3 Strange But True Weight Gain Causes

CoachMel Showcase, Weight Loss Tips 41 Comments

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:

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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?

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Comments 41

  1. bobbie

    Age is killing me. I’m now 47 and losing weight and even maintaining my weight has become very difficult. I still do the same amount of exercise and I still have the same appetite. Grrr, so frustrating!
    .-= bobbie´s last blog ..#89 EAT STOP EAT =-.

    1. Melanie

      Hi Jade,
      It’s a problem for many, and can be difficult to overcome. Do you try to take time-out away from your work and other commitments regularly? I think that’s important.

  2. Suni@Sole F80 Treadmill

    Very informative. You have really pointed the very important factors in loosing weight. However, those may sound very simple to others but very hard to those who don’t have any self-discipline and cannot control their eating habits.
    .-= Suni@Sole F80 Treadmill´s last blog ..Sole F80 Treadmill =-.

    1. Melanie

      Yes, that’s true. One person may have an issue that someone else perhaps hadn’t even thought about. Everyone is different.

  3. mia@seo consultant

    Im a victim of stress and I may be like many but when I am stressed I eat! Maybe thats my cause of weight gain. Have you ever heard of gaining weight from the waist up from sitting at the pc too work. maybe if you work at home but It starts with the stomach, waist line, arms then neck, then face. You suddenly appear to look bigger in the upper body portions.

  4. Donut Bed

    I don’t have a major problem with my weight but seem to be unable to get rid of the half stone I would love to lose. I have read recently about this connection between lack of sleep and weight control and I think this may be the reason I am struggling. I never get enough sleep and even though tell myself every night that I will go to bed early I never seem to manage it.
    .-= Donut Bed´s last blog ..Bowsers Donut Dog Bed “Diamond Microvelvet Collection” (Size=Large,Color=Celery) =-.

    1. Melanie

      So, what’s your plan of action to get more sleep? Come on, let’s work on this — you can use my blog for accountability! :-)))

  5. azman

    Good tips…
    By the way, too much sleep also is not good .
    I prefer to do an exercise consistently to maintain my weight.
    If we don’t have a stress, we can sleep better….

    1. Melanie

      Azman,
      Yes, very true. Exercise really helps with weight loss or maintenance, it also helps us get better sleep. So great benefits all round!

  6. Creed Green Irish Tweed

    Sadly, I used to have a high metab. and didn’t have to worry about weight issues… then came my son… since then.. its a battle with weight and cellulite on the back of my legs. It’s very noticeable but I know its there. I read that you should eat 4 or 5 small meals a day because if you starve your body… it thinks it needs to start storing… so then the whole not eating thing doesn’t actually help you lose weight.
    .-= Creed Green Irish Tweed´s last blog ..Comment by =-.

    1. Melanie

      Yes, it’s important to eat small regular meals to keep your metabolism revved up. Do you exercise? That’s a great way to keep your metabolism high.

  7. Oversized Chairs

    I’m with you on everything except the stress. When I’m stressed, my mind works a lot and hence I consume a lot of energy. I the effect of this will be a weight loss for me. It has happened to me a couple of times before.

    1. Melanie

      Although stress is difficult to avoid, when you know that it is so unhealthy, at least you can take steps to overcome it and therefore lessen the effects on your health long-term.

  8. Argie - Personal Development Blog

    I never thought that sleep deprivation could cause people to gain weight. Actually, I myself have always been lacking those essential hours of sleep but still, I’m not gaining any weight at all. More so, I have been losing some instead. Perhaps this might be some problems in me.

  9. John

    I’m a a professional footballer. But lately things haven’t been going my way, with my family theres been problems and training there has been problems.

    I’m not sleeping properly, the last 6 months, i have been waking up about 4 times a night !! I also struggle to fall asleep everynight !

    I have put on about 6KG over the last 6months , and that is not good for a professional athlete.. i have also increased in body fat…

    I’m trying to eat properly, but i am always, i mean always craving for food and something to snack on !

  10. Justin R. Douglas

    It seems that in two of the 3 cases certain things cause us to want to eat more which causes us to gain weight. The only truly uncontrollable one is weight gain due to medication. That one is totally out of our hands. However, I feel that for the other two even if we are stressing or sleep deprived we can still practice self control eat healthy and not gain weight. Am I right or wrong?

    1. Melanie

      Of course, everyone is different. But for some people stress and lack of sleep can certainly contribute to their problem.

  11. Kiko Rex

    On the sleep issue, it should be noted that some of that is also caused by when you sleep. Most people I know (and me, before I knew better) have such terrible sleep schedules. Whether they’re working early and staying up late or waking up at noon and staying up late, lack of sleep and not rising with the sun and going down with it (at least around 10:30 or so) has adverse effects on anabolic hormones. For guys, that results in smaller sperm counts and muscle atrophy (forget the weight gain, ha ha!) But yeah, since I don’t take any drugs the stress is the only thing I have to work on. It’s just…this traffic…man! But yeah, seriously, there’s a really eye-opening National Geographic documentary on stress I think you should all watch. It’s on Netflix and even YouTube, and it chronicles not only the ill weight effects of stress, but its ability to actually clog arteries and its implication within hierarchies. It’s called “Stress: Portrait of a Killer;” Czech it out if you have the time.

  12. Susan

    This was very intereting to read. I remember the HALT acronym, you are more likely to overeat (or do anything that is damaging to yourself) if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT). Just last night I noticed I was roaming through the cabinets trying to find the ‘right’ something to snack on, when I realized how tired I was. 11 hours later, I was refreshed, renewed and ready for a great day.

  13. Sergiy

    Stress is a huge weight loss (not gain) factor for me personally. Every time anything stressful is happening in my life I lose appetite and lose a pound a week. Unfortunately, I become prone to catching a cold or flu, too. But when I’m bored.. I usually end up overeating, I’m sure it’s a factor in weight gain.

    1. Melanie

      We are all so different, aren’t we? I would personally find stress or worry reduces my appetite, too, but I know a lot of others where it is the very opposite.

  14. organic food

    I agree on this and I am having this problem with only stress and less sleep so in my cass I am gaining weight with these causes. Working on improving my sleep time and also having good diet these days.

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