Weight gain can be a bit of a mystery.
Often it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what’s causing the problem—other than those cream pies you’ve been scoffing! 😉
But seriously, there are a few others things which can work against your good efforts to get slim. Here are some tips:
1. Lack of zzzzz’s
Are you getting enough sleep? If you are, you’re in the minority!
Research indicates sleep is important for weight loss. We think it has something to do with leptin—the hormone that signals fullness, and an increase in ghrelin—the hormone that triggers hunger.
So, this means sleep deprivation may increase your appetite.
That’s a pretty big problem, with a relatively simple solution, i.e. get more sleep!
And, before you start thinking you can catch up on your sleep over the weekend, think again! 7 to 9 hours are recommended every night, if you want to avoid accruing a sleep debt, which can be very difficult to overcome.
2. Taking medication
Much of the medication prescribed by your doc will have weight gain as a nasty side effect.
Now, I don’t mean you should stop taking your meds—definitely not—but it’s worth bearing in mind.
Firstly, you should take a good look at your lifestyle. Can you explain those extra pounds? If not, you should begin to suspect your medication, particularly if you recently started a new treatment.
The usual suspects include antidepressants, antipsychotics, steroids, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or diabetes, high blood pressure and heartburn meds.
It’s good to know that in almost every case, your doctor can switch you onto another pill, which will be just as good in treating your original ailment.
3. Too much stress
Most of us get a little stressed from time to time. That’s not really a big deal in terms of weight gain.
But, chronic stress, such as health or money worries, can really cause high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This in turn increases your appetite, usually in favour of high fat, sugar and salt foods, which can lead to overeating.
Try to manage your stress levels, but do get seek professional help if you find this difficult.
Some of the best strategies for managing stress are:
- Deep breathing practises
- Exercising/stretching regularly
- Laughing/smiling often—even when you don’t feel like it!
- Writing about what’s stressing you
- Eating a healthy, whole food diet
What have you found to be working against your efforts to lose weight? Have you noticed any causes of weight gain which are unusual?