Why Am I Gaining Weight
Gaining weight is absolutely normal when your diet has plenty of fried foods, extra large portions, high-cal desserts, alcohol and sugary soft drinks and there is no or minimal physical activity or exercise to gain weight. But, some may gain weight even after eating a healthy diet and following a regular physical regime. There could be a combination of factors responsible for such kind of weight gain. Explained below are some probable causes.
1. Intake-output imbalance: Calorie intake more than required and physical activity less than required
2. Genetic makeup of the body: This affects an individual’s appetite as well as basal metabolic rate
3. Weight gain due to ageing: this is natural. As we age, our metabolism declines and we also tend to lose muscle which is converted into fat.
4. Tension, anxiety and depression: they affect one’s appetite and some people turn to food for comfort, especially high carb foods. These foods trigger an increase of serotonin in brain, which has a calming effect. When anxious or worried, our body produces more of cortical hormone, which in turn causes fat to accumulate
5. Lack of sleep: This can lead to spiked levels of hunger inducing hormones and a dip in the hormone that signals satiety. Sleep deprivation can also lead to starving for glucose and seeking a quick hit from the simple carbs in sweets and junk food.
6. Drugs: Medicines used to treat depression, mood disorders, seizures, migraines, diabetes, steroids, hormone replacement therapy, blood pressure and even oral contraceptives may also cause gradual weigh creep.
7. Hypothyroidism: The most common medical condition that causes weight gain is hypothyroidism as it can decrease metabolism, causing appetite loss and weight gain. Its symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, swelling, hoarse voice, intolerance to cold, too much sleep or headaches.
8. Cushing’s syndrome: A disorder caused by excess production of cortical hormone – can also result in weight gain.
9. Hormonal changes: Especially during menopause, can cause weight gain.
10. Smokers: smokers who quit smoking may gain weight due to increase in appetite.
How to Manage Weight:
• Eat small and frequent meals
• Do not feast or fast
• Drink lots of water
• Do not set your goals too high. Desirable rate of weight loss is ½ to 1 kg/week
• Eat regularly at the same time everyday
• Serve yourself on a small platter
• Do not take second helpings
• Eat when you are hungry. Avoid eating to relax, or because you are bored or depressed
• Prefer eating fruit instead of juice
• Eat fruits with peels
• Eat lighter dinners
• Do not deny yourself of any food only once a week
• Give your body and yourself enough time to shed weight
• Do not eat processed food
• Be careful when eating out. When you eat out, choose soup and salad or smaller dishes that are low in fat.
• Use non-stick cookware for cooking with less oil
• Do not eat ghee or butter
• Prefer eating whole grains and pulses
• Diet alone cannot reduce weight; follow a regular exercise regime of a least 45 minutes
• Stress hinders weight reduction, so try to be happy
• Do not smoke