Your eating and exercise habits haven’t changed, but all of sudden, you’re putting on a little extra weight. A slowing metabolism is usually blamed, but there are actually several reasons you might be adding on the pounds.
1. Lack of sleepphoto credit: marcp_dmoz via photopin cc
Not only will sleepiness encourage you to snack on some not-so-healthy food and super sweet coffee, but lack of sleep can also cause an imbalance in hormones that stimulate and suppress appetite. Gherlin, which stimulates appetite, increases when you don’t get enough sleep. And leptin, which tells your brain that you’re full, decreases when you’re tired. So that just doubles your need for snacks. (Check out ways to control snacking if you really need something to munch on.)
2. Stressphoto credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc
When you first get stressed, your appetite might be suppressed for a while, but when stress continues, you get hungry. That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, increases appetite. It doesn’t help that donuts and brownies taste good when you’re stressed. Like REALLY good.
3. Medicationsphoto credit: NikonGirl1969 via photopin cc
Not all medications will cause weight gain, but it’s a good idea to read through all the side effects before you start taking them. Several medications for mood disorders, migraines, and diabetes cause weight gain. Be aware of what you’re putting in your body.
4. Hypothyroidismphoto credit: kokopinto via photopin cc
Thyroid dysfunctions are a lot more common than people think. In fact, over 30 million Americans have undiagnosed thyroid problems. Weight gain happens when your thyroid is sluggish because the thyroid controls calorie consumption. Hypothyroidism comes with a bunch of symptoms, so if you’re gaining weight, tired, cold, losing hair, and more agitated than usual, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of hypothyroidism.
5. Depressionphoto credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc
Depression is a disease that shouldn’t be ignored and many times weight gain and depression come together. You get depressed, so you gain weight. You gain weight, so you get depressed. A lot of times, those suffering from depression gain weight because they’ve started eating foods higher in fat and sugar. These foods lift your mood for a short amount of time, almost like a high. When you’re on the low-side of that high, cravings for the food that made you feel better become more intense. And the vicious circle continues.
6. Missing Nutrientsphoto credit: David Kracht via photopin cc
Fiber, calcium, Vitamin D, and Iron are all nutrients your body needs to function at its highest potential. Unfortunately, these are also nutrients that most people don’t consume enough. Look up recipes and foods that are high in these nutrients to help get your body back on the path to health. Kiwi, by the way, is extremely high in Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and Vitamin K. Yum!