that emulsifiers alter gut bacteria, causing inflammation. Mice fed water containing emulsifiers became obese and developed metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease.
MSG (monosodium glutamate):
MSG is a flavour enhancer found in Chinese associated dishes but is also an ingredient found in most fast-food restaurants and ready-made meals.
A study was performed with 750 Chinese men and women found that those who consumed the most MSG in their cooking were nearly three times more likely to be overweight than those who didn’t consume any. The increase in obesity risk was independent of physical activity and total calories consumed.
The environment is becoming more and more polluted and there could be some not so good things lingering in the air around us that enter into our bodies. Many environmental chemicals have resulted in weight gain when tested on animals in low, non-toxic doses. Examples include heavy metals, solvents, coolants, pesticides and plastics, such as BPA, used in food and beverage containers.
Eating low-fat foods
If you're consuming a low-fat food, this could lead you to eat more because in our minds it's low-fat and acceptable, be aware that ‘gram for gram’ fat has more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates, so people tend to assume that foods labelled ‘low fat’ are good for weight loss. if you're trying to lose weight, avoid processed foods, fast foods, engineered foods, and non-free-range foods.
If you rapidly gain weight, there could be an issue with how your kidneys are functioning. When your kidneys are holding onto excess fluids, your body can appear swollen. So, while you may think you're gaining weight, it's your body swelling in reaction to the fluid retention of your kidneys. Many medications can cause kidney failure so to be sure to check with your doctor.
The Thyroid Gland:
The thyroid gland is the butterfly-shaped gland that lives in the bottom part of your neck and is responsible for managing the metabolism. It is part of the endocrine system, the hormone delivery network in the body.
The thyroid gland regulates your body's ability to burn calories and use them for energy. It does so by producing the hormone thyroxine (also called T4) and converting it into triiodothyronine (also called T3). These hormones then travel throughout the body and tell different cells how hard they should be working. The harder they work; the more calories get burned.
Hypothyroidism is a common condition marked by an underactive thyroid gland. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid does not produce enough of those T3 and T4 hormones and that lowers the body's basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body actually needs to perform its basic functions at rest. Extra calories that aren't being used end up getting stored as fat.
This is why people who develop hypothyroidism notice weight gain even though they aren't eating more than usual.
Hypothyroidism is commonly caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s disease.
Antidepressant drugs can sometimes have an undesirable side effect of weight gain. In around a quarter of cases, long-term use of antidepressants is associated with a weight gain of 10 lb or more.
In one recent large study involving nearly 300,000 people, people who had used an antidepressant for more than a year were found to be at higher risk of weight gain.
Most antidepressants are effective through modulating the brain chemicals serotonin or noradrenaline; however, they can also unintentionally bind with other biochemical pathways in the brain and body, causing side effects. It is considered that when weight gain occurs, some of this is due to binding with the histamine system the brain."
The older types of antidepressants (tricyclics) and the medication mirtazapine appear more likely to cause weight gain for this reason. Other types of antidepressants may have different effects on appetite and metabolism. And there are probably genetic factors determining your individual propensity towards weight gain. you can discuss with your healthcare provider which different types antidepressant treatment is available.