You are eating right and exercising regularly, but despite your positive efforts to maintain a healthy weight, you are still gaining weight. Unexpected weight gain may be a sign of a medical condition, not an extra cheeseburger.
Here are some factors that may be going on in your body causing weight gain:
1. Your thyroid is out of order.
The thyroid gland is the first thing doctors will check when you have unexplained weight gain. You may have an underactive thyroid, also called hypothyroidism, which does not produce enough of the hormones your body needs to metabolize. At least five out of 100 people develop hypothyroidism at some point in their lives. It’s more common in women than men, especially among those over 60, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
2. You may have an endocrine disorder
Are you experiencing an abnormal menstrual cycle? If so, you may have an endocrine disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a common condition among women of reproductive age and leads to obesity, according to research.
3. You may be pre-diabetic
If your body has become insulin resistant, you may be in a pre-diabetic state. Insulin resistance can lead to being overweight, especially around the waist. One out of every three adults suffers from prediabetes. You need to monitor your blood sugar levels and possibly reduce your sugar intake to prevent this condition, otherwise it could lead to full blown diabetes.
4. Your body contains too many bacteria.
Bacteria live in the gut to aid digestion. But when you have a bacterial imbalance, also known as small intestine bacterial overgrowth, you may experience a variety of stomach problems such as bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, and weight gain. Try increasing your water intake and eating more high-fiber foods and probiotics to help your gut.
5. Your Body Produces More Cortisol
Stress can cause excess cortisol in your body, which is why you experience anxiety attacks, depression, and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, in addition to weight gain. If you also find it difficult to get up in the morning and feel so unmotivated, consider visiting a mental health professional who can help you get back on track.
6. You don’t get restful sleep.
Not only food causes weight gain. Even insomnia or lack of sleep can cause excess fat. You feel tired when you’re not sleeping well, but your body thinks you need energy. So it has an effect on the hormones that make you feel hungry so you end up eating uncontrollably.
7. You are perimenopausal
Perimenopause comes a few years before menopause. Women in their 40s may experience this stage and gain weight, according to a study in the OB/GYN Clinics of the Journal of North America.
Symptoms of perimenopause can include mood swings, sleep problems, hot flashes, and irregular periods. Your sex drive may also drop and you may experience vaginal dryness, which can affect intimate moments with your partner.
8. Your medication is not compatible with your body
Are you taking medication for depression or high blood pressure? Are you taking birth control pills or steroids? Various medications can interfere with the production of the enzyme and thus you experience side effects such as increased water retention and weight gain. However, you should not stop taking these medicines just because you are gaining weight. Ask your doctor to find an alternative.